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2015.05.15

MARINE OBSERVER 84 (May 2015)

MARINE OBSERVER 84 (May 2015)

HE TOOK THE RISK BUYING THE PORT WORKSHOP. AFTER FIVE YEARS THE BALANCE IS POSITIVE.
PARTNER-SHIP IN A GOOD VIEW.

Port Central Mechanical Workshop (PCWM) in Szczecin have resisted the Polish capitalism for a long time. It only surrendered in 2010, precisely on 31st May, when the company’s bankruptcy was declared. The building in the 16 Ludowa street as well as the machinery park being inside was put on sale. The experts employed in the PCWM have confronted an important dilemma – what now?

Nobody has probably expected the problems to be solved very quickly, after only a month.

The Port Central Mechanical Workshop being in difficulty was purchased by a young entrepreneur Krzysztof Ozygała, the owner of the PARTNER-SHIP company. The graduate of Shipbuilding Technical School and the Merchant Marine Academy, but with the degree of the Maritime University in Szczecin.

How was it? Tell us, please.

- We must go back a few years, to the moment we entered the European Union.

Does it have anything in common?

- Rather symbolic, however… Undoubtedly, the changes resulting from European integration had an influence on the company’s development through the cooperation with the companies from the member countries. But later about that.

We are now in 2004. I just finished the Maritime Academy. It was rather a land specialization – exploitation of harbours and marine. I didn’t feel like working for someone, I preferred to start working on my own from the beginning. The choice of the branch was not difficult. My father was running a company performing renovations of marine power plants, so I took up supplying the spare parts to ships. I was doing very well. The company was developing, the turnover went up, yet in one moment I felt that was not enough, I was missing something to be fully satisfied.

Accidentally, I discovered the possibility to purchase the Port Central Machinery Workshop which was in difficulty. I felt the potential there. I took the risk and on July 1st 2010 the machines and the tools became the property of my company. Also a group of the best professionals, some of them with 40-year experience, so far working for the PCMW moved to work for the PARTNER-SHIP. From selling the parts we moved to metalwork and building small steel constructions and renovating the machines and devices.

It will soon be five years. Maybe it’s worth giving a brief resume?

- I don’t regret that decision. And since the balance is positive, it makes me happier, which doesn’t mean the company has reached everything. It’s true that the employment level has risen, the turnout has gone up, we have broadened the scope for action. I see, however, we can do more. And we will surely do more.

The jubilee resolution?

- It sounds like the habits of the Polish People’s Republic.

I was kidding.

- To my business’ credit, I have significantly eradicated the PPR from the surrounding reality. There have been lots of bad habits until recently. I couldn’t believe it myself. Fortunately, much has changed for the better.

And other pluses?

The employment has increased mostly in manufacturing. Also the team dealing with preparing production, designing and pricing as well as customer service is bigger.

Within the five years’ time we have gone outside Szczecin, started to provide services in the whole country and abroad. We are present in Denmark, Germany and on a few other European markets.

Initially, the orders from naval companies were predominant. Now, we have entered the market of wind power stations, and we have more and more orders from construction industries and companies working for the defense.

You’ve said it is not all, it’s not enough.

- We are planning to extend the production of small naval parts, fancy articles that are always missing on the ships, such as hinges, clamps, grip clips… the list could go on.

We would like to own a design office. It is true that we do some basic projects, but I notice the need to improve and develop such an activity. We will combine a practitioner’s longstanding experience with a young theoretician’s (who is highly adept at computer drawing) skills. I am convinced that in such a way we will create something new and cool. The client will have a choice between his/her project given to us to implement, and the offer prepared for him/her by our team.

Don’t you feel short-staffed? Good professionals are few and far between.

Couple of years ago the vocational education collapsed. Everybody wanted to be the managers and deal with marketing, and next governments were pleased to observe the increasing percentage of the educated. Now, when we lack young specialized personnel, a strenuous reconstruction of the ruined system has begun.

Nowadays it is essential to combine business with education. I understand and feel it perfectly. That is why I am not complaining about vocational and technical schools’ decline, but I act to change the situation at least when it comes to my company’s needs.

As PARTNER-SHIP we have initiated dialogues with the West Pomeranian Center of Marine and Polytechnic Education on Hoża street in Szczecin. It is a difficult situation as I may accept only half a class for internship, and what about the rest? Me must reach consensus, organize the syllabus in such a way that everybody – the school, students and the company – could benefit from it.

We would also like to take similar action to cooperate with the West Pomeranian University of Technology. I can see many possibilities to use the potential of the school, students and young scientists.

The resume cannot be comprised only of pluses, as it is hard to believe. There must be some minuses.

- Are you looking for minuses? Certainly, I can see them, however, they have much broader dimension. The context is national, as it might be described.

It was 2000 year. I was taking the high-school exams at Shipbuilding Technical School. I had good occupational perspectives as I was sure to get a job in the shipyard. If I hadn’t decided to take up studies and start my own business, I don’t know how my life would look now.

You’d go to England or Norway to earn the living

- No, I wouldn’t. I am a true-born man of Szczecin. It is here that I was born, brought up and educated. It is here that I work, employ people and pay taxes. And since I am a local patriot I care about my city and I praise it. I wouldn’t go abroad for work.

True, I am a bit disappointed with Szczecin economic situation over the past few years, especially with the collapse of the shipyard industry. Fortunately, the entrepreneurs of a broadly defined industry are constantly looking for new solutions, reaching new clients also outside the borders of our country, striving for foreign investments. That has a major influence on creating the work places and the development of Szczecin.

Let us add the authorities’ care about the development of infrastructure. Szczecin has impressive achievements, which makes it famous in Europe as well.

The city pluses and minuses are the topic for a long converstation, so maybe next time. Thank you for now.

JACEK JASIEWICZ

PARTNER-SHIP deal with metal working and constructing various small steel structures. It makes and regenerates whole gears, anchor-mooring lifts, ship equipment elements, parts os machines and factory-scale equipment, tools, instrumentation and much more elements.

The machinery park comprises of lathes, millers, grinders, slotters, gear shapers, boring machines, gear hobbing machines, drillers and other machines used to metal working.

An important part of our business is designing. Thanks to it the PARTNER-SHIP offers its clients complex services.

The company co-operates, among others, with factories dealing with hardening and tempering and chemical toughening, coating steel with zinc, chromium or various painting coats.

The PARTNER-SHIP carries out orders for shipbuilding industry, construction industry, the army, power industry and harbours.

The company follows the rule: Every client is equally important regardless of the amount and value of the order.

MARINE OBSERVER 84 (May 2015)
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