Kristal is located in the heart of Bosnia, one hour’s drive from its capital Sarajevo. The company was registered in 1994, as a trade company for importing and exporting glass and belongs to the major glass processors and suppliers of IG units in the Balkan region. With more than 200 employees Kristal has an annual turnover of about 12,5 Mio. Euro, focusing on IG units and processed glass for architectural & indoor glazing. Their specialties: glass solutions for marine industry, sinks made of glass (a patented concept) and decorative glasses (for renovation of churches etc.).
Nikola Franjić, Managing Director of Kristal: “Every time I went to a glass trade fair in the past, I had a glance at the LiSEC booth and thought by myself: one day, I will be able to afford this equipment – I set it as a goal.” A goal he was very serious about. And he is not in for compromises. Franjić:” We want to produce the best quality glass you can get. With this goal in mind and from a certain level onwards, you can only work together with the best brands – that goes for the raw material, the glass you buy and all the processing steps after that, machinery and software included.” Asked about competition, Franjić answers with a high degree of self-confidence: “Of course there is competition – but instead of focusing on competitors, we invest our energy in designing the next two, three steps we will take – that makes much more sense.”
In 2003 Kristal had reached this ‘quality’ point. The management started buying top-notch equipment from LiSEC in order to propel business. They bought a rotating table and an extruder. Later on they extended their machine park with solutions for glass processing and cutting as well as two IG lines from LiSEC. Also on the software side they invested in LiSEC solutions.
Franjić is very clear about the reasons for this single brand strategy. “When you buy from LiSEC, you know what you get. You buy top-quality machines and software, but at the same time you also buy part of LiSEC’s own experience in the glass processing industry – which is of an enormous value to us.”
In his eyes, LiSEC is the only company that offers the entire range of products and invests a lot of money in new products and solutions. “And in that we saw an opportunity for us to grow with a company that is that solid in what it does – and hence become part of the success story of LiSEC,” he adds.
TO GET A GRIP ON PRODUCTION: LISEC SOFTWARE
Part of growing is also the need for clear processes and for data you can rely on to manage production and steer your company. Kristal is no exception here. They used to have LiSEC optimization software to optimize the glass yield and sent the optimization results to their cutting tables. For all other process steps and production data they had their own tools – which did not fulfill their needs any longer on a certain point in time: further developing the tool for it to cover all needs became too big of an exercise for the small IT team. Matea Franjić, the daughter of the CEO, who grew up in the company and takes over responsibilities step by step, explains: “We decided for a fully integrated software, because we had the feeling we were losing control due to the rapidly growing order intake. We wanted to have the complete picture – from the moment the glass sheets are delivered to us until the finished product ready for transport.”
The entrepreneurs scrutinized the market in search of suitable software tools and compared solutions in detail. Nikola Franjić: “Also here, we opted for an integrated solution. LiSEC offers the entire software system – which bears all the experience in glass processing they gathered over the years in it.”
The latest software tools include GPS.order, LiSEC “all-in-one solution” for order entry tailored for the glass processing industry and GPS.prod, which is a powerful tool for optimization, internal logistics & capacity planning. On top of that they invested in GPS.ident WS, a solution which enables paperless production, rapid integration of remakes and detection / tracking of all glass sheets in the shop floor area. LIS.delivery will simplify handling in the shipping area: Dispatched racks, as well as delivery commissions can all be determined by hand scanner.
Matea Franjić on the targets of the new software tools: “We will be able to process glass much faster and expect to be more productive.
IT IS A PEOPLE BUSINESS
Kristal is not only best in glass processing in the region. It also does very well in people management. Running a company is about dealing with people: the management at Kristal see their employees as number one, focus on them and make sure they feel at home. “A few months ago, this area was flooded. More than 100 employees came to the factory first to help out here and then took care of their own houses. This was a very emotional moment to me, because I really understood how close the employees are to the company,” Matea Franjić proudly says.