TOS VARNSDORF exports reached 85% of total sales
One would like to write that TOS VARNSDORF is a company with an unusual business aura. Its management is able to create strategic visions that are deservedly making history in Czech and global business circles. Yet, these are not merely efforts to sell as much as possible, but to be a useful, meaningful supplier of needed goods. The intention is to meet the demand for machines that will be used in economies across the continents, to come up with sophisticated innovations that make it easier for people to use machine tools and improve the operator's brain and encourage them to think. All this goes hand in hand with many synergies and the exceptional care of its employees in Varnsdorf, including the youngest, apprentice generation. Deliberate steps by company management coupled with the unprecedented courage to tackle new challenges have resulted in a unique position on the global market, ongoing successes, and important awards, according to Miloš Holakovský, Commercial Director of TOS VARNSDORF:
Export is a significant potential for the growth of the company. What is its share of total income?
TOS VARNSDORF is a pro-export-based company. In 2019, exports reached 85% of total sales. We have three subsidiary sales and service organisations to support exports in the most important territories in the world. These are TOS Machine Tools (Shanghai) in China, TOS Varnsdorf - RUS in St. Petersburg, Russia, and TOS TRADE North America in Atlanta, USA. Of course, we manage our largest market, the European Union, directly from Varnsdorf, through a network of dealers in individual EU states.
You are one of the enduring fixtures on the market in state-of-the-art machine tools. What is your current flagship?
Our flagship is still the WHN (Q) 13 CNC machine. Last year, it accounted for 40% of all production. We are gradually introducing a new dual-type WHT 110/130 onto the market. We have great ambitions for these machines and would like to see their sales gradually equal the WHN (Q) 13 CNC. With this combination, we can offer our customers a classic powerful horizontal machine and a modern fast and highly productive machining centre. We believe that with today’s trend of using higher cutting speeds and feed rates, customers will be looking for these specific machines.
You placed very well in the Exporter of the Year competition at the end of last year. Would you like to comment on your victory?
You’re right. On 9 December 2019, I had the honour of accepting a plaque and trophy for Exporter of the Year on behalf of all TOS VARNSDORF employees, from the hands of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Trade Karel Havlíček. We took 1st place in the category for Export Growth between 2017 and 2018. We were able to increase exports by 77%. The other fantastic result was 34th place in the category of Export Volume for 2018, out of 3,000 participating Czech export companies across all business sectors. These achievements were mainly attributable to growth in exports to Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Canada, Finland and Serbia. We exported machines to 21 countries in 2019.
Are your export targets more ambitious this year than in previous years? In what other territories would you like to make your mark?
We increased our sales targets for 2020 by 15% compared to 2019. We supply 20 to 25 countries worldwide and we have secured the most important markets. Naturally, we can keep looking for new territories, but that’s not our goal. We are constantly working to improve services in existing territories. Above all, customers appreciate the fast delivery of spare parts, the presence of a service technician in the region, and the expert assistance of dealers. For these reasons, we are building spare parts warehouses and service facilities for technicians, and continually working on improving the technical knowledge of our dealers. We try to support our exports through these activities.
Trade fairs are among your important activities; you exhibit at the most prestigious trade fairs in the world. Where are you going this year? And will we see you at the MSV in Brno?
We had two foreign fairs planned this year. The first was the CCMT Shanghai 2020 in China in April and the second in May - Metalloobrabotka in Moscow in the Russian Federation. The Shanghai trade fair was cancelled in April due to the coronavirus epidemic. A new date has not yet been announced, so we don’t know whether we will be able to participate in the postponed trade fair or whether it will clash with another planned activity. The Moscow Fair is very important to us, the Russian Federation has been our number one market for three years in a row. Naturally, we will be exhibiting at MSV Brno in autumn, as we supply the Czech market with 15% of our total production.
What can you achieve through these fairs today? Is it mainly about renewing contacts, or a matter of image, or is this a vital part of business strategy associated with signing contracts?
It is important to realise where potential customers have moved today. Nowadays, everyone can find a myriad of offers on the internet and compare technical parameters with the competition. Today's customer doesn’t get this information at the fair, so, for these reasons, fairs are moving into the position of renewing contacts and social gatherings. Contracts are only signed in very rare cases and have usually been agreed in advance. The question is whether these activities will outweigh the ever-increasing prices for the venue and construction of stands in the future or whether exhibitors will withdraw from trade fairs and deal with customers in the form of open days at their own companies, which is already happening today.
Thank you for your answers.