in Vol. 13 - January Issue - Year 2012
Opening The Doors Of World Markets...
Matej Koglot, CEO of Gostol TST
Free-flowing machine with rotating hook
Red color indicate countries of references
Gostol TST D.O.O. is internationally known company in the field of shot blasting technique and anti-corrosion protection of metal. Many companies have confidence in their products as they have sold more than 1.100 shot blasting machines in more than 40 countries all over the world. They provide a complete solution from idea to final product, as they offer you engineering, production, provide spare parts, after sales service and maintenance of machines.
Company Gostol – Blasting technique Tolmin was established in year 1972 as a branch of the parent company Gostol in Nova Gorica, which started to work in year 1947. Since 1992, they have been an independent company with its own brand Gostol TST, which is officially registered.
In the past, they co-operated with big German companies. At that time, Gostol TST developed and produced machines that were sold under foreign brand. Due to the close co-operation with the German market, the design of their machines is in the German engineering school style. They still have robust design of the machines. Machine housing is protected with wear-resistant manganese steel or completely made from manganese steel with extra protection on most exposed parts. The machines are reliable, with very long lifetimes and low maintenance costs. As a result of everything listed, some of their machines have been operating for more than 35 years.
Currently, the company has app. 80 employees, of which more than 30% has high or higher education. They are aware that employees are an important part of the company, and combining both years of experience and newly acquired knowledge enables them to produce machines that are fully adapted to customer requirements.
They have gone to the world with shot blasting machines
In the past, they had the exclusive agency for Europe, which was the main player, as the Gostol shot blasting machines were sold under the agent’s brand name. Later on, the company decided to change the sales policy because they want to access as many final customers as they could. They started to build new sales networks and enter new markets, first in the former Soviet Union, then in Malaysia, Australia, India and other countries.
They are looking for new agents
The sales network is continuously expanding and it is open for new agents all over the world. They have most of the agents in European countries and would like to expand and even strengthen coverage more on other continents. With the help of new agents, two years ago they succeeded in entering several new markets, as the machines were sold in Australia and also in Brazil. Agents represent an important extended arm of the company.
Sales through agents’ network
Sales through agents are based on the practice of previous years and this is a very effective and well accepted method in the company. Agents are acting exclusively for commission, which is a good way to stimulate them.
Agent’s role at the beginning of negotiations
An agent is a kind of reconnoiter, he manages inquiries and has first contact with the customer; that’s why it is important that the agent is a local person who knows the market rules, habits and local customs best. Gostol TST D.O.O.prepares offers and establishes contacts with the buyer at a distance. When they consider that business could be done, they visit the customer or invite him to come to the company.
How to find a good agent
Agents are specific – some of them sell only Gostol TST equipment; most of them have also other equipment which complements Gostol TST shot blasting machines. Relationship with agents is regulated through agency agreement, which defines rights and obligations of the seller and the agent. They cooperate with agents very closely and offer them full professional support, education and advertising material. The most important thing is to create a good relationship with the agent, because the agent must feel like a part of the company, but having said this, it is necessary to keep a certain professional distance.
Custom made shot blasting machines
There are no great changes in the field of shot blasting machines. Mostly there are adjustments based on customers’ demands or customers’ technology requirements. In most cases, adjustment is made by Gostol TST, if necessary other suppliers are also involved who make appropriate solutions to customer demands. Shot blasting machines are always adjusted to customers’ wishes and demands.
Gostol TST’s big advantage is flexibility and quick responsiveness to customer demand. The company prepares solutions very quickly and provides service support at affordable prices.
Solving problems on distant markets
Agents should know the main components of the machine and problems that can appear, and to know how to properly resolve these. In the beginning, each agent is trained in the company in order to acquire basic skills. Some defects can be resolved by themselves in the company, for example, a modem can be installed in the machine to connect with the internet and try to diagnose and resolve the problem.
All machines have from 12 to 24 months guarantee. Beside that, machines have installed service alarms, for example, like in cars, which inform service personnel when the machine needs servicing. In this way, they want to offer customer service and all necessary guarantees that the machine is working well while avoiding errors due to irregular maintenance.
References all over the world
Market conditions and shares changed slightly after the global economic crisis. In the year 2010, the largest market share was in the countries of the former Soviet Union with 42% and in EU countries where the market share was 31%. They still have large market share in Slovenia, around 12% this year, because there is a lot of old machines on the market for which spare parts are supplied. It is important to spread sales in different markets and thus reduce the risk and dependence of the market. In the future, they are also planning to continue with market diversification strategy. They would also like to increase market shares in the Middle East; that’s why they invite all interested companies and agents to get in touch with them.
Help customers in electrical consumption cost-cutting
Lowering energy consumption costs within industry and also the private sector is nowadays the main goal for all producers and consumers all over the world.
Gostol TST D.O.O. gives large priority to the issue and always try to help customers save money. As already known, the major electrical consumers within the industry and especially within a turbine shot-blasting line are usually throwing wheels motors and the dust collector fan motor.
The owner of a shot-blasting line can save a lot of money for electricity, if prepared to pay a bit more in the investment phase and apply some already standard technical solutions. This is possible if, besides a VFD system for throwing wheels, a VFD system is also applied on the dust collector fan (variable-frequency drive) which will take care that the motor revolutions will be lowered when the shot-blasting line is in the process of loading/unloading or in other manipulation phases.
In this way the electricity consumption will be much lower, the noise level will be much lower and more operator friendly, and the cleaning of the filter cartridges will be much more effective if done in this "stand-by" phase because the air suction will be lower, and when the impulse of compressed air is blown into the cartridge during this "stand-by" phase, the dust will fall within the filter hopper instead of being sucked again into the cartridge. In this way, the filtering cartridge lifetime will be doubled and the efficiency of the filtering unit will be much higher. Accordingly, the customer will save not only on energy consumption, but on spare parts and service time needed for their replacement as well.
The return of investment cost in such a system is approximately one year and afterwards it means the customer saves approximately 3000 €/year in electricity costs if considering a Gostol TST 32PF type cartridge filter and additionally some 4000-5000 € on spare parts, shipment costs and service time needed – this may vary from country to country.
This means a customer can save from 5.000 € up to 10.000 €/year with an initial additional investment of approximately 4.000 €!
Electrical consumption savings can be easily calculated using Danfoss VLT Energy Box software. Below, you can see the calculation example for Gostol TST PF32 cartridge filtering unit. Calculation is done with mentioned software for 22 kW Danfoss frequency inverter, where you can see the returning time of the investment and annual savings on electrical consumption.
The costs and savings mentioned are calculated based on the actual price of 1 kWh within the Slovenian market.