Interview with Mr. Lyubomir Borisov, Manager of STAMH TECH and HYSTER-BG from the STAMH Group
Lyubomir Borisov is the manager of two companies, which are part of one of the largest international warehousing holdings - STAMH Group. One of them is STAMH TECH, which is focused on: professional industrial cleaning equipment and automatic and semi-automatic packaging machines.
He is also managing HYSTER-BG - the exclusive representative and distributor for Bulgaria and North Macedonia markets of all products with the brand HYSTER. The HYSTER fleet includes warehouse machines, electric, diesel and LPG forklifts, storage and lifting equipment, handling machines with larger capacity of 8,5 to 48 tons and container handling machines.
- Tell us more about HYSTER and why STAMH chose this brand for Bulgaria?
HYSTER produces a full range of machines. It is the fourth largest company in the world - one of the biggest manufacturers for lifting equipment. The variety is really important about HYSTER – this is the brand producing the widest range of lifting machines.
Together with HYSTER, we can deliver practically everything - from the simplest manual pallet lifter, through electric pallet trucks, pallet stackers, reach trucks, to the Diesel and LPG forklifts with a load capacity up to 30 tons. HYSTER container handlers are the strongest range of the brand.
HYSTER is an American brand. Machines destined to the European market are manufactured in European factories – Italy, The Netherlands, and Northern Ireland. In Bulgaria are a lot of operating machines. They were imported here, before we took over the distribution. But customers and the market have encouraged us to become the exclusive representative of the brand.
Most often, our clients requests are to find out for them the complete solution for their warehouse or storage space, starting from racking systems or automated storage systems, go through the software that manages these systems and finish with all the internal logistics for cargo handling: warehousing, loading, unloading, in-warehouse transport, etc.
The market itself and our customers showed us the direction we have to develop HYSTER in Bulgaria.
Often for one project, we have to take in consideration several factors such as: to comply, what kind of warehouse or production system to choose for the client, with what kind of machines to combine with, to find out the most appropriate solution for the customer and last, but not least - to be profitable for him as an investment.
- Since when are you representatives of the HYSTER brand?
We have the exclusive HYSTER representation for Bulgaria since 2016.
We started also to offer service. Recently, we have focused our efforts on reorganizing this material handling service activity. We used to count on subcontractors, but we decided that the service activity will also be organized mainly by us. So now, we are providing better after-sales service. We believe this is an added value - a complete and long-term solution for our partners and clients.
So our focus is not only on to the sale and delivery of lifting equipment. For us, the warranty terms and post-warranty support is also more than important. The maintenance of well-functioning material handling machines is very significant for us.
- Who are your major clients for these machines and the more significant projects?
CARGO-PARTNER - their new logistics center in Sofia is fully equipped with HYSTER lifting equipment. They use almost our entire range of electric trucks, reach trucks to servicing their Racking System and forklifts for loading and unloading activities.
TRANSPRESS - all their logistics centers are counting on our machines. One of our latest successful contract is the delivering of two very interesting machines to Dunapack – a leading manufacturer of packing and corrugated cardboard. These new special seven-tone machines are from the HYSTER SPACESAVER forklift fleet. They are designed to work in the most limited space possible. In the same time they are made to handle really heavy loads. They are equipped with special attachments and clamps, designed to work specifically for the needs of our partners industry.
We are currently expecting the delivery of Material Handling Machines for several major projects. The first of them is for the company Parallel Ltd. from Sevlievo - a leading mattresses manufacturer and furniture producer. They bought a whole range of brand new HYSTER machines from us - mostly electric ones.
- Tell us more about other interesting projects you are working on and in particular - in the field of the Automated Warehouses?
One of the major projects, implemented last year in the field of Storage Technologies and Automation was the completely new Automated Warehouse of the company KALINEL - High Rack warehouse with 3 Automated Racking Pallet Manipulators (ARPM), equipped with fork platforms, serving over 10 120 pallet positions.
This project was fully implemented by STAMH - from the initial design to the final implementation.
- Which are the most interesting and innovative products you offer to your customers?
I can share with you, we are focusing on products, machines and solutions, aiming full automation of all processes in the warehouse and production spaces. From the begging of this year, for example, STAMH-TECH is offering a Robotic Cleaning Machine for airport terminals, warehouses, production facilities and much more. The main advantage of this machine is that it has its own service station, making it completely autonomous. This station charges the machine with water, drains the dirty water and charges the batteries in the same time. This way it cleans itself without the need for an operator. I can tell you that we are already noticing serious interest regarding this cleaning machine. There are customers who are looking for this kind of type of machines and would like to test it.
On the other hand, when it comes to lifting and transport equipment, HYSTER innovations goes in two directions:
- One of them is related to warehousing - mostly, the development of autonomous machines or AGV machines. These are automated machines, performing certain activities and functions of cargo handling without an operator.
- The other area, we are focusing our efforts with HYSTER in Bulgaria are innovations with integrated lithium-ion batteries. The smaller HYSTER’s trucks are already equipped with this kind of batteries, our aim is to transfer this technology to larger and heavier machines. New models are now being developed, powered by lithium-ion batteries with a high load capacity of 8 tons and up. This is something that the market demands and is already looking for.
- Which are the main branches of STAMH Group?
STAMH is the main part of the holding and works mainly on Complete Automated Solutions and Storage Systems for warehouses and industrial areas. HYSTER-BG is our branche for Material Handling Machines. STAMH-TECH offers Professional Cleaning Machines as well as Automatic and Semi-automatic Packaging Machines. Most of the automated solutions are managed by warehouse software and solutions like WMS, TLC, PLC. Our colleagues from STAMH SOLUTIONS successfully implement them in each warehouse or storage system. STAMH-SERVICE performs Installation, Inspection and Services of all storage and racking systems in order to ensure their perfect functioning.
- Since when you are in the new building?
From September. It suits us better and reflects who we really are. Our new office is only part of the recent positive development of the company. The new building reflects our growth as a company in all areas. We are feeling really well this new, modern and comfortable office. We will soon have a new warehouse also.
There we will concentrate the production of components for the Automated Warehouse Systems. There will be also situated the service for HYSTER trucks and other machines, we are offering.
- What about the new foreign branches of the STAMH group and how are they developing?
STAMH is presented in many countries - Austria, Bulgaria, Italy, North Macedonia and Albania, Russia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Romania and Moldova. The core of the company, especially the management, has been preserved.
The expansion of our business allowed us to open new offices in Bucharest, Skopje and Novi Sad. Our representative office in Moscow also works very well. STAMH engineering team develops the market of Automated Storage Systems in Europe, Asia and recently in Africa.
- What happened to your business after the pandemic situation? Did it specifically hinder your business, and how?
It certainly was and it is still a very difficult time for us. We had to reorganize our teams, so we could work remotely, but in the same way we had been working before the pandemic situation. STAMH's technical, engineering and software teams travel a lot, as our projects are all around the world. Therefore, we hope that borders will be reopened as soon as possible. Today, our work returns to its normal daily rhythm. The crisis will certainly be difficult for everyone. For all who were not prepared - it arosed out of nowhere. I think there was no company, prepared for these measures and restrictions - this led to difficulties for the business.
Having our office closed for more than two months was a real challenge for us. Regarding the commercial activity, of course, we had serious difficulties - for a large part of our team, the daily work is related to travel, meetings with clients and searching for new potential projects. Travelling was difficult; most of our partners were worried about the pandemic situation. So we switched to online meetings, phone calls and more. During this period, none of the STAMH holding companies have stopped working on our current and future projects.
- What are the new opportunities the crisis brought for you, or you still don’t know?
What everyone should do is to optimize their processes through Automation - in terms of product packaging, cleaning machines, material handling machines or mostly - Automation of the entire intralogistics warehousing process. The most logical development of this crisis should lead to increased demand for Automated Solutions. Only they can make companies independent of the direct physical staff presence and the human factor. Our goal is Industry 4.0 and smart technologies. Such technologies are no longer part of the future – they are part of the present, surrounding us. Perhaps this crisis will accelerate this process.
- Are there other companies offering complex automated solutions?
As you may understand, in some areas we are the best, in others, unfortunately, our competitors are better.
Our main strength is in the overall development of Automated Solutions and Warehousing Systems, Mobile Racking Systems, as well as all the equipment needed for the increasingly modern way in which your warehouse, logistics center or production base operates. STAMH is a leading company, not only in Bulgaria but also on the Balkan Peninsula. We are strong in the implementation of complex Software Systems and Warehouse Automation. I can say that, in those directions, we are a market leader. Up to know, STAMH is the only company in the region, able to successfully engineer and implement large-scale projects for fully Automated Warehouses.
- Are there other interesting news in STAMH Group?
STAMH has a completely new digitalization strategy. We have a new web platform. This one of our important projects, and we are working hard on it. It is taking us a lot of time and energy.
One important thing we would like to share is our communication strategy. It is not focused on flooding our partners with useless information. We strive to provide useful and interesting information. As a market leader, one of our main goals is to develop the entire sector.
- Please tell us more about the significant projects in the field of cleaning equipment.
STAMH TECH is a supplier of cleaning machines for both terminals at SOFIA Airport. We are specialists in Industrial Cleaning Machines. The airport has been renting this equipment for a long time. Afterwards they decided to buy new machines for both terminals.
At the beginning of this year we delivered a new, large cleaning machine for one of the terminals in the Varna Port - East. In 2017, Varna Port, the Devyn Terminal purchased an Outdoor Cleaning Diesel Engine Machine with a six-cubic-meters container. The cleaning conditions at Varna Port are very hard: there are bulk cargoes waste, agricultural and chemical products - everything you could possibly think of. As a result of our partnership, at the beginning of this year the port management decided to invest in new cleaning machines for the terminals of the Varna Port- East and again chose us as a supplier for this equipment. We delivered a Dulevo machine - a leader in the production of industrial professional cleaning equipment. We are pride with this project.
One of our biggest advantages, especially in the field of cleaning equipment, is our ability to deliver and service very complex and large machines, as well as to implement complex projects for industrial cleaning. Our clients for this kind of equipment are large companies in the industrial branch such as Devnya Cement, large enterprises in metallurgy such as KCM Plovdiv, enterprises in the woodworking industry, such as KRONOSPAN, the production of construction mixtures and products such as KNAUF.
- What would you say at the end of our conversation?
STAMH is established as the undisputed leader in the region in 8 main areas - Storage Systems, Automation and Conveying, Robotics, Warehouse and Packing Equipment, Material Handling Machines, Installation, Inspection and Service, Professional Cleaning Machines and Logistic Software and Automated Solutions. This way, STAMH manages to offer everything you need to have modern storage solutions.
- Something emblematic for the company?
STAMH is extremely stable and is going in the right direction. We are constantly moving forward and developing our products and services to develop our customers' business in the direction of Automated Solutions. We believe this is the future.
- What is your motto?
Something interesting that I would like to share with your readers is that STAMH is an abbreviation Storage Technologies and Material Handling.
STAMH is the Solution For Every Warehouse.