In 2003, Macma was the first European importer to open a subsidiary in Poland. Today, Macma Polska is one of the country’s leading promotional products suppliers. The company has already set the course for the future with a new logistics and customising centre in Wrocław.
Indeed, the modern complex comprising of a high-rack warehouse and a printing shop, which were added to the Macma Polska headquarters just outside Wrocław really is impressive. The 2,000 m² warehouse was completed in October 2012, followed by the opening of printing facilities, spanning 2,000 m², in January 2013. Together with the offices and showrooms, the complex extends over approx. 5,000 m².
Whereby everything started off on a small scale: The relationship between Rydzewski and the founders of Macma, Christian and Matthias Huff, dates back to the 1990s and Rydzewski is one of the pioneers among the Polish importers. “I already knew Christian Huff when the ‘Iron Curtain’ fell. In 1990, together with a partner, I founded a company called Rotax, which imported products sourced from German importers to Poland together with a partner. At the time, we worked closely with Macma. Promotional products were incredibly popular, especially electronic products such as calculators or watches.” Whereas at the time everyone sold to everyone in Poland, Rotax focused on the agencies. This approach hasn’t changed to this very day – the promotional products industry is the only sales channel.
In 1997, Rydzewski left Rotax and ran a business on his own, until he joined forces with his present partner Mirosław Wiszniewski in 2000. Together they founded the company Keyno: “The name actually derived from the saying ‘Okay, no problem‘, which according to my business partners, I used a lot at the time,“ explained Rydzewski with a smile. Up until today the business strategy, which according to both partners works extremely well, has remained the same; what has changed though is the name and the alignment of the company: Because in 2003, shortly before Poland entered the EU, Christian Huff suggested that his long-standing partners co-found Macma Polska with him. As such Macma was by own accounts the first European importer to open up a subsidiary in Poland. Other importers subsequently followed suit.
Ever since then the Polish company has been selling the products of the Nuremberg-based import company exclusively on the Polish market. Rydzewski, Wiszniewski, Christian and Matthias Huff are equal partners of Macma Polska.
Well-maintained warehouse stocks
The success is evident: Today Macma Polska generates an important part of Macma’s overall turnover. More than 100 people work in Wrocław, with approx. 40 in the marketing, sales and administration departments, 50 in the printing facilities and 10 in the warehouse.
The latter disposes of approx. 5,000 pallet storage places – big enough to meet the high demand for products. All of the goods come from Macma’s headquarters in Nuremberg. An exception is made for USB sticks, which are occasionally imported directly via the port of Gdansk – Poland’s transhipment point for sea freight from China. Twice a week, several trucks make the journey to Wrocław, which thanks to the efficient motorway infrastructure only takes seven hours. “Occasionally we also make deliveries to customers directly from Nuremberg,” added Wiszniewski.
The rest is left to carefully calculated and balanced warehousing: “Our goal is to reduce slow-moving items quickly, so that we have a good cash flow for rush jobs and big orders,” explained Wiszniewski. “Although we are always trying to stay up-to-date, we are also cautious when investing in ‘novelties’. New, trendy products not necessarily always turn out to be best sellers.” In total, the current Macma Polska catalogue contains around 3,000 products including the different colour varatiations.
One stop model
More than half of the products leave Wrocław already individualised. “Offering embellishing services not only helps to sell products, it also significantly increases our profit margins,“ revealed Wiszniewski and his partner added: “A great amount of Polish distributors have some sort of in-house customising shop, offering techniques such as laser engraving, screen or pad printing. Those, however, are usually rather very basic and not up-to-date. We place our focus on quality.”
The site in Wrocław is equipped with modern machinery for all popular techniques – from screen, pad, transfer and digital printing, to laser and embroidery, through to doming and – recently added – porcelain embellishing. “Our Customising Manager prides himself in understanding every machine right down to the last detail,” reported Rydzewski.
The management is convinced that the high investment of the last few years will soon pay off. Wiszniewski stated, “Our one stop model leads to enormous cost savings. The building itself is designed for efficiency. For example, we use pellet heating which is around 50% cheaper than gas. However, even the best warehouse we could ever create would not bring us any profit without the sales team.”
Which is why, apart from a wide range of products, the main competitive advantage is service. “We place a strong focus on the relationship we have with our customers, no matter if it’s one of the key market players, or a small retailer,” said Wiszniewski. “Loyalty develops as customers feel a connection with a company. Building relationships is a key requirement asset. In the current economic situation, everyone is looking for the best price possible. However, our customers often choose to purchase goods from us, even if a certain product is cheaper at one of our competitors.”
Rydzewski and Wiszniewski agree that the employees are the key to every success, whether talking about improving the quality of the products, excelling the service, or building the relationship with a customer. “Our team reflects the key focus of our overall company philosophy, which is: consistency.” A philosophy that has brought Macma Polska a long way in ten years.
A detailed report about the Polish promotional products market can be found here: