Krasen Milev,IOW Bulgaria: When choosing a provider we insist on quality and meeting implementation deadlines

Automation & RoboticsInterviewSouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 1/2015

Krasen Milev,IOW Bulgaria: When choosing a provider we insist on quality and meeting implementation deadlines


Krasen Milev, manager of IOW Bulgaria

Dear Mr. Milev, could you present in brief the history, structure and activities of the company IOW Bulgaria?
The IOW group already has a 20-year history in Europe and independent dealers are registered in the different countries. The Bulgarian company was founded in 2003 in Sofia, and in 2008 it built its own office and warehouse, along with a new modern service center. This allows diversification of services and the ability to timely diagnosis and service.

In which countries from Central and Eastern Europe do you operate and what is your organizational structure?
Our organizational structure is divisional, with independent management centers. Our activity extends over the following countries: Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Lithuania, Serbia and Macedonia.

Which are your main clients in the region?
Our list of client sectors is broad: energy, material handling, construction, ship yards, mining industry, food processing machine, forklift truck building, metal processing machine, wood processing machine, agriculture machine, railway and off-highway transport, services, etc.

This year the company reported 10 years of successful presence on Balkan market. What are your observations regarding the development of production in the country as a whole and the requirements of customers in this period?
The machine building industry is one of the leading industrial sectors in Europe in terms of establishments, employment and production. For the last years there has been moderate, but tendentious growth and export of machine-engineering equipment outside the EU.

Bulgaria, in the years after its accession as a member, gives a chance to our companies for more favorable prospects in terms of development, participation in projects, access to funds and simplified procedures for overall activity. In the years after 2009 the development of service activity and the stable contractual relationships with our partners have played a key role for us.

Which are the main producers that supply you with products and in which areas are these products applicable? What are your defining criteria for choosing a manufacturer for your supplier or partner?
Our suppliers are Western European factories, from Italy, Germany and Belgium for example. They are leaders in the development of technologies, innovations and products for the main economic sectors in our region. A key determinant is the quality, which is necessary to comply with predictable and competitive terms for implementation.

All companies that we represent are officially certified by a quality standard. Another advantage is their vertical integration of their production of mass small parts, which provides optimization in terms of price. Finally, of course, we could not omit the already built image and impressive history of the companies.

IOW Bulgaria has been an authorized product and service center of Dana Spicer off-highway division for the region for 3 years. What do your commitments include and what competitive advantages does that partnership provide you?
The main advantage is the guaranteed supply of original spare parts, as well as the professional level of staff training. The overall service goes in accordance to the requirements and regulations of the DANA Spicer Off-Highway division. In addition, we have complete technical information and database regarding the product range.

What are your observations on the markets in neighboring countries? How do they differ from the Bulgarian?
A comparative assessment can hardly be given in a brief. Many economic factors and indices influence the market development of a country: geographical and territorial scale, natural deposits, protectionist policies, inflow of foreign investments, currency stability, number of competitors, monopolies, labor, investment in technology and education, etc.