For Borusan Makina Kazakhstan that offers machinery and equipment of the world famous brand Caterpillar in the local market, the year 2011 has truly turned out to be a breakthrough year, since the company launched into operation a Components Rebuild Centre in Karaganda. This project is unique, as it is the largest investments the Borusan Group has ever made in the economy of Kazakhstan, and this project has no analogues in the CIS countries. So, Ozgur Gunaydin, General Director of the Borusan Makina Kazakhstan LLP FE, agrees to share these and other plans of the company for the future with our magazine".
Borusan Makina Kazakhstan is part of the Borusan Group, which is now one of the fastest growing holding companies in Turkey. What is Borusan’s business on a global scale today?
Founded in 1944, Borusan is among the top ten leading companies in Turkey. Today, the holding company employs more than 6,000 people, and has a long and successful history of operation in the Middle East, Europe, and CIS countries. The Borusan Group’s business covers areas such as steel production, dealership, logistics, telecommunications, and energy.
For example, Borusan Mannesmann Boru, manufacturing steel pipes, ranks first among European companies. Cooperating with the holding company ArcelorMittal, the Borçelik Company is regarded a leading manufacturer of sheet steel in Turkey. The Borusan Mannesmann Boru Group, after acquisition of the Italian factory Structo Vobarno, was given a status of the European manufacturer. Borusan Logistics provides comprehensive services in the area of transportation and seaport management technologies, while Borusan Telekom is a leading operator of telecom services in the telecommunication market. In the field of hydraulic power and wind energy the Borusan Group cooperates with German EnBW.
Concerning our dealer activities, the Borusan Group has been for many years the exclusive representative of some companies such as BMW, Land Rover, Rolls-Royce, and Mini Cooper in Turkey.
Of course, we act as an official dealer of Caterpillar in Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. More than 1,000 employees total are engaged in these activities in the CIS countries, including 500 employees here in Kazakhstan, which is a testament to the viability and importance of the local market.
Machinery and equipment of the Caterpillar trademark have proved themselves as a model of efficiency and quality. Which products of Caterpillar does your company offer to Kazakhstani consumers?
In Kazakhstan, the company has been operating as a Caterpillar dealer since July 1999, offering equipment and machinery for the mining sector and industrial and infrastructure construction, power generators, mobile power stations and pumps (including those for the oil industry), as well as combine harvesters, tractors and other agricultural machinery.
The head office of Borusan Makina Kazakhstan is located in Almaty, while a network of the company’s branches with repair shops and warehouses covers 22 cities of the republic, including Astana, Karaganda, Atyrau, Aktau, Uralsk, Kostanai, Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kokshetau, and others.
In essence, the main scope of Borusan Makina Kazakhstan’s activities involves both the selling of machinery and its further maintenance. The equipment provided by us can operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. That's our motto, and we are proud this motto comes true in day-to-day life. 400 people in our company engage in maintenance of the machinery, allowing servicing it without actually stopping the production processes, which is very convenient for customers. Since Caterpillar machinery is equipped in line with the latest scientific achievements and technologies, we can control the operation of the equipment, diagnose and fix problems with the help of satellite space communications.
Caterpillar is among the leading manufacturers in this field, and the demand for its products is huge. Therefore, we are pleased to satisfy the needs of Kazakhstani companies in this machinery. The list of our clients, involving the giants of the mining sector such as Kazakhmys, Kazzinc, ENRC Group, the Aktobe Copper Company, and RUSAl, is the best letter of recommendation to us. In the oil and gas industry these giants are Halliburton and Schlumberger. Among our customers there are also construction companies, such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Efes, Ankara Hotel, and many others.
Industry experts call your last project, the Components Rebuild Centre (CRC), which is the first one of such kind in the CIS, an unprecedented innovation. What opportunities does this centre open for your customers?
The established venture, launched in May of this year in Karaganda, covers an area of 50,000 m2 and employs a staff of 190 people. Currently, it's the largest investment by Borusan Makina in the economy of Kazakhstan. We have already invested $15 million in the said venture and are planning further investments.
The goal of the investments is to set up a production line, representing the latest technological equipment for machining, assembly and testing. Thanks to this, the owners of vehicles of the Caterpillar brand will now be able to significantly reduce costs for acquisition of new units and parts due to obtaining of the machinery components, being in use, with the restored and extended service life.
Moreover, through functional diagnostics and testing, the CRC will provide an opportunity to avert potential damage to the machinery that will substantially reduce the customers’ costs for repair and restoration. With this purpose, the CRC operates a SOS laboratory, which makes analysis of oil for oxidation, nitration, presence of sulfur, purity, and water content. The scheduled oil sampling, specifically designed by Caterpillar for the engines and machines of this company is an integral part of preventive maintenance. Periodic analysis of samples allows our experts to detect increased wear prior to the emergence of serious problems.
Along with that, the CRC is equipped with special equipment to test engines, transmissions, hydraulic components and fuel pumps, and has a special area for disassembling and assembling of hydraulic cylinders. In addition, in the auxiliary workshop work is carried out to restore the block and heads of cylinders, valves, etc.
Also, a training department was set up within the CRC’s structure, where the highly-skilled specialists exchange their knowledge with the trainees. Classes are fully computerized and equipped with training simulators.
I want to emphasize that this is our most important project, especially, in view of the fact that similar level centers are just about a dozen around the world. The Caterpillar Company regularly monitors these centers, and we are very proud that our CRC after examination was given the highest rating of quality – five "stars". We believe the right use of human resources and innovations helped us achieve these results.
The years of recession were difficult for everyone, however, in this difficult time Borusan made considerable investments. How did you manage that?
Our success story during the recession and in previous good times is nothing else, but the emphasis both on sales and post-sales service. Moreover, our system of management, which is based on the “Lean 6 Sigma” methodology, played an important role in that. This system that is based on statistical indicators is aimed to sharply increase the efficiency of the company’s operation.
The introduction of this methodology at Borusan Makina Kazakhstan started in September 2005. Owing to this, during the recession period, we were able to correctly assess the risks, cut some costs without laying off staff, and not close branches. In addition, we invested the funds so saved in development of production, particularly, in the Karaganda CRC.
One of the main advantages of “Lean 6 Sigma” application by our company is that it supposes teamwork. One way or another, practically all the company’s employees engage in projects; this allows to exchange views and ideas, and to make the most constructive decisions. In the Kazakhstan-based company’s division 150 people are involved in implementation of this methodology. We call the leading experts in this area the "black belts"; these are the highly-skilled managers, who are able to reveal and resolve any problem. As a result, during the recession, we have not only surrendered our positions, but were given the 2010 "Excellence in Innovation" Award from the American Chamber of Commerce for our investments in the Product Link system and innovative contribution of the region.
As far as we know, Borusan Makina pays great attention to staff training, is this true?
It is quite true. Development, training, and so-called "cultivation" of talents, especially in the area of the servicing of customers’ machinery is our top priority. In fact, major investments by Borusan are the investment in human potential. In Almaty and Karaganda we have our own training centers, and a separate department engages in training of the employees. We actively cooperate with technical institutions of higher education in Almaty and with the Karaganda Technical University. We also entered into an agreement with KIMEP and launched a joint program "The Leadership Faculty", financed by the company. We also have arrangements with universities in Turkey, where we direct our employees, including managerial staff. So, we keep developing the future leaders of Kazakhstani business by focusing on uncovering their personal potential.
The company regularly monitors the level of employee’s satisfaction, which is now reaching 75 %, that is far above the average indicator within the industry; the latter is about 60 %. It is worth mentioning that the joy the employees get from work is very closely related to the customer’s satisfaction.
When thinking globally, after Caterpillar launched a take-over of Bucyrus – one of the largest U.S. producers, we, as the company’s dealer, will offer in Kazakhstan in the near future the widest range of machinery of the Bucyrus brand, including ground and underground equipment for the coal mining industry. This will allow to an even greater extent for us to meet the demand of our clients. Also, Borusan is going to more actively promote its products and services for the oil and gas sector, mainly in the west of the country – in Uralsk, Aktau, and Aktobe.
In general, Kazakhstan is a very good market for long-term investments. The dynamically developing population and natural resources the country is endowed with add to building up effective and successfully developing business. We believe in the future of Kazakhstan and are ready to support it with our investments and active work.