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The Warsaw Voice » Regional Voice » August 26, 2010
The Lower Silesia Voice
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Quality Comes First
August 26, 2010   
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Copla Polska Sp. z o.o., based in Polkowice, Lower Silesia, is a company that supervises industrial construction projects. The firm has German capital but is registered in Poland. Chairman of the board Jens Winter talks to Magdalena Łasak.

Quality comes at a cost. How do your partners react to your requirements for high quality?
I’d like to stress that quality and strict adherence to deadlines are key values in our company. All the projects we have completed are of top quality. And investors I have worked with have a similar approach to how projects are carried out. Quality is appreciated even though it may cause some pain initially. Sometimes contractor companies have to carry out construction work a second time. But I can see that companies that worked with us learn to care about high standard of products. After all, everyone benefits from it. He who buys cheaply, buys twice.

We try to take a comprehensive approach to our partners. We take a long-term approach in terms of choosing materials and their durability. We try to convince the investor to focus on quality as much as possible. Often investors cuts costs on design and supervision—but these are the foundations for any good project.

Why are you interested in Poland?
Poland is open to investors and creates good development opportunities. For example, it offers attractive tax incentives in special economic zones. I came to Poland for six months in 1998 to handle the first tender we won. We had no headquarters in Poland at the time. The first facility we delivered was the Volkswagen plant in Polkowice in Lower Silesia province. We handed over the first hall in six months. Next, we won more contracts. In 1999 we finished a factory for Sitech; in 2001 we extended the Volkswagen plant; in 2004 we built a complex for the Hormann and TCM companies. Our next clients included Sanden, Pfleiderer and Bosch. It is not only in Polkowice that Copla has made its presence felt. In total, we have built over 150,000 sq m of roofed facilities in Poland.

How long does it take to complete a project?
That depends on its size and scope. Usually, the whole project takes from six to 18 months, depending on the investor’s technology. I have also run two projects at the same time, but I try to avoid such situations. I prefer to take good care of one project until it’s completed and only then take up another one.

Which investment project from your portfolio do you highlight most often and why?
Without a doubt, the Volkswagen project in Polkowice, due to its unique architecture, which at the same time reflects the company’s profile. The factory is in the shape of the head of a four-cylinder engine. It’s a very original project.

Copla has worked with companies from diverse sectors. Is there a company you would particularly like to work with?
Each task is a challenge and requires a thorough examination of the client’s needs. I’d like to deliver a project in the energy sector or build a shopping mall, or a hotel. I could also take on a project to renovate old industrial facilities. It is now fashionable to turn these kinds of buildings into residential space, so called lofts, or to bring new companies into the renovated factory premises. There are many such places awaiting development here in Lower Silesia. I’ve worked on such projects in Germany. For example, we took down an old chemical plant and created a logistics and forwarding center there.

What is your experience in dealing with local government?
Fortunately, there are no problems. The authorities are open to new investors and willing to cooperate. After all, it’s obvious that there are many special economic zones in Poland and the investor will choose the location that offers the best conditions for them.
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