Partnering with ESD Bulgaria gives us a chance at a successful start on the Bulgarian machine building market

MachinesInterviewSouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 2/2014

Jan Kovar, sales manager of TOS VARNSDORF

Would you please present TOS VARNSDORF’s history, corporate structure and scope of activity?
This year we celebrate an anniversary - it’s been 111 years since the founding of the company. Over time we have established ourselves as a reliable supplier of machines, not only on the domestic market but also for the countries in SE Europe.

We have long-term presence there, especially in sectors that require processing of large workpieces, such as heavy engineering, mining and other industries. These sectors require time high precision and quality of treatment at the same and we have proven we can guarantee that.

Our company has very strong positions in Western Europe, mainly in Germany. We enjoy a high reputation and prestige there, and this is one of the leading motives for choosing a supplier for this market. In terms of structure, TOS VARNSDORF is a public limited company but it is owned mainly by 3 people who are involved in the leadership of the company and in the production process. This, I think, gives us the great advantage to react quickly and flexibly with a proposal to meet the requirements of each client.

Which characteristics of your machines will provide them with a competitive advantage on the market?
Our product range is focused on the development of several basic models of universal milling machines that we can develop and tailor to the specific requirements of each customer as our priority is not so much related to mass production but to custom work with individual manufacturers.

Another advantage of ours is provided by the fact that we are producing not only machines but also tools, accessories and technical support for them. We have a total of six manufacturing facilities, employing around 600 people. Virtually it can be said that we control the production cycle of all major components in the machines we offer.

When did your partnership with ESD Bulgaria start and how is it developing so far?
Our machines are not new to the Bulgarian market, but I must admit that we’ve had almost no activity here in the last 20 years. Now, starting from the beginning with ESD Bulgaria, we hope that we can intervene in the market, relying on the high quality we offer and the well positioned prices. About ESD, we see them as a partner having the know-how on client needs and experience on the engineering market in Bulgaria. This provides for a very good start, in my opinion.

Bulgaria is an important market for us because we have very serious experience and traditions in the field of engineering, and although the market is still very price-conscious, customers are looking for high quality and precision processing. I think this is an advantage for us. So we will be serious at maximum about our current and potential customers, offering world-class quality at a competitive price and, last but not least, on-site support by a well-established and reputable partner like ESD Bulgaria.

TOS VARNSDORF is represented in over 50 countries worldwide. What is your opinion about the European market?
In addition to the Bulgarian market, I am responsible for the markets in the former Yugoslavia, Romania, Hungary, along with the German-speaking European countries - Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Denmark. This gives me a broad base for comparison. With regard to Bulgaria and other countries in SE Europe, I could not say that there is a big difference in customer requirements.

Here we work mainly with suppliers and manufacturers of parts which operate in low and mid volumes and by specific orders. That in turn requires flexibility in production. We can offer such, since our machines are universal, they come with a very rich tool range and are suitable for different types of industries.

On the other hand, most of the local manufacturers are working as subcontractors for other clients from Western Europe. We know very well the requirements of their principals in terms of production. I think this is the most typical direction for market development in the region - the demand for equipment which can ensure production meeting the quality requirements of the global and European market.

Currently this can be seen as an already established rule in Germany, for example. Our clients there are also small- and medium-sized production factories, which invest their own money in the purchase of machinery. This makes them very demanding and careful in selection - looking for highly precise and efficient machinery that will ensure quality production without excessive costs.