During these difficult times of global financial crisis most companies struggle hard to remain its’ position in the market. It is relatively uncommon to find a company that despite the slowdown keeps going forward and expands it’s activity.
This is however the case of Segu Poland, a Polish company specializing in ABS wires and wire harnesses for the automotive industry which has recently scored an impressive deal with PSA Peugeot Citroen through one of its partner, Bosch.
Segu Poland - the beginnings
The roots of Segu Poland go back to 1998 when an arrangement was signed by the newly founded company and its strategic partner – Germany based Segu Systemelektrik. The agreement regarded a supply of ABS wires that steadily started to erect a developing company and as a matter of fact still generates a majority of the firm’s sales revenue. Next came the diversification of the production; by expanding its offer with engine wire harnesses Segu Poland joined the wire manufacturer’s premier league. At first, the company’s headquarters was based in Dabrowa Gornicza, but its activity outgrew its square meters, hence the board of directors made a strategic decision to built a new factory in Sosonowiec. The new plant is located inside the Katowice special economic zone which allows the company to benefit from special tax reliefs. Moreover, the company takes advantage of the European Union’s aid funds which continue to increase its investment capital.
The evolution of the company
Constant growth is one of significant features of Segu Poland. Back in 1998, the company’s turnover equaled merely 1 million Zlotys. Not even ten years later it reached 90 millions. This rapid increase can be explained by the firm’s struggle to maintain the highest quality of offered products which resulted in scoring new contracts yearly, while expanding the existing ones. This fact is also reflected in the company’s payroll. In the beginnings of the company, Segu Poland was hiring just 23 employees. Nowadays its profits are worked out by over 400 people. The company has also come a long way from its first factory in Dabrowa Gornicza. The current modern facilities in Sosonowiec are 10 thousand square meters packed with state-of-the-art technology. 47 hundreds of these square meters are dedicated to the wire harnesses workshop, 17 hundreds to the ABS wiring workshop and 24 hundreds are a high bay warehouse. The facilities also include a modern technical architecture, an integrated IT system designed to support the ERP management solutions as well as spacious administrative offices. In 2007, the company has terminated its relocation from Dabrowa Gornicza and now operates only form Sosnowiec. The pace of the development of Segu Poland does not seem to slow down, hence the firm isn’t done investing in it’s infrastructure. The firm is constantly trying to renew its equipment found in its machine park, by purchasing devices form world leading companies such as Komax, Arburg or Schunk.
Main fields of activity
As said before, Segu Poland manufactures mostly ABS wires and wire harnesses. The automotive industry is the company’s main customer, not the only one however. Wires from Sosnowiec are frequently used also in agricultural and construction machines. Nevertheless, most of its products can still be found inside of an automobile. One would be truly surprised how many parts of a car is operated by Polish wires. ABS sensor lines and engine wire harnesses are the ones that directly come to mind, but mirror wiring, headlights wiring, the airbag ignition cable, flashers, trailer set, electronic construction units and components for the air conditioning systems – all of the above are offered by Segu Poland.
Key customers and their credit
Many sector leading enterprises can be found among customers of Segu Poland. Audi and Volkswagen are on that list, however these companies are not the major partners for Segu. About 45 percent of total turnover is generated by Bosch who orders ABS wire harnesses for its systems used in automotive brand like Ford, Fiat, Toyota or Opel. 35 percent of revenue is made by collaboration with Deutz, a German company manufacturing diesel engines for Volvo. Another important customer is Siemens, for whom Segu Poland produces wire harnesses for fuel supplier systems. Both Bosch and Deutz have granted an acclaiming award for the level of professionalism in cooperation with Segu Poland. These are however not the only recognition Segu Poland has been awarded recently. The company has been honored by the city of Dabrowa Gornicza a title of the entrepreneur of the year twice, and has been accepted into a prestigious club of Business Gazelles awarded by an editorial staff of Polish business magazine “Business Pulse”, back in 1995.
The collaboration with Fiat Powertrain Technology
Recently, the company has started business talks with another very important customer, the Fiat Powertrain Technology, commonly known as FPT. The company is a part of the Fiat Group and is responsible for designing and manufacturing of, broadly speaking, powertain and transmission systems, both for the Fiat Company itself, as well as for third party. Due to aforementioned experience in producing wire harnesses directly for car producer (the WV collaboration in 2004-2008), matching technical requirements of the project and the proximity of the FPT factory, Segu Poland turned out to be a perfect partner for the FPT production. 10 people were dedicated specifically to design needed harnesses while additional software was introduced to the company exclusively for the needs of FPT. The commitment made to the new projects and to it’s customers’ needs are what stand out as a key factor in the firm’s success on the market.
Research and development
In order to expand their abilities to produce wires and wire harnesses, Segu Poland cooperates with several scientific and research units, including the Institute of Welding in Gliwice. Recently said collaboration resulted in developing two technological processes jointing copper wires with copper plates in two welding technologies – resistance and ultrasonic. This is a major step for the company, as the welding process is becoming more and more important technology in jointing metals and Segu Poland is gradually becoming an expert in said matter. The company constantly increases the volume of investment in its research and development department, since it’s well aware of the value of the firm’s innovation. Modern technologies help bring new contracts to the company which allows the company to keep its leading position on the market, even during these difficult times.
The production of wire harnesses – step by step
One might found interesting the production process at Segu Poland. First, we start with cutting and crimping with the fully automated system Komax Alpha. Each and every crimp is thoroughly measured and controlled. Then we move on to ultrasonic welding. All parameters of each splice are being examined on the spot. The splices are insulated with glue shrink tubes, which are gas and liquid resistant. The part moves to a dedicated assembly table, where it’s being assembled and label, but only if the control results are 100% error free. Then a part is tested in various ways, including extreme temperature tests, temperature shocks, salt tests, pull out force of crimps and many more. Segu Poland leaves no place for an error in its production process and this obsessive attention to details is what leaves its customers satisfied.
The philosophy behind the product
Even the best technology is not enough if it isn’t managed properly. And at Segu Poland, the management puts in a lot of effort to make sure that the work of their finest engineers is not in vain. The CEO’s has introduced an ERP Pro Alpha system to all of its departments. The firm operates on lean management standards and uses a cooperative style of management. Teamwork is also one of key words when it comes to describing work at Segu Poland, both in the office and at the workshops. All of this to ensure that the extraordinary talents working on a top notch equipment release the highest quality products. This policy seems to work perfectly well, as the company’s evolution doesn’t seem to have reached its final phase.
Written by Łukasz Światowiec