Founded in 1985 by Laszlo Lakics as a small, home-based enterprise, the company achieved continuous growth throughout the 1980s and 1990s, taking over two other engineering firms along the way. Initially run as three separate organizations, they were amalgamated into one company in 2007 by Mr. Lakics’ son Peter. He also developed exports across Western Europe, and increased production capacity with two, brand-new manufacturing units in Kaposvár and Komló.
Today, out of a simple ‘garage’ manufacturer has emerged a go-ahead engineering company with two plants, 300 staff and an annual turnover of 13 million EUR. Lakics produces electric motor and generator parts and many other products, weighing from a few hundred kilos up to 21 t.
The company’s metal-handling expertise includes cutting, bending, rolling, welding, stress relief, machining, surface treatment, and material handling. “I believe the secret of our success to date has been, among other things, the competence of our founder,” says CEO Zoltán Sipos. “He had the courage to take on particularly challenging contracts and thereby develop the company. We operate in a very complex market situation and are highly organized in terms of personnel, technology and functions; we work hard to continually improve our product portfolio and the technology we use. The third element is that our competences are constantly in demand.”
A customer base with such names as Siemens, General Electric and Westas speaks for itself. However, market conditions remain difficult. “95% of our work has been in the energy sector – oil, gas and mining, as well as wind power,” explains Mr. Sipos. “This sector is today under a lot of pressure. There are no longer any subsidies, it operates purely on a business basis. Customers are price sensitive, and new solutions have emerged – solar power plants have negatively impacted our business opportunities – the cake is smaller. In addition, the employment market is also more difficult; it is hard to find suitably skilled personnel.”
Our founder had the courage to take on particularly challenging contracts. Zoltán SiposCEO
So how has Lakics responded to these challenges? “We have diversified,” states Mr. Sipos. “We continue to develop a market position that is independent of the energy sector; we now have a foothold in several different industries. We have also focused on career development for our staff, with training, motivational measures and succession planning.”
Mr. Sipos joined Lakics five years ago and is responsible for the business and sales aspects, alongside Laszlo Lakics Junior who takes care of production. “Going forward, we are working on improving our competitive edge through continued diversification, personnel training, new technology and improved organization,” he concludes. “We can be proud of what we have achieved, but to maintain our position as a top supplier, we have to continue to keep pace with the market and industry developments.”