“Looking at business in general over the last 18 months, 2010, particularly the second and third quarters were difficult for the company as a number of its customers postponed planned works and projects,” begins Jan de Bruijn, managing director of CSi industries. “This pattern changed rather dramatically in the fourth quarter of 2010 when the company began seeing a strong recovery in activity, to such a point that in 2011 CSi industries is expected to post a record in terms of annual turnover.”
Supplying fully integrated material handling systems from its installations throughout the world, CSi industries has worked throughout its existence to maintain a strong market position with customers such as producers of fast moving consumer goods, distributors and those within the packaging industry. Employing approximately 400 people, it owes much of its success to the reliability of its products and solutions, its ability to design bespoke solutions and its total commitment to customer satisfaction.
These same qualities that have served the company so well over the years helped play a role in making 2011 so rewarding, as Jan goes on to highlight: “Despite the difficult market conditions throughout 2010, CSi industries continued working on several strategic developments and new ventures. Arguably the most important of these involved the further development ukof its solutions for standardised end-of-line palletising, which has greatly reduced engineering costs.
“From its strong production facility in Romania the company is able to produce these machines to a high standard of quality at a surprisingly low cost. These can then be supplied in a number of ways, the most recent being through CSi industries’ new flexible leasing system. This is something that has proven to be of considerable interest to many customers, as has the rental of second hand equipment, which is another area of the business attracting a considerable amount of interest today.”
With one of the company’s service packages CSi industries provides its customers with a guaranteed level of technical availability: “What this essentially means is that the only thing the customer needs to do is ask for the system to commence work and make the required monthly payments,” Jan says. “CSi then takes care of a certain guaranteed level of availability, undertakes all the necessary maintenance and watches over the installations very carefully at all times. This allows it to know from day to day what the status of the installation is and react quickly to any issues, problems or unforeseen changes.”
Aside from bringing new systems and solutions to market, CSi industries has also been making headway in not only expanding its presence in existing markets, but also in entering several countries for the first time: “In the last two years the company has successfully entered the Polish market and in that time has undertaken some very interesting projects,” Jan states. “During that same period it has also developed its business successfully in the lucrative Chinese market and has managed to further strengthen its footprint in places like Mexico and Russia. In truth the expansion of the company has been occurring much faster than previously expected with the main reason being that many of its large customers like Unilever and PepsiCo are now investing strongly in these fast growing markets, Brazil and Argentina for example, and are calling on CSi industries to provide its own form of specialist help.”
When entering a new market, typically the company will begin by working in partnership with local businesses, for example in Poland it has forged a strong relationship with ABB. These relationships can also be with agents who will assist the company get to a position after which it goes on to develop a sales and services office of its own.
Looking ahead and predicting the company’s role in the market in the years to come, Jan is keen to point out a number of trends that will drive the business forward: “What CSi industries sees on the horizon is not only the mass standardisation of components, but also that of conveyors and complete machine installations. More and more businesses are starting to go down this route and when they do, like CSi industries, they begin to see more and more advantages. The faster a company can develop this type of solutions, the easier it is for them to decrease the level of investment their customers need to make.
“Customers are now showing very strong interest in the idea of automating their own end of line material handling solutions. More and more the market is increasing in this area and ever more companies realise that they can handle relatively low volumes and still automate successfully. Especially through leasing concepts which reduces costs from day one without any investment. They will also find that CSi industries is the partner of choice when it comes to the design, manufacture and service of integrated logistics systems.”
Products Integrated materials handling