By pursuing sustainable corporate practices, Tecan is looking to secure the long-term expansion and prosperity of the Company for the benefit of all interested parties. Tecan sees sustainable corporate practices as more than just a series of individual measures. Instead it is a basic mindset that shapes all corporate processes and unites economic, ecological and social aspects.

Customer loyalty and satisfaction

At Tecan, strong customer loyalty and a high degree of customer satisfaction are key factors for sustainable business growth. The results of the comprehensive customer survey, which is carried out every three years, are discussed in the “Markets and Market Position” section.

Safety and quality are of the utmost importance in laboratories. Tecan helps customers and specialists in emerging markets to implement and establish high quality and safety standards, which apply whatever the Tecan product being used. For example, Tecan has been contributing specialist papers and holding workshops in China for several years, and has also supported blood banks and hospitals in introducing a risk management system in various Chinese cities.

The Company offers easily accessible and affordable online training for customers via the Tecan Academy, which was launched in 2013. Interactive tools and easy-to-understand videos help them to quickly master Tecan’s automation solutions and use them to optimum effect. The courses have clearly defined learning objectives and include an easy certification process to meet internal and common standards.

Customer satisfaction

Sharing knowledge

The Tecan Academy offers customers easily accessible online training for new laboratory solutions and for generally expanding their specialist knowledge.

Business processes

At Tecan, prudent corporate activity founded on clearly structured transparent business processes is the permeating theme of the daily routine of both employees and management. It is important that Tecan employees are familiar with globally binding internal corporate guidelines, business processes, and country-specific laws and regulations. They can access the most up-to-date version of these, including guiding principles on the intangible values of the corporate culture, at any time in the Tecan Management System (TMS). The TMS is rated as a model tool by customers and external partners alike. Tecan develops the technology and content of the TMS on a continuous basis.

Tecan has had a continual improvement process (CIP) in place for a number of years. Employees in all areas of the Company should identify potential improvements at a day-to-day level, put forward solutions and contribute to their rapid implementation. The aim of the CIP is to increase the Company’s profitability, enhance both efficiency and quality, and improve internal collaboration. Where possible, the success of the CIP is measured using key performance indicators, such as productivity, throughput time and inventories in production.

Tecan developed and installed the production and logistics system PULS specifically for continual process improvements as part of just-in-time manufacturing. This integrated system enables Tecan to eliminate weaknesses and to better achieve the required, ever-stricter quality standards. The sustainability of the improvements is ensured by means of an audit system, which covers the relevant areas from occupational safety and environmental protection through management and collaboration. One of the guiding principles of PULS is avoiding waste caused, for example, by overproduction, standby time, excessive inventories and defective units.

Risk management

Tecan has a well-established global risk management process that allows it to detect risks in any area of corporate activity early on, categorize them according to likelihood of occurrence and impact, and limit them with an appropriate action plan. The process encompasses, among other factors, strategic risks, environmental and product risks, market and customer risks as well as occupational safety risks. It also focuses on political and economic developments as well as the possible impacts certain events may have on Tecan’s external partners such as customers or suppliers.

Tecan continuously adjusts its risk management system in line with changes to the environment and takes current events into account in its risk assessment. Under the business continuity plan, for example, in the event of natural disasters such as earthquakes and flooding, direct suppliers in the affected region are examined, and information gathered on their subcontractors. The aim is to ensure Tecan’s ability to supply, even in this type of exceptional situation. The Board of Directors reviews annually whether the risk assessment of business activities is appropriate and whether it takes into account both internal and external changes. Where necessary, new measures to mitigate risk are implemented. A key insurer audited Tecan’s risk management system in 2013 and again attested the instrument’s high standard, which enabled a premium reduction.

Tecan has a solid SAP-based infrastructure for business processes which integrates sales, customer service, production and the entire financial area in one platform and harmonizes processes. This platform also forms the basis for a “business intelligence reporting suite” with integrated planning modules, for instance for human resources or the budget process. Annual updates ensure that Tecan always has the latest software versions, thus limiting outages and helping avoid largescale, expensive update processes with long test phases.

In the financial area, Tecan uses an internal, self-managed treasury system and in doing so, is taking a pioneering role. Tecan executes all money transfers for all Group companies centrally, and manages their cash reserves. This has enabled Tecan to reduce the number of banks it uses in connection with its business activities, and transfer cash reserves to banks at lower risk of failure. The treasury system has also improved short-term financial planning and ensured an interest rate benefit compared with decentralized management.

Tecan uses an IT-based control system in the financial area. The system automatically recognizes and flags potential areas of conflict with regard to employees entrusted with a range of duties, which when combined could result in a risk of manipulation. The full installation was completed in the year under review, and the system formed an integral component of the auditors’ IT audit for the first time. In the process, Tecan provided evidence that the access control system is working well.

All IT services offered by the Group worldwide are outsourced to servers of an external service provider. The data is backed up redundantly, and the data centers are physically separated from one another and from the production sites. This enables Tecan to minimize the risk of critical data loss and increase data security. Global round-the-clock IT support is also available to Group companies, thereby reducing outages.

Tecan has established several organizational control mechanisms with the aim of ensuring correct corporate behavior. These include an internal auditor, who reports directly to the Board of Directors. In addition, a formalized Code of Conduct that is binding for all employees, managers and Board members has been in place at Tecan since 2012. In this Code, Tecan undertakes to maintain the highest standards in its business activities and to respect ethical values. The document is available to the public on the Company’s website. Tecan aims to document internally and externally that the Company is a credible and reliable business partner and employer in all situations through the Code. The Code of Conduct also brings together key guidelines that are already included in other tools, such as the employment regulations or the Tecan Management System, in a comprehensible form. It instructs employees how to orient themselves within the Company, and to seek further information or support in cases of doubt. Although Tecan only generates a relatively small portion of its sales in countries with an increased risk of corruption according to the criteria of the organization Transparency International, the Code of Conduct has a zero-tolerance policy toward bribery and corruption. It promotes compliance with standards on occupational health, safety and the environment. It provides instructions on ensuring data protection and handling confidential information, and requires accurate and timely communication of information and careful logging of meetings and processes by Tecan staff. The Code also stipulates compliance with competition law as well as national and international trade law for the import and export of products. It guarantees anonymity for whistleblowers, but also sanctions against unfounded suspicions. Line managers are responsible for ensuring that all of their staff know and understand the content of the Code of Conduct. All employees must attend and successfully complete a training course on the Code.

In 2013, the Code was established worldwide and employees were given training on it. All Tecan employees had to complete e-learning courses. People exposed to higher business risks in their function, such as sales or procurement staff, also had to attend training courses in person. The Code is available in English and German as well as various other languages, including Chinese and Japanese. By providing these different language versions, Tecan wishes to ensure that this important document is understood by employees all around the world.

In the year under review, Tecan began a detailed screening of its distributors, establishing a separate process with a new TMS directive (Distributor and Intermediaries Anti Bribery Due Diligence) for this purpose. The screening is being carried out with the assistance of an external specialist service provider. In future, the process will also be applied during the selection of new distributors.

Safety and regulatory requirements

Tecan has established processes Group-wide and at its individual business locations to ensure compliance with national laws and regulations as well as with internal guidelines on safety and environmental protection. The Company invests substantial amounts each year in pursuit of further improvement. Tecan cooperates closely with public authorities and standardsetting bodies around the world to recognize new trends in regulation, occupational safety and environmental protection as early as possible and to integrate them into its corporate processes. The Company actively shapes these developments in significant economic regions by participating in key industry associations.

Internal and external experts regularly inspect whether Tecan’s locations comply with country-specific regulations and the Company’s internal standards for product and occupational safety as well as health and environmental protection. These inspections also cover measures that Tecan has to implement if it fails to meet any requirements. Each year, the locations are subject to a number of audits conducted by regulatory authorities, testing, monitoring and certification agencies, customers, and Tecan’s own specialist teams. In 2013, Tecan was subject to a number of sometimes very extensive audits by customers at all production sites. These included leading diagnostics companies that Tecan supplies with instruments through its OEM business in the Partnering Business, or will supply in the future. The audits covered areas including processes, quality management systems, product design, validation and documentation. The customers again attested a high standard at Tecan with regard to the relevant requirements. Three audits by international authorities also took place during the year under review. One of them enables customers in the Partnering Business to step up their sales of instruments in one of the emerging growth markets.

Tecan put together an ISO 14971-certified product risk management process for medical devices that covers the entire lifespan of a product and evaluates all possible risks, especially those pertinent to patients and users. The Tecan parent company, all production sites and most sales subsidiaries are now ISO 13485 certified. With global certification to this standard by TÜV Süd, Tecan has established a stringent system of control, which has a very good reputation in the life science industry worldwide.

As part of its certification strategy, Tecan obtained a full, Groupwide matrix certificate based on ISO 13485 as planned in 2013. The Company wants to ensure that all units worldwide work according to the same processes and strive together to continuously improve their products and services. The matrix certificate also accommodates the current and future Group structure with an increasing number of subsidiaries. In Europe, the sales subsidiary in Germany was awarded the main certificate, while subsidiaries in other countries received subcertificates. This new method of coordinated certification has benefits for customers and Tecan alike: greater transparency; the possibility to systematically monitor processes worldwide; and harmonized, standardized systems that also accommodate differences in the markets. The matrix certificate results in considerable simplifications and increased safety compared to individual certificates. TÜV Süd verifies the certification annually with sample checks at different branch offices. Tecan successfully passed these checks in 2013.

Tecan products must also satisfy the following important requirements, among many others: US QSR (Quality System Regulation)/21 CFR 820, CMDCAS (Canadian Medical Device Conformity Assessment System), JPAL (Japanese Pharmaceutical Affairs Law) and CCC (Chinese Compulsory Certification). New opportunities are developing for Tecan in emerging markets, which will place additional requirements on the Company.

Regulatory requirements are increasing around the world. To ensure that the current versions of these requirements are understood and satisfied everywhere, Tecan is in constant contact with local organizations and authorities. Several online applications provide Tecan’s technical staff with the necessary technical support for managing product registrations and clarifying regulatory requirements in more than 60 countries.

Tecan has a central Quality & Regulatory organization at Group level to ensure ongoing improvements in the high quality standards worldwide. In Europe, all of the quality systems of the national subsidiaries and organizations have been harmonized and processes standardized, including sales, service and complaint processes, for example. Tecan operates a Central Complaint Unit for customer complaints.

Tecan performs a global management review every year in which relevant data from all Group companies are reviewed centrally. The process assesses whether quality management is still optimized to the legal requirements and regulations for the products and services supplied by Tecan. Tecan undertakes this review with regard to the individual national markets as well as from a Group-level perspective.

Tecan’s approach to product development is also characterized by an awareness of quality and regulatory requirements. Specialists collaborate from an early stage, supporting the process in a series of structured stages that span the product’s entire life up to the point where it is withdrawn from the market.


The Company attaches great importance to acting responsibly and in an environmentally friendly manner in the development, manufacture and global distribution of Tecan products as well as in all services it provides. All Tecan production locations and the majority of suppliers are located in stringently regulated markets in Europe and the US, while a small portion operates in Asia. Direct suppliers are subject to an audit program in order to ensure sustainable business. In the production process, Tecan focuses on the final assembly of a relatively small number of items of laboratory equipment. In comparison with companies with extensive production processes, Tecan therefore emits only very low levels of pollutants. Tecan implemented numerous controls as part of the ISO 13485 certification, which applies to all production sites and sales subsidiaries. ISO 14001 certification has not been applied for as the production sites do not emit gases or other environmental pollutants. For this reason, emission values such as CO2 are not measured.

The areas used at the production sites consist exclusively of offices and rooms for assembling products. They are located in already developed commercial and industrial zones. Environmental considerations such as the impact on protected areas and biodiversity are therefore not relevant in the current circumstances.

The net floor area at the largest production site in Männedorf, Switzerland, has grown considerably since 2011 in order to meet the increased production requirements. Employee numbers have also risen during this period. In addition, a large number of external specialists assist Tecan employees in development projects, which has resulted in an increase in total energy and water consumption in absolute terms. Tecan takes care to ensure that modern, energy-efficient technology is used in the infrastructure of its buildings. For example, hot and cold water lines in the ceiling are the sole source of heating and cooling at the headquarters in Männedorf. Processed wastewater from the Männedorf wastewater treatment plant supplies the heat pumps with energy. No water is used as a production factor in the assembly process. Tecan’s water requirements are met entirely by the communal water utilities and do not influence any water resources in protected areas. Paper consumption declined at the two locations in Austria and the US. The only place where it rose was the headquarters in Männedorf, which was a result of the higher employee numbers and intensified project work.

There was a decline in the total amount of waste produced in comparison with the previous year. Recyclable waste accounted for the majority of that amount. Only a small portion of it was special waste, which includes materials, solvents and chemicals contaminated through the automation of biological processes, for example. In the year under review, the amount of waste classified as special waste produced at the Männedorf location increased markedly. As a result, Tecan conducted an analysis of the precise composition of the special waste. The analysis showed that a significant portion of the waste disposed of as special waste was incorrectly treated as such as a precaution. Employee training courses were then held to explain the precise classifications and disposal types. Tecan expects that the amount of waste classified as special waste will be reduced again in the future.

Environmental responsibility

Promoting renewable energies

Tecan enables employees with electric vehicles to use charging stations for free.

Environmental performance






Net floor area






Energy consumption


Total energy consumption





Total fuel consumption





Fuel consumption/m2





Total consumption of electricity





Consumption of electricity/m2





Total cooling energy





Cooling energy/m2 *





Total heating energy





Heating energy/m2





Total steam consumption





Steam consumption/m2





Energy intensity (total energy/turnover)

Gigajoules/CHF Mio.





Water consumption


Total water consumption





Water consumption per head






Paper consumption


Total paper consumption





Paper consumption per head





Percentage of recycled paper






Waste consumption


Total waste





Normal waste





Recyclable waste





Hazardous waste





* Data available for Switzerland only, extrapolation for the other two production sites.

Tecan attaches great importance to using the most environmentally friendly materials and ecologically efficient processes possible. Employees receive regular training and are familiar with the latest developments in this area. Tecan disposes of waste in accordance with the WEEE Directive1. It also supports the aims of the EU’s RoHS Directive2 on the prohibition of toxic, not readily biodegradable substances in electrical and electronic devices. Tecan incorporated the RoHS requirements into product development from an early stage to comply with this directive, even though exemptions apply to in-vitrodiagnostics products for the time being.

Tecan also complies with this directive in its local form in emerging markets such as China. Through the reliable, robust and sustainable design of its products, Tecan continuously targets progress in their environmental sustainability. The PULS program set up by the Company also includes targets and measures to avoid wasting materials and energy. Tecan also makes its administrative processes as environmentally friendly as possible. For example, the Company is holding more and more video conferences in order to reduce the number of flights. Customer service staff use tools that enable

completely paper-free processes. For innovations such as the Infinite F50 Reader, CO2 efficiency is a key criterion. This Tecan product makes a sustainable contribution to the reduction of CO2 emissions. Compared to the previous model, the F50 Reader is around 65 % lighter and more compact. This results in reductions of almost 60 % in CO2 emissions from transport of the product alone. Innovative LED lamps also reduce energy consumption by 50 % compared to previous components. The F50 Reader meets the Chinese and EU RoHS Directives.

Tecan supports employees at the Männedorf location in their use of electric vehicles. Separate parking spaces are provided, along with the option to use charging stations for free.

1 WEEE = Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment

2 RoHS = Restriction of Hazardous Substances


Tecan has a strong sense of responsibility for its employees, which is reflected in its personnel policies that are binding at all of its companies around the globe. National hiring rules ensure compliance with laws on, for example, gender equality and non-discrimination. Both Tecan managers and employees are also held to strict ethical guidelines. These are firmly established in the Code of Conduct and form part of the training requirements for all employees.

Employees by region *
  • Switzerland
  • Other Europe
  • USA
  • Asia-Pacific
Employees by activity **
  • Manufacturing and logistics
  • Sales and marketing
  • Customer service
  • Research and development
  • General and administration

Tecan has a very cosmopolitan workforce comprising employees from around 40 countries. The average age of Tecan employees is approximately 40. In the year under review, the number of employees rose again slightly. The proportion of women in the workforce increased again to approximately 27 %, and the proportion of female managers also continued to rise, reaching over 21 %. Two of seven positions on the Board of Directors are now occupied by women.

The high degree of Company loyalty is reflected in the staff turnover rate of around 10 %, and an absence rate of less than 3 %.

 * in % of all em­ploy­ees

 **in % of all FTEs

Overview of personnel figures






Employee figures







Full-time positions

in % of all employees

90.6 %

89.5 %

89.3 %

Part-time positions

in % of all employees

8.1 %

9.1 %

9.1 %






New positions created






Gender diversity













in % of all employees

25.3 %

26.1 %

26.5 %


in % of all employees

74.7 %

73.9 %

73.5 %

Women in management positions

in % of all managers

18.3 %

19.9 %

21.4 %

Women in the Board of Directors





Women in the Board of Directors

in % of all members

0 %

14.3 %

28.6 %


Basic and continuing training *


Investments in basic and continuing training





Investments in basic and continuing training

CHF per employee





Other figures*


Staff turnover rate


10.8 %

11.8 %

10.3 %

Absence rate


1.9 %

2.2 %

2.7 %

Average number of years of service





Average age





* Data for Switzerland only.

Responsibility to employees

Equal opportunities

The proportion of women in Tecan’s management and its Board of Directors increased in 2013.

Employee satisfaction

Tecan measures and analyzes the satisfaction of its employees on a regular basis by means of an anonymous, Internetbased survey. The “Engaging for Results” survey, which is conducted every two years, enables the Company to ascertain whether its business parameters, processes and structures are appropriate and how motivated and committed its staff are. In this way, Tecan can ensure that it is employing the right staff in the best possible way. The results also help management gain a better understanding of what constitutes employee satisfaction and how staff can be motivated. The “Engaging for Results” survey conducted in 2012 produced good to very good results. General satisfaction was excellent. Tecan employees particularly value the clear delineation of responsibility that they experience. Among the psychological motivators, a supportive environment and paths to personal growth were rated as particularly positive. Tecan employees are proud to work for the Company and feel highly committed to it. No survey was planned for the year under review. In order to obtain useful feedback from the employees, however, elements of the survey were integrated into meetings between line managers and employees as part of an in-depth year-end process.

Vision and values

Tecan’s management considers instilling the Company’s vision and common values in all its employees and ensuring these are put into practice to be of key importance. The four values “ownership”, “trust”, “innovation” and “solution-oriented” were defined by employees as essential in the year under review. Various activities were also carried out in the year under review to firmly anchor the values in the Company and the employees’ attitude to work. The four Tecan values are particularly important in ensuring the Company is a partner of choice for customers. “Ownership” is intended to ensure that employees take responsibility, make decisions and complete their tasks responsibly. “Trust” lays the foundation for successful collaboration. It aims to ensure that employees are reliable and deal openly with others. “Innovation” is essential to the Company’s success and to ensure sustainable growth. It means that employees are able to contribute and implement specific value generating ideas. “Solution-oriented” primarily refers to an attitude that all Tecan employees should adopt. It also aims to encourage staff to continually improve and develop themselves. The four values are also integrated into the year-end process in which target achievement is evaluated, as well as into meetings with employees. The performance review process MyPerformance was revised in the year under review. Greater emphasis is now placed on employees’ conduct with regard to the Tecan values.

The vision “Tecan will be in every laboratory” seeks to make Tecan the preferred supplier for leading life science companies and laboratories.

Basic and continuing training

At Tecan, ongoing professional and external basic and continuing training is a key requirement critical to business. Due to strict industry-specific requirements, Tecan has high training expenditure: The Company must comply with requirements and guidelines set forth by various supervisory authorities and must also demonstrate that its employees possess the required knowledge. In the year under view, investments in basic and continuing training increased again, both in absolute terms and per employee. Aided by an SAP-based system, Tecan ensures that training processes are carried out to a sufficient standard throughout the Company. Each individual employee receives a personalized training profile. This enables employees and line managers to check and update the current training status. It also ensures that information on training levels is available electronically at all times for audits. Tecan is working continuously to develop and improve this learning system. It should provide an effective performance record and offer employees the best possible training opportunities. Tecan increased investments in management training in the year under review. Strong leadership is indispensable if the Company is to generate sustainable value. Specific four-part seminars provide managers from all levels with practical guidance for developing their leadership skills, motivating employees and raising the Company’s productivity. All the seminars include written individual and group exercises as well as larger group projects, including case studies and simulations of challenging business situations.

The Te-Wiki is a tool available to Tecan employees for the purpose of exchanging information and experience. This platform includes general information describing Tecan products, as well as experiences of employees in sales and customer services from direct contact with customers. All Tecan employees can also benefit from the knowledge of their colleagues by asking questions or outlining issues via “tickets”.

In countries employing a dual education system, Tecan instructs trainees from various vocational and professional groups. The number of trainees rose again in the year under review.

Social responsibility

Projects serving the common good

With its kindergarten project “Spürnasenecke”, Tecan wants to contribute to getting children in the communities around its locations interested in science at an early age.

Social responsibility

Tecan offers a wide range of healthcare initiatives for its employees including medical courses, vaccination programs and various sporting activities. The Company supports chronically ill employees, taking efforts to ensure they remain integrated in the workplace as far as possible.

Tecan attaches great importance to good cooperation with the people and authorities where it does business. The Company also supports projects serving the common good at its various locations. One example is the learning concept “Spürnasenecke” (a corner for children with a nose for discovery) for kindergartens, which was developed in Austria together with the Tecan site in Salzburg. It helps teachers lead children toward scientific discoveries in a playful way. Tecan supported the development of the “Spürnasenecke” project with funding and its own expertise. With this commitment, the Company wants to make a contribution to the early development of children in the communities around its locations and get them interested in science. The concept has proved a success and is enjoying great popularity. In Austria, several kindergartens have already been fitted with a “Spürnasenecke” by various sponsors, including Tecan. A similar corner – the first of its kind in Switzerland – has also been installed in Männedorf kindergarten.