Metal Supply Masters – shopping carts for Belgian supermarkets

 

The Belgian company MSM Metal Supply Masters started its activity in Moldova in 2007, being specialized in the construction of trolleys for storage and transportation of goods in supermarket chains in Belgium.  The Belgian investor, Lieven de Prata, is satisfied with the business he initiated in Moldova, since it ensures the sustainability of the investment and profitability of 27%.

Currently, Metal Supply Masters Company is located in the village Magdacesti, district of Criuleni, where industrial halls were built and the production process of trolleys was initiated on the territory of a former tobacco drier.

 In the years 2006-2007, the parent company in Belgium, Delico, was facing the problem of a large number of orders that it was failing to satisfy at an affordable price, thus risking to lose their main customer – the Belgian supermarket company Colruyt.  Namely then, in order to withstand competition, the investor was forced to seek investment opportunities in other countries to come with a product of the same high quality, but at a lower price. Moldova proved to be the right place in this regard.

 Initially, the company was established in Chisinau, where production premises were leased inside the old computer factory, while primarily for a two-year period the investor was intending to produce only certain metal components of trolleys in Moldova, which were supposed to be exported to Belgium and assembled there. After several months, however, things had been evolving in such a way, that the investor decided to start the production in Moldova in a building owned by the company.

 The company’s focuses on the production of black stainless metal trolleys, used in catering establishments and in supermarkets for storing and transporting goods from the manufacturer to the store. The company currently produces 2-3 thousand carts per year, but there were periods when this number reached up to 8000 units per year.

The basic condition of its customers is that the product should be safe from oxidizing and able to maintain the original appearance for the longest period of time possible. Therefore, since the production is located particularly outside and is always subject to mechanical failure, the company uses a unique technology that allows protecting metal surfaces against rust. The raw material, imported from Europe along with the mentioned technology and last, but not the least, the production quality, allows the manufacturer to grant a 30-year guarantee.

 Since the basic goods are voluminous, but not that heavy, the investor has decided to broaden the range of services, manufacturing other products to complement the weight of the truck and cover transport costs. Thus, under these circumstances, Metal Supply Master has established partnership relations with some companies and agreements to produce metal parts for buses and trains.

 Therefore, if at the beginning of activity in Moldova, the company had only one customer and was producing only a single type of products, then at the moment the number of customers has increased, and the product range has expanded, which allows the company to progress, even if the influence of the Global economic crisis has already become visible.

The company has been working on the local market for more than a year now. Its efficient equipment allows it to provide many services for metal cutting and folding to various local businesses that do not have such equipment. The company produces custom wrought iron objects for the local market, as well.

The project manager of the company, Lieven Van de Vijver, who makes the connection between European customers and the producer, comes to Moldova every two weeks to coordinate the technical aspects and ensure that the partners’ requirements are met at the highest level. “Then, in 2007, we told ourselves that we have no right to lose our main customer Colruyt and we sought for new opportunities for business development. Now, we say with confidence that our intention is not to be in Moldova temporarily, but to stay here for a longer period of time, developing ourselves further and offer a qualitative product at an affordable price,” said Lieven Van de Vijver, who states that the investor manages similar companies in Belgium and Germany.

 “The business in Moldova ensures the investor a 27% annual profitability, whereas in Belgium, for example, the profitability of such an enterprise can be up to 7%. In cases, where the transportation costs were not so high, the company earnings would increase even more,” says Veaceslav Negru.

 The rigor, exigency and professionalism of the company’s employees have also been seen when they had to produce a unique object, which was placed first in Paris near the Louvre, and is also meant to be transported to other cities, such as: Miami and Tokyo. After the unsuccessful attempts of some Portuguese and Spanish companies to win the project, it came over to the employees of Metal Supply Masters, who managed to make it real in just one month.

 This successful business is undoubtedly founded on hard work, commitment and substantial financial investment. The opportunities that have been realized on time and allowed the increasing development of Metal Supply Masters Company in Moldova have a very important role as well.

 

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