2020: Šiauliai FEZ companies’ overview

For companies operating in the Šiauliai FEZ, 2020 was a year not only of challenges, but also of new opportunities. Lithuanian-capital companies UAB RD Signs brand, and UAB Medicinos linija, positioned as i-dental, systematically prepared for projects in 2021. Norwegian-owned Plus Windows operates successfully in the Scandinavian market. One of the top achievements of the Šiauliai FEZ management company in 2020 was the decision by the German tail-lift manufacturer Bär Cargolift to invest right here. The company’s plans are ambitious: the factory will be one of the most technologically advanced in the European Union, beginning operations at the end of the first quarter or the beginning of the second quarter of 2021.

In 2020, the tail-lift manufacturer Bär Cargolift began construction of its new factory. The company’s CFO, Michael Kimmann, says that “construction works are proceeding precisely according to plan, on-time and on-budget. We are very satisfied with the quality and project management (P3) of our construction company, Elitus. Our architects, 2L, are also doing an excellent job.”

Kimmann emphasises that the top leadership of the Šiauliai Free Economic Zone management company, Giedrius Valuckas and Artūras Klangauskas, always responds quickly, thoroughly and especially professionally to any questions that arise. The CFO of the second-largest tail-lift manufacturer in the EU is pleased to report that construction works at the Šiauliai FEZ have not encountered any serious setbacks. “We are Germans, and we follow the plan!”, he jokes. It is planned to open the factory on 1 April 2021. It may in fact be a week or two later, but all efforts are being made to keep to the original schedule.

The factory will make use of advanced technologies for working with sheet metal, including laser cutters and press brakes. Appropriate warehousing is also part of the project. Specialised robot welders will also be installed. Bär Cargolift foresees using SAP ERP (resource planning software) created by the German company SAP SE. The SAP ERP system includes the main business processes. It is planned that all business processes will be handled using SAP. Kimmann speaks of ambitious goals. “The factory will be a single integrated organism. We want to establish the most modern and efficient factory for our products and our business model in Europe.” At present, the staff at the factory consists of 7 employees, and it is planned that by the end of 2021 there will be 60, and a total of 130 by the end of 2022.

The Norwegian-owned company Plus Windows finished 2020 with turnover similar to what it had in 2019. The company manufactures PVC windows and doors, and exports most of its production to Norway. CEO Andrej Šadenok emphasises that good results were achieved even in the face of a difficult period for business. Because the pandemic complicated travel for foreign specialists and training for employees, the official opening date for the new factory has been postponed a bit, but the company’s CEO remains pleased with an increase of about 35%. 90% of production is already being performed at the new factory located at the Šiauliai FEZ. At present, a staff of 50 works at the company, and the CEO expects that 2021 will be no worse than 2020 and the company should grow as planned.

Gintaras Dapkus, owner of UAB Medicinos linija, operating in the Šiauliai FEZ, remarks that 2020 was not a typical year, but the company was able to manage the situation, remained focused and continued making innovative dental products. The company exports to customers in more than 80 countries. The company’s product line includes composites, adhesives, sealants and other dental supplies. The company’s production is known and positioned in the world according to the i-dental brand. Because the company’s products are directly related to the services provided by odontologists, and patients have been reluctant to visit dental clinics during the pandemic, the company’s turnover, while not significantly declining, has also not significantly increased. Taking into account the pandemic, that is only to be expected, but Dapkus is cautiously optimistic that turnover could grow up to 10 per cent in 2021.

Audrius Butkevičius, the owner and CEO of UAB RD SIGNS, comments that last year was both interesting and complicated for the company. The company is better known in the market by its RD Signs brand, and its main area of operations is design and production of outdoor and indoor signage. Butkevičius emphasises the company’s teamwork, understanding of customer needs and motivation to create and to grow the company even during the pandemic. At present, the company has more than 80 employees. The company continues to receive a sufficiently large number of orders. The owner foresees turnover growing at least 7-8 % in 2021, and he expects the Covid-19 vaccines to restore opportunities to grow the business in a more stable way. Keeping employees healthy is the most important strategic task, because production processes require highly-qualified specialists. Butkevičius emphasises that the company has received assistance from INVEGA as well as banks, so the company’s operations during the pandemic have been successfully managed.

We wish you plenty of orders and new projects in 2021!

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