2021 marks three decades of W&H UK providing dental professionals with exceptional solutions. But what is the history of the company and how did they come to be such a successful name in UK dentistry?
W&H UK took the opportunity to be more customer centric whilst concentrating on its strategic focus within this market and raising brand awareness. It was clear from the start that W&H would become a key player in the UK dental industry. The quick expansion of the company and its innovative approach have solidified this position, making W&H a highly respected UK brand.
First founded in Berlin, 1890, by Jean Weber and Hugo Hampel, W&H was the very first company to create straight and contra-angle handpieces in Europe. Quickly building off its reputation for trustworthy, high-quality solutions, W&H moved from Berlin in 1944 to Bürmoos, Austria. Once here, Konsul DI Peter Malata Senior was appointed as factory manager. From this position, it wasn’t long before Peter Malata purchased W&H Dentalwerk Bürmoos, expanding the company and adding to the site that remains, to this day, the headquarters of the W&H brand.
The first subsidiary, W&H Germany, came to light in 1964, soon followed by subsidiaries in other countries including France, Austria, Italy, Sweden. In 1996, the company underwent a full restructure at management level, embracing a new, forward-thinking ethos that W&H holds at the core of its brand even now. Currently, W&H operates in over 110 countries globally and has become a beacon of quality in modern dentistry.
Stepping into the UK market
Though first formed over 130 years ago, it wasn’t until 1991 that W&H set up a UK subsidiary in order to bring its solutions to focus more strategically on this market and raise brand awareness. Having already been established as a popular brand, W&H went from strength to strength, becoming a huge success in the UK, quickly expanding and innovating to solidify its place as one of the key names in the dental industry.
W&H UK hired its first salesperson in 1992, and soon after it became clear that with increased sales came the necessity of a technical service department to help support the growth of the company. Fast forward to 2001 and the first field service engineer joined the team, the technical service department continued to grow and W&H had cemented itself as one of the go-to brands for British dental professionals.
Today, W&H has an unmistakable UK presence and continues to provide support, innovation and exceptional solutions for dentists throughout the nation. The team are always on hand at UK shows and events to answer any questions and present professionals with the latest developments. They are committed to providing an exceptional level of customer service in every possible way.
Indeed, the brand continues to evolve and branch out into new areas, constantly introducing state-of-the-art solutions that help professionals to streamline their workflows, improve their infection control and offer their patients a diamond-standard of care. W&H has also become a trusted name in education. Not only does the company supply teaching hospitals with a number of solutions to help develop skills in the next generation of dentists, but it works with the profession at all levels to support learning and continuing personal development. Over the years, W&H has won a number of product awards including the Clinical Innovations Award for the Synea Vision TK-94 L, the Red Dot Award for the Implantmed and the German Design Award 2020 for the Proxeo Ultra amongst others!
Developing as a company
At W&H we have an on-going commitment to ensure ‘people have priority’ and that the company is as eco-friendly as possible. Work has already begun at the Bürmoos site to ensure that the company’s green credentials become part of the W&H brand.
Harnessing the power of environmental technology and renewable energy, the production centre in Austria is now powered by over 1,800 rooftop photovoltaic modules, producing an output of 536 kWp – enough power per year to run 190 households with four people living in them.
This is just one of the energy-saving approaches that the company has implemented, and in the production centre itself, all compressed air and ventilation systems are operated using heat recovery. In addition, metals and similar materials are used in the most beneficial way, with any leftovers being reprocessed and recycled.
Although these changes are just in the Austrian site as of yet, the Bürmoos location is a flagship for the company as a whole and makes for the perfect trial ground for measures like this to be eventually introduced elsewhere.
Another recent innovation worth discussing is the introduction of the new W&H virtual experience centre. Open to professionals around the globe, this immersive online world is a cutting-edge representation of how forward-thinking W&H is and contains a number of beneficial features that professionals will enjoy. From the ability to interact directly with members of the W&H family, to the chance to socialise with others and explore the vast array of W&H solutions on offer, this platform enables professionals to discover a whole new side to the W&H universe.
Always ahead of the curve
So, there have been a lot of changes to W&H over the 30 years we have had a subsidiary in the UK, but our work isn’t done yet. As the world of dentistry continues to innovate, W&H will continue to evolve alongside, remaining a pioneering, future-forward brand that dental professionals can always rely on.
Sonia Tracey, managing director, when asked, said, “I am proud to be a part of W&H UK’s growth and success over the last 30 years and we are looking to continue this in the future with new and exciting innovations. W&H will continue to evolve, remaining a pioneering, future-forward brand that dental professionals can always rely on.”