After two decades of stagnation and decline, Zrenjaninbased company Šinvoz finally regained its feet. It now bids farewell to 2017, which saw the company celebrate its 130th birthday, with positive business results, new contracts and increased volumes of work. In constant search of experts and skilled labour, this company also hopes to increase its number of employees.
Šinvoz stagnated and decayed for 20 years, but you have resurrected it from the ashes. How did you succeed?
– We restructured in 2009 and mapped out the direction of development. We saw that we couldn’t rely solely on the domestic market, so we turned towards foreign partners. We signed long-term contracts that provide stability for our operations over a longer period.
We had to completely renew the factory, to restore it to the level of 20 years ago. Half a million euros has been invested each year, and we have permanently invested resources in staff training and the certification of the process in the factory.
You have conquered new markets and signed important new contracts. What would you highlight?
– We signed a ten-year contract with Vossloh Kiepe, for which we are making air-conditioning units for railway vehicles, and an eight-year contract with multinational company Bombardier to deliver cabins and roofs for trains. Cooperation with these companies is tied down, with a tendency to constantly increase the scope and type of services.
We are still working for railway companies in Serbia and railways in the region.
We have a constantly open application contest for mechanical and electrical engineers, locksmiths, welders, electricians, electronics experts, CNC machine operators etc. We offer them all safe employment and opportunities for additional education
Do equipment and the expertise of staff create problems when it comes to meeting customer demands?
– Equipment is not a problem – there is money for that and it is renewed as required, following the latest technologies. Two years ago, with the financial support of the owner of our factory, Nebojša Ivković, we adapted part of the plant covering 2,500 square metres and bought new machines and equipment, but we lack expert personnel. We have a constantly open application contest for mechanical and electrical engineers, locksmiths, welders, electricians, electronics experts, CNC machine operators etc. The response is very poor, while the quality requirements are very rigorous, so every new employee goes through additional training and education.
How are you ending this jubilee 130th year for your company?
– We will finish it with positive business results. Profits won’t be huge, because this year we invested significant funds in procuring machines and equipment, educating personnel and arranging infrastructure, but that will improve our operations in the years ahead. We are aware that there is no progress without development.
And what kind of plans do you have?
– We are partly involved in work for the auto industry, so for instance we became a supplier of parts for BMW, Rolls Royce… We plan to expand production capacities, build new halls, acquire new machines and new equipment, invest in personnel and certification. We don’t fear the future.