Changing with the timesA collaboration with Seco at the Egoryevsky Mechanical Plant helps smooth the process in meeting increased demand for the company's self-propelled mowers.
Despite Russia's economic downturn, an agricultural plant in Moscow region is boosting its production with the help of Seco Tools.
The Egoryevsky Mechanical Plant, a private factory located in a Moscow region town just over 100 kilometers from the Russian capital, is no typical assembly line. The factory, whose main product is self-propelled mowers, is unusual in that it makes its machines on the premises from start to ﬁnish.
The plant’s main products are the Meshchera E-403 mower and attachments to adapt the cutting equipment to various fodder crops, such as corn and grass.
“They are modiﬁcations of the basic product, depending on the customer’s needs,” says Vladislav Nikitin, the plant’s director. The customers in question are generally enterprises growing fodder crops, including horse, cattle and sheep farmers who grow their own forage plants on site.
Russia’s economy may have been in recession for most of the past two years, but the Egoryevsky plant, which employs just fewer than 100 people, is increasing production.
“We feel some trends; we don’t exist in a vacuum after all,” says Nikitin, but overall, the outlook is positive: “New clients are coming to us, we’re getting more and more orders,” he says.
The factory has been working in metals processing since 1999 and began focusing on self-propelled mowers in 2012. It sells its technology through a chain of sales points operated under its Maral-Invest brand in Russia’s Moscow, Tula, Krasnodar, Vologda and Leningrad regions.
To facilitate the boost in output, the company is updating its production line and using more modern tools, said Nikitin. About 35–40 percent of those tools – primarily for lathes – are made by Seco Tools.
Evgeny Sannikov, a representative of Seco in Moscow, says his office started working with the plant in the middle of 2015, though the factory was already using Seco tools before that.
“When we went to the factory, they were already using our tools,” says Sannikov, explaining that the plant was at that time buying them from online middlemen, which often meant lengthy delays in delivery.
“We came and offered them our ﬁxed conditions – stable delivery times and prices – and drastically improved their delivery times,” says Sannikov.
“Their production is well-organized, so it was more important for them to have reliable delivery times so they could plan their production timetable than to get it a few percent cheaper,” he says.
Since the beginning of their direct working relationship, the Egoryevsky Mechanical Plant has also made use of the consultation services offered by Seco.
“Naturally, our technical team consults with Seco on how to ensure the optimum use,” says Nikitin.
At the beginning of 2016, Seco invited the plant’s head technician and his team to the company’s Moscow office.
“We showed them a presentation and answered their questions, and talked in detail about some of our products so that they know more about our tools,” said Sannikov.
Nikitin says now that his plant is in the process of buying new Seco tools, his team would probably consult the company again.
While the Russian economy has for years been dominated by huge state-run businesses, in recent years the government has made an effort to support the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises. In addition, the domestic agriculture sector beneﬁtted when Russia banned most food imports from many Western countries in 2014 in retaliation to sanctions imposed on Moscow by foreign governments over the Ukraine crisis. At the beginning of 2015, the government promised to increase agricultural subsidies to more than USD 2.8 billion, and in the same year agricultural production grew by 3.5 percent – more than any other sector.
Nikitin says that any company has its own challenges, and his is no exception, but the plant appears to have carved out a niche in the market for mowers just as Russia’s agricultural sector has received a major boost. Now the Egoryevsky Plant is looking to cement its position with a universal and time-tested method: a guarantee of quality.