Bulgaria is one of the most important markets for BOGE KOMPRESSOREN

MachinesInterviewSouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 2/2013

Mr. Franz Weisbrod, Global Sales Director and Mr. Viktor Wiebe, Area Sales Manager in BOGE KOMPRESSOREN

Dear Mr. Weisbrod, BOGE is one of the market leaders and one of the oldest compressor manufacturers in Germany with more than 100 years of experience. What is your personal challenge to lead the global sales of manufacturer with such a background?
BOGE is a family-owned company and is extremely flexible. There are other manufacturers with very complex corporate hierarchies where decisions take a lot of time. Here, in BOGE, it is always possible to speak to the owner personally and this way you get the decisions extremely fast.
We have great plans for the future. In order to achieve our targets, we need to be very focussed on our customers and implement what they require within the shortest possible timeframe. To have backup from the very top guarantees that everybody helps to achieve this.

What are the traditional and most successful markets of BOGE worldwide and what are the most perspective for the future?
F. W.:
Our strong markets are Germany, UK and other European countries. The most perspective markets from my point of view are Asia, Middle East, and Russia – it’s a huge market with a big potential.

What is specific in your product program for the European markets comparing to the markets outside Europe?
F. W.:
The main topic in Western Europe is energy efficiency. In some Western European countries, we’ve been selling up to 70% of the machines with a speed regulation. This means that the customers have very exact adaptation of airflow and electrical power consumption. If you are working with partial load or with idle speed you need less electricity. I am 100% convinced that it is also a topic for Bulgaria. BOGE is building the compressors to be absolutely efficient.
If you look at the total cost for the ownership of a machine’s life cycle, the purchasing price is only 15% of the total cost. You have another 5-10% for the service and maintenance and the vast majority 75%-80% is for electricity. So, if you produce a very efficient machine this means that the customer will save a lot of money and have the possibility to recover the purchase price of the machine within a very short period. Many customers are now comparing the specific energy consumption, which is measured in KWh per m3 of air.

To give an example: If a 45KW compressor has 0.5 KWH/m3 better specific performance, the owner saves €1.000/year in 1 shift / 8 hour operation on 250 days / year. If he works with 2 shifts, we’re already talking double. So even if the machine is €2.000 more expensive, he can recover the difference in the first year. Afterwards, he starts saving money!

What currently are the most promising industrial sectors in terms of sales for BOGE?
F. W.:
Some markets have been changing. First of all in terms of energy efficient machines and secondly in terms of oil-free machines. In the past, if you had tobacco, food, beverage or pharmaceutical factories they all used conventional oil lubricated compressors.

This caused a significant risk because oil could contaminate the production and potentially cause huge losses. Now more and more companies are seeing this, quit using standard machines and move on to oil-free compressors. It’s of course an additional investment, oil-free machines are more expensive than the standard units. But the safety that you got is a huge factor.

 There are also special applications with Nitrogen which is becoming more and more important, for example for food and medicine producers. These manufacturing sites use nitrogen to flood the products to protect them from bacteria. For flooding the products with N2 they need compressed air. It’s a combination of oil free compressor with a nitrogen generator. Other sectors that are applying this technology now are oil and gas and the chemical industry. At Hannover fair in April, which is the most important industrial exhibition in the world, we’ll present our new nitrogen generator.

What are the biggest challenges in terms of the development of quality and energy saving compressed air solutions today?
F. W.:
For us, as a producer, first of all the challenge is to make the machines more efficient and to develop new technologies. But we also need to synchronize the amount of money that customers want to pay for the machine and on the other hand – the high quality that customers want to get. We are working in the premium sector. So we need to stay at the top quality level and the same time we must synchronise this with the pricing pressure from the market.

What important BOGE technological innovations the market could expect in near future?
F. W.:
First of all, we have invested 25 million in our own factory in East Germany to produce our ‚Effilence’ air ends for the machines. The more modern your rotor profile is, the closer the tolerances, the more efficient is the machine. With our own development and production we are capable to produce better and better compressors.
The second one is in the oil-free sector –we have an innovation which we call Bluekat. This is a revolutionary technology that uses a standard oil lubricated compressor in conjunction with a catalyst. All oil residues are burned and the outcome is absolutely oil free air.
This is also a very smart way to upgrade existing oil lubricated installations!

Dear Mr. Wiebe, what is the importance of the Bulgarian market for BOGE business in South-Eastern Europe?
I believe that Bulgarians economy has a big potential. In the last years there were no big investments in the industrial sector and the infrastructure. One example is Festo. Festo has already decided 5 years ago to invest in a new factory, but they realize it just now. It is a sign that the crises has already arrived the deeply point and Bulgarian economy is on the way to continuous development.
Bulgaria has a very good geographical position between Asia and Europe, it is also not so far from South Russia. Bulgaria also has some other advantages in comparison to other European countries like very low taxes, high standard of education, the Bulgarian universities have a very good status. As you can see there are a lot of factors that make Bulgaria very attractive for future investments.

For how long BOGE is presented at the Bulgarian market? What is the history of your partnership with company LD?
V. W.:
: Our cooperation with LD started in 1996 followed by several years of very good development.

 Unfortunately due to the crises however the business was dropped. Last year we agreed the necessary steps for regeneration of our collaboration. We made some decisions which already show the first results and I’m very sure that we will have a long and very successful cooperation on Bulgarian market together. We have in LD a very reliable and professional distributor in Bulgaria.

What are your main customer groups here? What market sectors will be the most successful in the near future?
V. W.:
Every customer is important for us! Every company which uses the compressors has highest priority for us and our distributors! There are several sectors where we expect the above average development during next years.

Especially in the sectors as food and beverage industry, manufacturing and system engineering, automotive industry we will consolidate our position in Bulgaria and enlarge the net of satisfied customers. In addition I would like to mention a lot of infrastructure projects which should be realized during next years.

What is the importance of the well-organized after-sales service for your Bulgarian customers?
V. W.:
If we speak for service activities, we speak not only about 24 hours support, we mean the possibility to be able to help the customer within 24 hours, to come and to solve the problem in order to grant him the chance to overcome breaks of the production, because breaks in the production means loosing of money for them. We pay a lot of attention especially to our distributors and offer a wide program for the education of their service technicians.

They must be able to recognize immediately the problem and to find the appropriate solution within the shortest time. Very well organized professional service will help to establish and to improve the collaboration with the already existing customers and is a key for future business with new clients.

What is BOGE’s long term strategy for the Bulgarian market?
V. W.:
Our long term development strategy for the Bulgarian market is to offer turnkey solutions. Our task is not only to sell the compressors. Even more we want to give the customer the best possible solution of course under consideration of such important aspect like energy efficiency.
Also interesting is entering the special business sectors like breathing air, special gases application (nitrogen for example), environmental engineering and special solutions.
Of course we will grant the best possible support to our local distributors. The consolidation and the continuous development of their position on the market is a very important part of our long time strategy.