Interview with Mr. Matthias Kohnecke - Business Development Manager, HANSA - FLEX Hydraulik GmbH

MachinesInterviewSouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 2/2010

Dear Mr. Kohnecke, please present Hansa-Flex as a company, history, scope of activity, product program, etc.
Initiating in 1962 with entrepreneurial spirit and a green workbench in the garage of the company’s founder Joachim Armerding, today HANSA-FLEX is Europe’s leading company for all areas of hydraulics.
As a system partner HANSA-FLEX is an expert in the complex overall system of fluid technology and offers a full range of integrated products & services - from planning and consulting through engineering, unit engineering, the supply of fastening elements and assembly to commissioning and the training of operators.
Getting hold of spare parts is no problem thanks to HANSA-FLEX. A dense network of more than 300 branches in currently 37 countries ensures ready access to the components our customers require, even at short notice.
We can offer such efficiency as we hold over 82,000 different parts permanently in stock. Then there is our experienced and committed workforce. With their expertise and focus on service they provide fast, qualified help in any situation.

Who are your target customers?
Leading "global players" as well as small and medium-sized companies of all economic sectors benefit from the worldwide operating system partnership network with HANSA-FLEX.

Which are the key factors in your long-term success at hydraulic market?
The key factor in this success is system partnership and customer proximity. It is the breadth and depth of products and services available that make the company such a valued partner today. In a key technology like hydraulics, customers prefer solutions from a single source. Our extensive network of subsidiaries opens the door to HANSA-FLEX’s world of service.
Rising demands on hydraulics and growing dynamism in international competition show, that simply "placing capacities at disposal" no longer adequately ensures leadership. Our staff’s qualification, thorough training of service personnel, continuous improvement of all products and processes and, last but not least, mobilisation of all capacities determines our future.

For how many years Hansa-Flex is presented in Bulgaria and how is your business organized here?
Our activities started 1997 together with a local dealer. In 2006 this cooperation launched HANSA-FLEX.
In Bulgaria, as well as in Romania, Turkey and globally, the brand HANSA-FLEX is represented through our extensive network of subsidiaries to ensure customer proximity and best possible service.
Thanks to the significant commitment of Angel Delev, Nico Tasu & his wife Anca and Mevlut Yildirimoz the development of the local markets has been continuously fostered and the HANSA-FLEX brand has been successfully positioned in these markets.

Do you have distributors in other Southeast European countries?
Mainly HANSA-FLEX is represented through own subsidiraries. We are located in almost all Southeast European countries like Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Nevertheless we also cooperate with local distributors like in Moldavia, Montenegro and Macedonia.

Could you make a comparison among the Bulgarian, Romanian and Turkish hydraulics markets?
Rising demands on hydraulics and growing dynamism in international competition show, that simply "placing capacities at disposal" is not sufficient.
No matter if you are in Bulgaria, Romania or Turkey, it’s all about customer satisfactory.
Point of origin and objective of all our efforts is the customer. Through our proximity and competence, fast availability of required products and services plus flexible customized solutions, HANSA-FLEX customers benefit. We are developing innovative services to boost competitiveness.

What is your long-term development strategy for these markets?
HANSA-FLEX’s focussed on international expansion with simultanous extension of our product program. We want to become a worldwide leading reliable systempartner within the wide range of hydraulics providing more benefits for our customers.
To make our vision come true, we need to become market leader in Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey aiming best possible service for our customers on-site.

Please, define some specific features of markets in South - East Europe compared to Western or Global?
Many markets in Southeastern Europe have seen a 5-7 % growth of their GDP over the last few years that has benefited the entire economic and social development of the country. Following the years of continued growth these markets are now experiencing a downward trend due to the financial crisis. This will reveal how stable some of these markets are and whether the counteractive measures will have their desired effect. A recovery will depend to a large extend on the availability of credit.

Which products and solutions of your company have the biggest market potential in Southeast European countries?
Our solutions concept, which means hydraulics expertise from a single source.
With HANSA-FLEX solutions our customers benefit from fast help with spare parts and service modules, designed to optimise SMB and OEM production processes.
With X-CODE we have developed an identification system that has revolutionised spare parts service. Unscheduled machine downtimes are cut to a minimum. Service that couldn’t be faster and more reliable.
Specialist HANSA-FLEX assembly teams and the FLEXXPRESS fleet of fully equipped tool and gear trucks are ready to help at any time. This means that all work involving hydraulics can be carried out on the spot.

What technologies and market trends do you think would affect the hydraulic market within the next years?
Due to European EuP-intiative energy efficiency will affect hydraulic systems. Furtermore we will have a trend to electro-hydaulic systems.
Parallel to that, the race after larger diameter together with higher pressures will proceed.