The watch industry loves a story about thousands of man hours being dedicated to creating the perfect mechanical complication. SWICO has committed similar amounts of time, skill and energy into transforming its customer relationship and service processes.

This sort of business process reengineering is the type of unheralded effort that the WatchPro Hot 100 likes to unearth, and Keith Sheppard’s oversight of the transformation of SWICO this year deserves considerable recognition. “We have moved seamlessly from a distributor for Raymond Weil and the Movado Group to a services company for them both,” he says.

The project has not been without its difficulties, but Keith has steered the business sure-footedly through the changes. “Introducing a wholly new ‘state-of-the-art’ after-sales processing system to give the trade and consumers a super-efficient service, though it took time to bed down, it is now very much appreciated. We have always prided ourselves on the service and support we offered to the trade. It is great to see that, in spite of huge internal changes, there have been relatively few difficulties for our customers,” he explains. The changes at SWICO haven’t been the only dramatic changes in Keith’s life this year. The Sheppard family has also expanded with the birth of a granddaughter, and the addition of a son-in-law as his eldest daughter married.

The year ahead will see SWICO bedding in its new customer service systems. But Keith hints that there are additional changes in the pipeline. “We are also studying new opportunities, some of which are very exciting. More of which later,” he teases.