Although Boccard Polska’s story only begins in 1996, they have clients in a huge range of different markets: from heavy industry, petroleum and nuclear power through to food, biotech, pharma, beverage, and pharmaceutical.
Mr. Sledzinski explains: “In technical terms, what Boccard actually does is design liquid-handling processes in so-called ‘turnkey’ projects, which can easily deployed into an existing business, system or process, and used immediately once installed.”
What this actually means in the case of Boccard, is that prefabrication is done in their own workshop, using ‘skid’ modular systems to design and program all the separate automated parts. After that, they commission the plant in collaboration with the clients and start the industrial production process.
Finally, they ensure that the after-sales care and maintenance is at the highest level their clients have come to expect. For example they offer a centralized lubrication system maintenance package – BocLube – tailored to every customer’s exact equipment and operational requirements.
One large-scale project that Boccard Polska is involved with is shampoo production. Mr. Sledzinski elucidates: “We work with clients such as L’Oreal, Colgate, Avon and Oriflame. In the case of shampoo, we give advice on how it should be produced – with regards to ingredients storage and distribution. These include key components like mixers and containers.”
Although the processes for handling liquids are generally similar, the regulations and restrictions obviously differ quite significantly across industries. This is especially true in the pharmaceutical industry, but food markets also differ from each other in key areas.
Despite this, when it comes to cost-effective mixing of powders and liquids, Boccard Polska are experts in designing all the equipment necessary to handle the various steps. These include heating, mixing and chemical reactions in the equipment. They focus on areas such as filtration, for example, because it’s actually possible to achieve the same results with filtration as it is with heat, which can also cut down on energy costs.
Boccard’s company structure is striking – it has 60 business units in 35 countries around the world including Peru, Russia and the United Kingdom, all operating independently. This ‘alliance for success’ of localised business units gives it a competitive edge, and the owners are happy to be individual entrepreneurs in the company, not just cogs in a monolithic global structure.
Mr. Sledzinski enthuses: “With local employees and strong know-how, Boccard Polska is very popular on the local market and also in Western Europe, partly because of our lower costs. We are flexible in all our projects, but the methods and procedures we use are the same worldwide!”
There are some surprising challenges that Boccard Polska faces – such as finding trained welders. Poland has a renowned education system, and a good base of well-qualified engineers. But finding personnel for comparatively ‘simple’ jobs can be a challenge, because many welders have moved to Western Europe.
Also, in a rather conservative business environment, there are actually fewer innovations than might be expected. In a changing world of communication, there is more and more ‘dehumanized’ contact, which brings its own challenges.
Boccard Polska still prefers personal contact with their clients, although the company has also found Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn to be key tools for promotion and expansion – far more than for example, international conferences.
It is clear that Boccard Polska is more than ready for another 100 years of excellence. The last word goes to Mr. Sledzinski, who has been with Boccard Polska for eleven years so far: “The key for Boccard is maintaining an entrepreneurial approach, taking our own decisions responsibly and trusting in the outcome. This allows us to deliver value to customers without wasting time. We plan to expand locally in future – for example in the power market, and produce more complex mixing and homogenizing equipment. There are challenges, but we are all keen entrepreneurs! With each project for our clients, we are constantly growing and developing. It’s never boring, we explore new ideas every day.”