In this interview for Avebe Magazine, Emir Suljic, Production manager at Avebe Stadex in Malmö, Sweden describes his position and how he sees his job.
What's your position at Avebe?
“I'm the production manager at the Avebe production site in Malmö, Sweden. I'm responsible for everything that happens within the four walls of our factory, from staff to production.”
“My team consists of 26 workers, 5 team leaders, 5 lab technicians and 1 mechanic.”
Emir Suljic, Production manager at Avebe Stadex in Malmö, Sweden
What does the Swedish branch of Avebe do?
“Avebe Stadex produces various starch specialities for food applications. We export about 95% of our production. We're particularly active in the Asian market, where the emphasis is on quality and consistency.”
How is the cooperation with these Asian customers?
“It is going well. For some customers, we've been able to maintain consistently high quality for almost forty years. This is why they choose Avebe.”
“Of course there are highs and lows in every collaboration. About seven years ago, we had a big challenge, following a complaint about microscopic contamination in our product.”
“Our main goal from that moment on was to solve that problem together with the customers and to keep our relationship with them as excellent as before.”
How did you solve the problem?
“We started an intensive process. For example, we sent a team of mechanics and production staff from Sweden to Asia. There we could see with our own eyes how much emphasis there is on high quality. We also actively involved our people in coming up with a solution: What would you do in this particular situation? This made them much more responsible for their own work.”
“We then made adjustments to the installation and the working method. Like the customer, we installed a finger magnet and we use better screens.”
“ We also changed certain routines. For example, we introduced the four eyes principle. The production employees carry out each check together, so that they can validate each other's work. This reduces the chance of human error to almost zero.”
“Our working relationship with the customer also changed. We worked together much more intensively and got to know each other better. As a result, we're still easily able to change gear quickly to this very day. In short: we've solved the problem together and continue to strive for optimum quality.”
Aerial view of the Avebe Stadex facility in Malmö, Sweden
Why is it so important to maintain excellent relationships with your customers?
“The reasons for our success in retaining customers are found not in a better finger magnet, the new sieves or the four eyes principle. Of course, all these developments contribute enormously, but the real reason is that our people have taken responsibility for their work.”
“Our customer's wishes and expectations are always central to everything we do. And it's not just the customer who benefits, because if he's satisfied, my colleagues and I are too. We've also greatly improved our processes from a technological viewpoint.”
“The new sieves are much more accurate, but are also much more durable. There have been no sieve breakages in recent years, whereas before we had to replace them a few times a month. A job of about three hours. It is hard to imagine how much time, money and frustration we save.”
“The close partnership with the customer not only resulted in a more satisfied customer, but also in a better Avebe!”