August 29, 2013
Andrzej Banaszewski, President of the Board at Zakłady Elektrotechniki Motoryzacyjnej (ZEM), a DC motors manufacturer in the southwestern town of Duszniki Zdrój, talks to Barbara Deręgowska about the company’s business.
The company you manage has a pedigree dating back more than 60 years. Since 2001 it has operated as a family business. Is it easier to run it in this form?
Yes, definitely. Above all, decisions are made quickly and without unnecessary paperwork complications, signatures or consultations. Equally important is mutual confidence. This is easy because we work for ourselves and our children. And they are gradually taking over key duties in the company from their parents. At the beginning, when we were setting up our business, we decided that it had to be an efficient organization, both environment- and employee-friendly. Efficiency and top standards in terms of product and customer service quality were fundamental for us. Today, we hold ISO 9001 and ISO 14000 quality certificates.
We are now beginning to introduce some ISO TS automotive standard solutions to further improve the quality of our products. German and Swedish companies praise our reliability. More than 70 percent of our products are sold on foreign markets. We are learning from the best. At present, our main products are 12-24V electric motors that are used in the healthcare sector, in addition to rehabilitation equipment and furniture. We provide mobility for all types of office and school tables wherever they have to be adjustable to the user’s height to be ergonomic. Additionally, some ships used on rivers in Southern Europe have been equipped with our drive systems. We also deliver mechanisms used by leading manufacturers in Poland in the production of drive gear for garage doors. And you can find our products in couches for beauty parlors. We try to respond to market demand on an ongoing basis by adapting our products to the needs of our customers, including those in countries to the east of Poland. We deliver our products to manufacturers of buses and tractors in these countries. Polish bus and tractor manufacturers also buy our products. And our products are used by anglers as low-noise propulsion systems for boats. You can find our products wherever an efficient propulsion system with safe voltage is needed or where it is impossible to use a 230V power source.
How do you stay abreast of the competition in this business? In what direction do you want to develop your company?
Our main advantage is high production flexibility—the ability to produce both large uniform product runs and limited editions of modified products. It does not take us long to customize a product because we have our own design department and tool shop. We are close to marketing outlets and the quality of our products gives us an advantage over rival products from the Far East, which are undeniably cheaper. Our solid performance and payment reliability have earned us confidence from banks and suppliers. We are developing production of motors and drive systems. We have designed our own linear actuators and are developing services related to galvanized coatings. A year ago, we launched a new automated line for coating small metal components. We also have a line for coating large metal components with an FeZn alloy. This year, we have applied for funding under a program designed to support product and process innovation in Poland’s southwestern Lower Silesia region. The application has been accepted and next year we will launch a modern galvanizing line for plastics. The services will be provided to the automotive and household appliance sectors. The modern technologies that we will use will make it possible for us to compete on quality and price with other manufacturers. The extra production capacity that we will acquire thanks to the project will enable us to further expand the company and increase our sales by around 40 percent. The new technologies coupled with modern waste treatment equipment ensure full protection of the environment. We also base our company’s further expansion on cooperation with universities in our region. We are working, for instance, with the Wrocław University of Technology on new products based on brushless electric motors.
, 49, graduated in transport management from the University of Gdańsk in 1989. Married with four children. He started his career at Spółdzielnia Pracy Grunwald, a cooperative in the town of Lubawa, Warmia-Mazuria province, in 1989. Then, he worked for Iławskie Zakłady Drobiarskie, a poultry producer in the town of Iława as deputy chief accountant.
He has been with Zakłady Elektrotechniki Motoryzacyjnej (ZEM) in Duszniki Zdrój since 1990, working first as chief economist and then as chief accountant, financial director and member of the board. Today he owns the company together with partners Piotr Parzyński and Wojciech Perczyński.
Banaszewski has been President of the Board since December, 2011.