How long have you worked at Magorex?
For about ten years.
Did you know the industry when you started or did you learn everything while working?
I knew the industry in a way because when I joined Magorex my experience was rather related to companies in the meat industry. They operated butcheries, slaughterhouses and, to some extent, bakeries, but bakeries accounted for about ten per cent of the total. During my work at Magorex, I learned a lot from clients what they need exactly. I think that in about two years I got into work so much that I already knew what it was all about.
Which region are you responsible for? Is this all of Poland or part of it?
Currently, we can say that we are divided along the Vistula River, i.e. the West is mine and my colleague is responsible for the East.
What companies do you cooperate with? Are these large bakeries and pastry shops or small factories?
These are bakeries and confectioneries large and small, the manufactures as well as the largest industrial bakeries.
To what extent are you able to help your partners? Because you also have customer service in the office, so when exactly can a company contact you?
If a company needs a standard product, one that can be ordered simply from the catalogue, it can contact the sales department. However, when a customer wants to buy a non-standard product, he or she should contact me. I can also help in choosing standard solutions. Often, customers stick to these standard dimensions. For example, a cart has twenty shelves and the customer wants to place cakes on these shelves. But if he can stack the cakes or bake more, then I can come and measure this cart. It not only enters the oven but also enters the cold room and other spaces, so the cart must be universal enough to fit every option. So the customer can call me and I will come, take measurements and then I am fully responsible for how this product looks and how it works.
How long does it take to make a custom product?
We always try to meet these three or four weeks deadline, but of course, it also depends what it is we’re doing. There are very complicated things that require a longer wait time. For example, some time ago we made a form that was so complicated that we had to first design it on a 3D printer, send it to the customer to see the overall pattern. Then, to produce it, it was necessary to make two tools: one initial, which pressed the very shape of this form, and another, which caused that patterns appeared in this form. It later looked nice on a cake covered with chocolate – these shapes were then visible. But it took time. From what I remember, the creation of the tool itself took about six weeks, and then the form itself was made faster.
Czyli przy niestandardowych rzeczach klient może sobie wymyślić praktycznie co chce, a wy to wyprodukujecie?
Yes exactly. The industry is so flexible that customers tell us what they would like and we do it for them. If it’s possible because there are also things that can’t be done or can be done, but with a lot of money. Not every customer is able to invest this kind of money. Often, when a client asks me specific questions, I know we can do something, but I also know that it will require a lot of money. I tell clients directly what costs will be associated with the production of the product and then he or she decides whether we should do it or not.
For example, there are products that the customer wants to implement in order to develop. If with such a product he or she hits a large network, despite the fact that this product costs a lot, he or she will have the opportunity to expand the business, and do something that no one else will do. And this is happening now. At the beginning of my work at Magorex we had forms strictly 0.5 kg, 0.25 kg. At present, we produce forms to the customer’s size. So the customer tells us what he wants, we produce it and this is what the customer receives. Sometimes customers are surprised – why don’t you have a “half-kilos”? Then I say that “half-kilos” can be either square or rectangular or even heart-shaped. And this is a better solution because customers can get things from us that are unavailable elsewhere.
What about entities that are considering opening a bakery or confectionery? Can they also come to you and hope that you can tell them what to look for when starting a business?
Of course. I have such customers, mainly small donut places, which later transform into larger ones. For example, in Kołobrzeg I have a company that once invited me to its place. They bought a booth on the boardwalk and stated that they wanted to make donuts there. I thought – why not? Since hot donuts are selling well in Wrocław, why should they not sell in Kołobrzeg? The more so because it is largely a place for retirees who come there in autumn and winter and can go and buy a warm donut. Great idea. It has developed so much that they are opening the second point right now. I remember that after their invitation I came, they showed me the place, asked what can be done with it, which fryer to choose. We made a special fryer with a pot because they had no place to put the pot separately. Donuts are made by hand and are selling very well. They are very tasty above all.
From the point of view of a sales representative, what is the difference in cooperation between a large network such as Carrefour or Auchan and small bakeries?
There are some strict rules in a large network that we stick to. Each chain has the same products at every point. They may differ in dimensions as some are older, others are new. For example, some points will have a sheet size of 78 x 58 cm, while others will have 80 x 60 cm. This is not a big difference, but when ordering someone may be surprised that the sheet will fall off or simply will not get on the cart.
However, in small bakeries, we do new things all the time, which is great because it let us, sales representatives, grow. For example, when I go somewhere I can tell my client that I have seen something like this, it works well, it may be worth investing. I am not a salesman who goes to the customer and persuades him to do something at all costs. I prefer to give the client a choice – if you have the opportunity to check it, I will give it to you, you can verify it. If it makes your job easier, then you can call me and buy it. However, if you don’t like it, you can tell me directly, I won’t be offended. It’s just about working together. I prefer a term like “business partnership” rather than soliciting or a call centre. The customer should be aware of his options and be able to decide for himself.