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Oleg Stefanović, Director, Produkt BG Engineering

Small But Reliable Partner

Thanks to its partnership with Swiss company Mageba, Produkt BG Engineering became the first and leading company in Serbia that’s specialised in the production and distribution of all types of bearings and expansion joints for bridges, but also the only domestic manufacturer certified according to the highest standards

The transfer of know-how and technology is the key to success. Produkt BG Engineering’s engineers and employees have access to the latest technologies in their field of expertise. Moreover, they also have an opportunity to utilise solutions and experiences emerging out of the planet’s most demanding projects

It was four years ago that you became a partner of the Swiss company Mageba. Did that bring you access to new markets and how important is this partnership for Serbia’s development?

– Yes, it was in mid-2015 that we signed contracts on the licensed production of bearings and expansion joints for bridges, as well as a contract on the distribution of other products from the Mageba product range. As this company is a global leader in this area of production, this partnership is an important step in the development of our company, but simultaneously represents an acknowledgement of our own quality and knowhow.

Mageba’s products are included in more than 20,000 bridges worldwide. This was the first company to construct modular expansion joints and it has significant patents in many segments. Considering that it is a Swiss company, the levels of quality that it sets for us are often higher than those of the EU. Compliance with these standards is controlled quarterly by the German Institute from Stuttgart. It took more than a year for us to bring our processes up to Mageba standards.

With the support of Mageba, we have also passed many certification processes, enabling us to sell our products on demanding markets, primarily those of the EU. Of all Mageba products that are today ordered in the region, 80% are produced at our plant in Serbia. And in this way we don’t only raise our own quality and productivity, but also “propel” our suppliers and subcontractors.

Last year we had significant orders from Austria, Germany, Slovakia, Finland etc. We expect our exports to EU countries to grow even more

During the establishing of this strategic partnership, you expressed hope that you would also significantly increase your volume of sales, which then totalled around a million euros. Have you managed to realise those plans? What has changed since then?

– In the year that the contract with Mageba was signed, our turnover totalled around a million euros. As of the next year, we started growing at a rate of more than 35% annually, so this year we expect a turnover exceeding three million euros. This is extremely fast growth for such a small enterprise. Such growth was only possible with an appropriate investment in capacities and personnel. We built a new production facility, procured new machines, hired more people and invested in their training.

Has establishing licensed production led to shortened deadlines and reduced costs in bridge-building production?

– This isn’t a partnership on representation or trade, but rather is related to production. Through better organisation and the optimisation of work processes, we immediately gained more efficient production, which led us to the optimal use of materials, energy and work. As the end result, we today produce more in the same period of time, deliver to our customers under shorter deadlines and can certainly achieve competitive prices.

What would you single out as the most important advantage gained by your company as a result of this partnership?

– Things change rapidly on the market today, and that’s why it’s important that we have continuity in the profession. And that’s also why this partnership with Mageba is so significant because it’s a process and not a one-off job.

Our employees constantly undergo training programmes and we constantly monitor all advancements, while Mageba performs direct checks of the quality of our work processes several times a year, providing us with suggestions and proposals for additional improvements to the organisation of production. 

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