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Electronics Production | October 21, 2008

HANZA expands in Poland

The Swedish EMS-provider HANZAS is to expand in Poland. The company has a long experience of carrying out production in Central Europe and follows a strategy that has a couple of clear guiding principles, states Ilona Lukaszewicz, president HANZA Poland.
The first is to always have a 100% ownership of the production units. "We have experience of both partnership and ownership," says Ms Lukaszewicz. "Own ownership generally works best. On the other hand, Poland has moved in a direction, where partnerships are associated in Poland with challenges".

The second guiding principle is how to establish the company itself. This applies to both, the location choice outside of bigger cities and the process of selecting a region where there is a good supply of qualified employees. Moreover, logistics are important too. "We have experience (knowledge) from most production facilities in Poland. The unit in Wołów – which we acquired - gives us close proximity to our customers in Germany. Additional to that, we can still keep excellent relations to the Swedish market," said Ms Lukaszewicz. "We have also signed an agreement to acquire a unit outside of Gdansk, my home town, but we have chosen to proceed with Wołów, as the total cost within the Gdansk area is a lot higher."

After a close cooperation during the spring the subsequent transfer for the Wołów plant outside Wroclaw was completed, the facility now is a wholly owned subsidiary within the HANZA Group. The facility previously housed Poland's first production of motherboards for PCs and until last year, set top boxes were manufactured in large volumes and the company already applied the ISO/TS 16 949 standard. This production standard is HANZAs corporate standard for all its production units.

The current production area is 1200 m2 and HANZA Poland employs 140 staff. 125 of these employees work in production. When evertiq visited the factory, several audits from HANZAs customers were conducted. The Wołów facility is the first factory in Poland that is owned by a Swedish EMS-provider, which received a so-called "Ericsson approval", something that the management is particularly proud of.

Because the company has got several new electronics customers, an additional production hall of 3500 m2 will be set up and the company plans to add additional assembly lines. When this hall is completed there is also another hall available of 3500 m2 which can be used.

The factory management has worked to introduce a Swedish approach to work and pushed through a turning hierarchy pyramid which is not common in Poland. And a major focus has been on employees’ participation and change of attitude – which means that each individual is involved in the company's development. A number of people have also been sent for training to Gotland, Sweden. HANZA’s Know-How-Centre is located on the Swedish island – which is a gateway for new products – and manufacturing then gets scaled up in Wołów. The initial process requires only 1-3 days.

The business system used by HANZA – Monitor-ERP – is also implemented in Poland. "Within today's market requests the EMS-provider needs to have full control within the entire chain – from each individual company to the entire group; for HANZA it was natural to have one group wide IT system," continues Mariuzs Novak, vice president of HANZA Poland.
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Ilona Łukaszewicz is president of HANZA in Poland. Question about how she sees the economic crisis, she responds that the last time there was a crisis – 2001-2002 – Poland was able to win contracts that were transferred from Sweden even faster . It should also apply this time round. Ms Łukaszewicz was also the founder of EMS-provider NOTE and was CEO of the NOTE Gdansk, during the last crisis in 2002.

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