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Oleg Stefanović, Managing Director, Produkt Bg Inženjering

Transferring Knowledge and Technology is Key to Success

Produkt BG Inženjering is a domestic Serbian company which has, thanks to its partnership with a Swiss giant, achieved average annual growth of 25 per cent and an annual turnover of five million euros over the last eight years

New perspectives and potentials opened up with the signing of a contract with civil engineering company Mageba on the licensed production of bearings and expansion joints for bridges, as well as a contract on the distribution of other products in the Mageba range.

The beginnings of your company date all the way back to year 1991, while a new period of your operations is linked to 2015, when you formed a partnership with Swiss company Mageba. You have a long road behind you, a long but successful one…

Produkt BG Inženjering emerged out of the restructuring of the “Produkt” business cooperative, which dealt, among other things, with the production and installation of products for bridges, primarily bridge bearings, expansion joints, drains and steel structures.

We were already narrowly specialised in these products prior to the partnership, and we participated actively in the construction and restoration of bridges in the country and around the region. That contributed massively to us gaining the trust of an important partner and taking a big stride forward.

Thanks to this, our employees have access to the latest technologies, as well as an opportunity to use solutions and experiences arising from the most demanding projects on the planet. I can now state unreservedly that the transfer of knowledge and technology is the key to our success; that we are the first and leading company in Serbia specialised in the production and distribution of all types of bearings and expansion joints for bridges, while we are also the only domestic manufacturer certified according to the highest standards.

It wasn’t easy for you to harmonise with the standards of Swiss quality, but that is no longer an issue. Are you fully adapted?

With five of its own production plants and 20 affiliated ones, of which we are one, Mageba is a successful global player in the industry, with core values based specifically on quality and commitment. Its products are included in more than 25,000 bridges worldwide.

This all shows what a giant it is, so it’s no wonder that we needed almost two years to raise our processes to Mageba standards. With their assistance and our own tenacity, we went through many certification processes and now regularly place our products on the demanding EU markets.

We export as much as 70 per cent of our production and can boast of the fact that 80% of all Mageba products ordered in the region today are produced at our factory in Serbia

All technological processes, employees, as well as equipment and materials, are subjected to standardised procedures, with compliance and consistency controlled quarterly by Germany’s stringent MPA institute from Stuttgart. Harmonisation is really no longer an issue, as everything is now in order and these controls unfold without disrupting production processes.

We export as much as 70 per cent of our production and can boast of the fact that 80% of all Mageba products ordered in the region today are produced at our factory in Serbia. We thereby not only raise our own quality and productivity, but at the same time “power” both our suppliers and subcontractors.

In the year when you signed the contract with Mageba, your turnover totalled around a million euros. How is it today?

Our annual turnover today totals five million euros. We cannot be dissatisfied, on the contrary, we have grown by an annual average of more than 25% over the last seven years. This is exceptionally fast growth for a small company, and it was achieved thanks to the fact that we invested in both production capacity and personnel. Our plant for the final assembly of products covers 800m2, and that is followed by the plant for anti-corrosion protection encompassing 500m2, as well as the 300m2 plant for processing semi-finished products. We’ve also expanded the yard to more than 3,000 square metres of open workspace.

I’m particularly proud of our team, which today comprises 42 employees, well-trained and high-quality people, including seven highly specialised engineers. They constantly complete training programmes, so the quality of our products and services remains at an expected high level.

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