We have seen good growth in the SEE region

MachinesInterviewSouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 4/2016

We have seen good growth in the SEE region

John Hort,
Regional General Manager for the South East European Customer Centre, Atlas Copco, for South-East European Industrial Market magazine

Mr. Hort, could you please introduce yourself to TLL Media’s readers?
I am John Hort, Regional General Manager for the South East European (SEE) Customer Centre of Atlas Copco Compressor Technique. I have 25 years with Atlas Copco which has taken me to various General Management and VP Marketing roles. I am a British Citizen but have completed missions in UK, Belgium, USA, China and now SEE.

In this mission I live in Greece but travel continuously in the region. 12 countries make up SEE but the biggest are: Romania, Greece, Serbia, Israel, Bulgaria and Cyprus. We have 120 employees operating in the complete region of which 47 are service engineers and 32 are external sales functions.

Atlas Copco is celebrating 10 years in Bulgaria. What’s your evaluation of the Bulgarian office? What are the most important qualities of the team in your opinion? What is the significance of the Bulgarian office for the global operations of Atlas Copco?
One of the cornerstones of the Atlas Copco Group offer to its customers is sustainability. We are a long term partner who can be relied upon to support long after the initial delivery of our equipment. Our operation in Bulgaria has reached this important 10 year milestone. Not only this but many of our employees have 10-15 years of experience working for or with Atlas Copco.

Many of our people have completed 10 years with us but were also employed by Atlas Copco’s distributor in the country before they became part of our Group. This longevity and experience combined with the high energy approach the team has is the key to our success. When you put this local Bulgarian combination together with the high quality, leading products supplied by our product companies around the world we believe it makes us a strong partner for our customers in this country.

As a General Manager in Atlas Copco for South East Europe Customer Center, how could you recognize the importance of the Bulgarian market for Atlas Copco in comparison to others in the region? What are its advantages and what should be done for its expansion?
If you consider any of our customer centers in SEE against big operations like Germany, USA, or China, of course we are very small. The whole thinking, however, behind starting SEE approximately 4 years ago was indeed to bring together a cluster of small customer centers.

By combining and utilizing the competences and resources we have available to us we have seen good growth in the region and together we become an important part of the overall AC business. The next steps in our development throughout the region are continued investment in people and competence development whilst searching for synergies, best practices and process alignment in each of the countries.

Compressor Technique BA at Atlas Copco Bulgaria officially presented the new expansion of the well-known VSD compressor series. Why did Atlas Copco decide to expand it and how will it be received on the market in your opinion?
The Variable Speed Drive Compressor (VSD) is a product introduced on the market several years ago and it transformed the way manufacturing managers think towards the supply of compressed air to the production process. The supply of compressed air to many processes in factories around the world is vital and the demand is often very high with electricity consumption generating very heavy costs.

Most factories however do not run with a continuous demand. Variable speed compressor technology monitors the demand needed by a factory and adjusts the speed of the compressor providing more or less air depending on the amount of air needed. This optimization can save huge costs over a full production cycle where day and night shift demands can have large variations.

As the pressure for cost reduction and environmental savings continues to increase on Production Managers around the world this technology becomes more and more appropriate. The extension of the new VSD+ range that we have just released in Bulgaria not only offers these savings but new motor technology and element technology gives high efficiency gains, small footprint, and exceptional low noise levels. I certainly urge your readers if they are working in the production environment to check out this new range to see what benefits you could gain.

What can we expect from Atlas Copco next year?
Atlas Copco as a group invests a huge amount of money each year in new product development so customers can look forward to many new developments through 2017. I would however like to highlight our vacuum range of products which continues to grow significantly and we continue to add new models.

About three years ago Atlas Copco acquired Edwards Vacuum and since that time investments in new products which combine the vacuum technology of Edwards with the VSD technology of Atlas Copco now means that in Bulgaria we can offer a range of ground breaking vacuum machines with exceptional running cost reductions. The fact is that many of our industrial production customers who need compressed air also have many processes where they need to create vacuum. Check out our GHS VSD+ range.