Not so many things are necessary in order to start your business — resolution, finance and aim. Sometimes only a part of this is enough, for example — iron resolution and noble aim. You can finance a good aim, i.e. attractive project, but without resolution there are not so many chances to finish …
Moreover, there are no chances at all if in the beginning, starting a new business, there is no aim. In this case any business will fail even if it has a successful start. The aim not necessarily shall be articulated clearly. It can be just implied but it definitely should be as otherwise the business loses its meaning. And if the meaning is lost everything is lost.
Vladimir Polyansky, General director of NPO «Metal Empire », says:
«Scientific production association «Metal Empire» in due course time started with big problems imposed by socio-political situation. Well, that was the time on the one hand. On the other hand, there was a good aim — to establish an enterprise operating under its own life-based principles, understanding of financial success science» .
The meaning of this science, in Vladimir Ivanovich opinion, consists in the following: whatever happens in the course of production, no matter how your partners treat you, — all people are different — be a man relative to yourself and to your staff and partners, follow the dictates of your conscience, forgive if it is necessary. Because, - and this is an earnest conviction, really working life law if you wish - it is much more financially profitable to make an honest business. Much more is rewarded. You can ask me whether it is only for profit!? — Sure for profit as well.
Vladimir Polyansky: «We started forming our staff during the period of economic crisis of the 90s, when many top professionals left the country. The decision was made to draw special attention to the motivation, i.e. simply not to save on salary during the hiring. In this way we managed to gather top professionals – craftsmen – CNC workers, programmers».
Vladimir Polyansky thinks and says at every given opportunity, that the company has a remarkable staff. Many people think, - he says, that in order to make the environment better you need to have political authority. For example, to be a deputy. Though this is not true. There are always people around whom you can help. They live and work beside you. They are your relatives, co-workers, colleagues. How can you discourse of the help to the whole country if you cannot take care of the people wellbeing? Well-established human and labour-management relations — this is the basis for the future of your business, for the formation of the enterprise helping gradually to reach the assigned aims.
The parent enterprise and the office of NPO «Metal Empire» are situated in Kharkiv. The enterprise consists of - plant «Metal Empire» with its bureau for design and technology «Central», manufacturing high-tech equipment and forming gear for food industry including most complex kinds of forms which almost nobody takes up to make. The shafts for rotary machines as well as for grain crops processing and sorting machines. Forming accessories by individual orders. Macaroni presses «Emperor» production is established.
The base of «Metal Empire» consists of 6 000 sq.m. of working area. The enterprise is working on the line and by the technology purchased at the company «LANDUCCI» (Italy).This line is exclusive on the territory of the CIS.
The representative offices of the company are situated on the territory of Ukraine and the CIS.
And in the beginning were macaroni. Macaroni production always – including in the former USSR and now in Ukraine in particular, was one of the main trends of all bakery production. And macaroni is one of the main products with long storage life.
Michele Chernov, professor, lecturer of Moscow Academy of food technology tells: «It happened so that during the 90s in this sector of the former USSR a serious re-equipment started related to the lack of existing power for the satisfaction of the growing demand both for the quantity and quality of macaroni products.
At that time only two plants supplied production equipment for the Union. This was not sufficient. First of all this reflected on the quality of macaroni products.
For example, dryers of SPK Shebekinsky plant, used for macaroni drying, were designed for vegetables drying and only slightly redesigned for macaroni.
During the postwar years this situation suited everyone because the principle aim was to feed the people but by the beginning of the 90s there appeared a necessity to change the situation due to the growing demand of the citizens.
In order to solve these problems the government of the former USSR developed a special program. According to this program the Ministry of food industry ordered to purchase the equipment for the production of the gear for macaroni presses. As a result of the tender Italian company «LANDUCCI» was chosen as a supplier for the entire equipment list.
Then a question arose— where to place this equipment costing 8,5 mln. dollars? Certainly near a high-power metalworking base. Two places were offered — Ukraine and Moscow region. Now it’s hard to say who influenced the final decision (but on the other hand — nobody knew that separation of the states will take place in the future) and as a result the equipment appeared in Kharkiv. At the plant «Elevatormelmash».
Historical note: At that moment «Elevatormelmash» was a rather powerful structure — main experimental company of Department of Agriculture of the USSR. All the innovations in the field of technology developments for Agroindustrial complex were tested here. For example, if a productive idea appeared it was materialized in metal, its working capacity was checked and it was «oficialized». And here in Kharkiv serial production was approved. And after that all the design documentation was distributed to the plants.
For example — 70% of all the equipment for the sorting and sizing of grain crops was developed in «Elevatormelmash». There was a bureau for design and construction with a powerful engineering potential. Leading specialists of many flourishing companies gained experience and studied at the construction and production base of «Elevatormelmash». But let’s go back to the Italian equipment for the macaroni presses gear production.
Michele Chernov: «The thing is that contemporaneously with this project the Department of Agriculture of the USSR signed two more contracts — with the Swiss and the Italians — for the purchase of macaroni production equipment. 32 lines total. In 1989 the equipment was supplied to the country and the issue of the gear for this equipment became very acute.
Certainly everybody hoped the equipment of «LANDUCCI» come into operation at «Elevatormelmash». However «Elevatormelmash» did not put it into operation for not very clear reasons. And only the foundation of OOO «Metal Empire» in Kharkiv on the basis of the former «Elevatormelmash», enabled to equip foreign lines with matrixes».
Characteristic feature. Natalya Gurova, sales department manager, speaking about the relations with rival firm managers, casually, almost automatically called them, «our companions-in-arms». The respect towards the business rivals and the respect towards the clients regardless of the order value or the partner publicity or prestigiousness — one of the signs of the enterprise success, its financial wealth. Certainly this is true for natural non-affected respect based on the understanding of common problems and experience of difficulties negotiation of the domestic business formation. This is the only attitude that can be the ground for the partner trust - the things we actually work for.
Olga Velikodnaya: (Sales department manager). The direction does not pressure us, does not impose anything on us. It’s hard to say how exactly our individual approach to the clients is formed. It’s just that the direction is always somewhere near. Sometimes we answer the questions together, solve certain tangles. This is not actually control, I guess, this is a work style.
Natalya Gurova: First turn, working with a client we pay attention to the person himself/herself. Who is he/she? What is he/she interested in? Many clients are open for sincere conversation. About family, children … Why not? And certainly work issues - urgent issues - price, quality, etc. Speaking about the rules, first of all, we never criticize our rivals. I emphasize — never! And we never respond if we hear negative opinions of our production. We simply say: «try and compare». And this is it. You will work with us.
Olga Velikodnaya: Most often we work with the chief executives but if it is a large-scale enterprise we work with technical staff as well. Here specific features of their operation are important and we understand that they have their directors and they are responsible for what they do. Sure we could take advantage of that but we don’t do this. We try to be in their shoes. However many clients in virtue of their practice or certain negative experience do not turn to us in case of some problems. For example about a year ago we had a similar situation with a client from Kazakhstan. We find it out not so long ago. It was a disputable technical issue related to our cooperation. They did not call us at once and the problem revealed itself only now. We ask them – why did not you call us at once? They say — we thought you would not help us. Why would not we? We can help! This is our job. Whose fault is it— it’s a secondary question, — the client is more important …
Natalya Gurova: In the beginning when we were just starting our operation in the market and nobody knew us in case of any slightest problem it was the end!.. The client calls, cries, curses from time to time, etc. At present only one in a million would do so and only if the problem is actually serious. And in general people started to trust us. Our clients know that we can deal any conflict. This is not the case when some singular nervous technologist comes, cries and goes away, this is the case when we altogether deal with this – sales department, technologists, directors. We never transfer problems to some individual. We are the family and this is it! We work as a family. And the clients feel it.
Olga Velikodnaya: You can share your problem with any specialist, director, engineer from the construction bureau, technologist and nobody will say – this is not my business. Everybody helps to solve it.
Natalya Gurova: You can address any turner and the turner would not say he has no time, he would not giggle, though we are women. He would explain with patience what is necessary and if you address them again you are a specialist in their eyes and they would consult you …
Olga Velikodnaya: There is an understanding in our team that we have a common cause. And this is surely reflected in the cooperation of the directors with the staff. We know the companies which don’t have this. There every man is for himself and they reason: «If this is not my order— solve the problem yourselves». We don’t have it. We really are like a family. Certainly we have some problems – any family has. But the difference is that these problems are not someone’s. These are family problems. Therefore they are solved in the family way. If necessary the directors go to a business trip to deal with it on site. This is how people know us in Russia and in other countries of the CIS.
Vladimir Polyansky: At present on the one hand we use construction and technology potential of «Elevatormelmash», and on the other hand we develop new trends trying to correspond to the world standards. And certainly our forte is service. We spend much time to our clients and we do it with pleasure.
The notion of «market penetration» consists of many important components. Any competent marketer can tell you about them and about the principle of development in this direction. But this is the theory. And there is a practice as well, namely specific practice of a successful enterprise based on the respect and the highest possible attention to each client regardless of the orders volume, work prestige of this partner or its absence.
This daily work is laborious and often boring but in the end it is paid off. We can see the results today. It is impossible to see them quickly. You should go for them, spend work and free time, work hard. That is why even the most correct principles do not work per se. There should be people who can understand them and be ready to work for their implementation.