The implementation of earlier contracts and the strong technological advancement of the construction and production process, as well as the control over the storage and forwarding system allows us to complete contracts comprehensively. This is a big competitive advantage of FEERUM in relation to all global companies.
FEERUM manufactures drying and storage facilities that have up to 27,000 elements. The company globally has practically no competition that would operate so comprehensively in its industry. What factors determined that the Polish company achieved such spectacular development results?
I will ask directly: what decided that the company is currently operating on such a scale?
Daniel Janusz, founder and president of the board of FEERUM S. A .: Our main advantage from the very beginning is that almost 100% of the product is made by ourselves. This allows the Company to have in its hands both the entire technological thought and the full possibility of performing the work. It enables us to grow. Bring together intellectual thought, create a project, revive it by automation and electricians, up to logistics, product delivery to the client, foundation work and launching the whole – not a simple task Especially when the work can finally have up to 27 thousand. elements. We win thanks to the ability to control the entire production process, which are drying and storage facilities for food storage.
From the beginning of the company’s activity, I have strived to finally control the whole process. I must admit that at the moment competitive companies are not able to master this process fully on the scale that we are now developing. We win this.
What were the milestones in the history of FEERUM? Have you put on evolutionary development?
We purchased the real estate and production plant in Chojnów from the insolvency administrator in 2004. It was the first big step to change the company’s profile from commercial to production. In 2007, we transformed into a joint-stock company. The next step was the expansion of the production plant in 2010. At the plant, we have opened over a hectare area of the new production hall. In 2013, we entered the WSE. The capital obtained in this way allowed for the expansion of the plant by another two large investments.
What are the barriers to development for you? Number of contracts that can appear? Are the company’s production capacities a limitation?
In order to increase the production capacity, the moment of entering the WSE was important. It allowed to increase the scale of operations and simultaneous automation and streamlining of production. In this respect, we have no development barriers. However, the barrier is the depth of the market in our part of Europe. As well as the dependence of investing on subsidies from EU subsidies. Another problem is the political situation in the East of Europe.
On the other hand, our situation is improving expansion on the African market. We are currently implementing a large contract in Tanzania. Here we see great development opportunities
How does your competition look like in this case? Which companies are you competing in on the global markets?
It depends on what is finally the subject of the tender. When it comes to repairs or connection works to existing facilities, our competitors are engineering or trading companies operating on a smaller scale. I must admit that we can compete with them.
However, in the context of the construction of comprehensive drying and storage facilities, also outside the domestic market, I do not see much competition at the moment. There is a group of producers in Europe who assemble certain parts, e.g. they produce silos or conveyors, dryers or cleaners. There is one German company that can also produce the whole, but we calmly deal with it both on the domestic and international markets.
Thanks to the implementation of earlier contracts and such a strong advancement in the technological construction and production process, as well as the control over the storage and forwarding system, we are fully ready to execute contracts comprehensively. When performing this type of tasks, we have a big competitive advantage in relation to all global companies.
So the Chinese industry is not a problem in the African market?
I do not see any particular interest in this industry from the Chinese industry on the African market. They feel good in heavy and raw materials as well as in construction, road construction and infrastructure. On the other hand, they do not touch agriculture. It seems that in the scale of investments that they run, our industry is not of particular interest to them.
Is the method for such a scale of activity to build a stable, strong company on the Polish market and then use the market opportunities in various places in the world in which they appear?
Yes, due to the fact that all foreign expansion processes cost much more than operating on Polish or neighboring markets. Not only because of technical issues, the purchase of airline tickets or the time needed to get to know these markets. I would not recommend taking loans for such an expansion. It should work from surpluses already worked out.
We have made a giant step in 2013 in terms of implemented business management systems. Computer programs that standardize the entire implementation of the project: from construction, through production, to logistics. Without such investments costing several million euros, it is not possible to operate effectively on a large scale. The more so because we are also dealing with long-distance work. So you can not make mistakes because they cost much more than in the domestic yard. Shipping errors or inaccuracies in the process may put the entire enterprise. You have to be very well prepared and be sure that you want to do it.
So the key to company’s success is to invest in advanced IT?
Please answer the question: is it important to control the whole project? From mastering over your own thoughts in the form of the first technical drawings, through the introduction of these ideas into force by the construction department, initial production and testing in your own research and development department and the introduction of the product into production, then storing, release and sale? Mastering this process in its entirety is one of the most difficult tasks that concerns all production entrepreneurs.
In principle, this also often limits others to not seek to control the whole process of producing a drying facility. Therefore, producers in Europe focus on the fact that they produce only individual elements. However, they commission engineering companies together.
Without a comprehensive system, you can not really do it?
It can not be done in an automatic form. Currently, after drawing the design and its acceptance, we are able to check with one click if we have all the elements and screws, if we have to buy something. Without a system it is not real. Nobody is able to control the amount of details that make up our project and must match each other. This is what we have been able to do with BPSC. We have led to a situation in which we have integrated all processes in the company. Our work is currently running smoothly, of which we feel proud.
I would like to ask you if in your opinion, on the foreign (African) markets, the logo with the inscription: Made in Poland matters, is an asset?
In principle, they read us as Europeans.
Eastern markets know well what it means Made in Poland, especially in terms of product quality.
The West knows this too, but does not try to make this information public, because they want us to produce parts and components for their own products. However, when it comes to Africa, this continent needs to know that we have been supplying elements for Western European products over the years, and now we are producing high quality goods ourselves.
I think that representatives of African elites know well what has happened in Poland in recent years. The last 25 years is the dream level of African countries that I met. Each of the important people in that part of the world wants to repeat them. And FEERUM is able to help them.
The more so because development is taking place in many African countries.
On the one hand, the development is big. The more so because starting from scratch, the growth looks impressive in numbers. But what’s different is important. Sub-Saharan Africa is potentially prepared to produce a lot of food. It also has a large natural increase. At the same time, in this place of the world, the proper storage of food is quite a difficult issue because there are rainy seasons and it is warm. There is also no winter, and winter always helps to store food. Imagine that May and June last all year, but you do not have a fridge. At the same time storms come, which in a few moments can destroy stocks. Therefore, allowing this part of the world to store food properly is extremely important. And this is the development direction for our company.
We are at the beginning of the road in the African market. There is a great need for proper storage of food and cereal grains. At the same time, it is quite difficult, and it should be explored. Be well prepared to implement projects in this part of the world. I believe that the work we do in Tanzania is being carried out here for the first time in two centuries. Nobody did this in the twentieth and twenty-first century. I have a dream to end the problem of hunger in this part of the world in my life. I have a company that can do it. I know it’s big words, but that’s the purpose.
The interview was conducted by: Adam Sieroń
We invite you to read the entire interview.
Text published in the Polski Przemysł magazine, 19/05/2018