We would like to hear about the history and development of Yasinovatskiy Machine Building Plant.
Yasinovatskiy Machine Works was founded in 1947, just after the Second World War. At that time, the main task was to restore damage during the war of railways, so our factory was founded as a company specializing in the production of switches for railways. Then the factory was converted to the production of construction equipment, cranes, hoists, and so on. At the beginning of the 1960s, the factory began to specialize in the production of mining equipment, tunneling machines and processing equipment. This production was quite large. In addition, our factory was engaged in production of equipment for the construction of the underground. Over the last 30-40 years we are now primarily involved in the production of tunneling machines in the former Soviet Union. At the moment we have two competitors in Ukraine, but their scale of production is absolutely not comparable with ours, because the volume of production at our plant size of our orders. Nevertheless, I must say that the competition is serious enough. The first of our competitors - it Novokramatorsky Machine Works, and the second - the former Gorlovsky engineering plant, which is now part of the corporation "Mining machines" that combines the engineering assets of the holding "System Capital Management."
What is the competitive advantage of your plant, distinguishing it among its competitors?
Our main advantage is the experience we have, because none of our competitors are involved in the making of tunneling machines over the past forty years. For example, the Chinese are very often criticized for the fact that they are constantly engaged in plagiarism. However, few know that in the 60s and 70s, plagiarism construction of our machines was engaged in by the Germans and Japanese.To date, one of our great advantages is the availability of our own design facilities, which cannot be found anywhere else in Ukraine. This allows us not only to constantly upgrade equipment, machinery, and the harvesters we mass-produce, but also to engage in designing and development of new models. No one else has this capacity.
Our design office developed along with the plant so it also has more than 50 years of experience.
Vladimir, we know that during the crisis of 2008-2009, many companies in competition with your plant, suffered very serious losses or went bankrupt, while you were able to expand the range of machines produced and to expand the geography of your supplies. How did you achieve such impressive results?
We can not say that we survived the crisis without any problems. Instead, it was quite difficult and even today, we feel its effects. For almost two years we did not invest in the development and acquisition of new equipment, and now all these negative things are felt. Nevertheless, we were able to completely persevere through all our technologies. Moreover, we have used the breathing space to put on the market another new model, which today has almost no competition, at least in our country. Taking into account our prices, I can say that with this model there is no competition in the world. The proof of the end of the crisis for our plant is the fact that we now supply another batch of equipment in Venezuela. We are also expecting a large order from Mexico and hope to soon sign the agreement. In addition, the new model has interested buyers in Canada who have visited us. The main factor that helps us is that we are not dependent on suppliers as our factories have a virtually closed production cycle. This is different from Western companies, where a similar scheme in output is not actually possible. In Western countries, as a rule, companies similar to us only assemble the final product.
Do you plan to continue supplying European countries?
I personally think that now, as before, there are two separate Europes. The first covers France and Germany, and the second - the rest of the continent. In France and Germany we have little presence. More recently we supplied our systems to the copper mines of Poland, we also supply equipment for coal mines in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovenia and other countries.
How do you cooperate with foreign companies and partners?
We cooperate with foreign companies because for our designs some parts that are manufactured in Ukraine still lack quality. For example, we are working with Italian and German hydraulics companies. Here we must also understand the mentality of our miners. One of our greatest strengths, among other things - is the simplicity and understandability of our cars for Ukrainian workers, whose qualification is far from ideal.
Please describe the personal approach your company takes with each client.
In fact, we've been doing this every day. We have special structures that regularly communicate with our customers. I personally dedicate a lot of time to this in different ways. It is essential in planning our current and future relationships and in the daily resolution of technical issues. We provide comprehensive support for after-sales service of machines to help us identify problems that arise during operation. In fact, our machines are operated in very difficult geological conditions. You know that the Donetsk mines - the most dangerous in the world, have incredibly complex geology. The number of victims per million tons of coal mined in this country is three times that of China. It should be understood that most of our cars today are operated at a depth of more than a kilometer.
In terms of your career, what are you proud of most?
If we can talk about this year, I am proud that in June, 2011, I defended a doctoral thesis. Since all of my scientific work is related to Yasinovatskiy Machine Building Plant and the organization of production in the company, this achievement can be considered a part of my career.