IS THE BACKBONE OF METALAC
Metalac was founded in 1959 in the city of Gornji Milanovac 110 kilometers south of Belgrade. At the very beginning it dealt with sheet metal and carpentry but next year already it got acquainted with enameling and cookware manufacture, to become famous of throughout Yugoslavia having at that time 20 million inhabitants.
Though over the years company’s business spread to production of carton packing materials, sinks and water heaters, composite materials and different trading activities retailing included, the cookware production has always been the core business of the company and frame for development of the Metalac brand.
Metalac today has 15 daughter companies, 2.200 employees, 3.000 business partners. It exports its products to more than 40 countries and has over 6 million customers a year. It is one of the healthiest companies in Serbia.
- 1959-1969: FROM AN ARTISAN WORKSHOP TO COOKWARE FACTORY
- 1969-1979: STRATEGIC ADJUSTMENTS
- 1979-1989: EXPANSION OF PRODUCTION AND PLACEMENT
- 1989-1999: THE ECONOMIC JEWEL OF THE NINETIES
- 1999-2009: NEW PRODUCTS AND INVESTMENT ENGINEERING
- 2009 – TODAY: NEW INVESTMENTS AND ENTERING THE PROCESS DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION
FROM AN ARTISAN WORKSHOP TO COOKWARE FACTORY
Just one year after foundation, in 1960 the Metalac has started for the first time a new technology of enameling. In cooperation with the Sloboda, company from Cacak, it produced the first white bucket with blue spots - forty years later that very bucket was built in the foundations of the modern Business center of the Metalac Company. Thank to circumstances, more than to strategic planning, the Metalac bought from Sloboda the first press and the first chamber oven for enamel and has soon after that taken over the whole program of cookware production. Following the bucket, the Metalac produced a large can for pork fat and lard, bowls, baking pans, frying pans, caldrons, milk canisters, a pot used by workers for lunch, and from 1963 it had made zinc coated cookware.
In the period of the initial expansion, it took a lot of efforts to affirm the Metalac as a company that produces good quality and safe cookware, in order to gain trust of the consumers.
Thanks to intensive industrial development, Gornji Milanovac has become known as the “economic miracle” of the former Yugoslavia. However, in spite of huge break through, the Metalac was at the end of the row of cookware producers. The period of strategic adjustment followed. Investments were mostly made into automatic processes and updating of the production processes, bearing in mind ever growing competition, and the fact that consumers’ demands were clearer than ever before.
All along, the Metalac has been widening its program and assortments, improving technological processes of enameled cookware, and has established a new line of heavy cookware with the edge made of stainless steel, that was later on improved with bakelite handles and improved technology of decoration. However, the most important moments for the Metalac were the first export jobs to Germany for a company Jakubait, and the USA for the National Silver Company. The first export articles were Takovo Special, cookware Majda, Vesna, Zora…
EXPANSION OF PRODUCTION AND PLACEMENT
The Metalac made pans were in almost every household in a state of 20 million inhabitants. In spite of significant development and improvement, watched from the inside of the company, our enterprise still had a hard life. Our workers in metal complex were far behind the standard of other companies from Milanovac, that the whole country was proud of. In such conditions, the Metalac, which was now in its third decade of existence, prioritized its activities into expansion of production and placement on the domestic and foreign market, and in parallel, it adjusted to the new time and the new needs and necessities.
Production of the aluminum cookware has started also. The whole line of assortment was packed in card boxes. The attention was now focused even more on the quality of the whole process and on the final products, to further improvement of the organization process. The better part of the third decade was characterized by stabile and successful business, and that meant a steady growth of capital which is a precondition for financing new projects by the factory’s own financial means. The Metalac by that time had 1,400 workers, more than half of them were still non-qualified, or only semi-qualified. Good thing was that highly educated staff has become more available than before.
THE ECONOMIC JEWEL OF THE NINETIES
In that decade the Metalac has reaffirmed and reconfirmed the saying that hard times can also be an opportunity, if right decisions are made. Dissolution of former Yugoslavia, followed by all horrors of the war and the introduction of sanctions of the International community, accompanied by economic crisis, and bombing of the state, meant loss of some markets and less income than has been anticipated. On the other hand however, the Metalac started the forth decade with appointment of the new leadership and management.
So in 1994, the Metalac first started producing non-stick cookware. Two years later, in a newly built hall, it started to produce stainless steel sinks. In 1995, Metalac started production of good quality transport packing material and of bakelite elements for cookware program. That has enabled Metalac to appear on the international markets with its own best-quality packing.
In September 1999 another Metalac factory with most up to date line for production of the stainless steel cookware was opened. At the beginning of nineties there were two important things for prosperity of Metalac and cookware factory of course. The first was the ownership transformation that started in 1991, and was finished by paying for the shares upon their revalorization. It was done so thoroughly, that by the end of the decade 90% of the shares belonged to the current and former workers of Metalac. In December 1994, the Metalac was the first in Yugoslavia to receive JUS ISO 9001 standard for the complete production process, and in June 1995, it obtained the international certificate of German TUV. The number of high educated staff was also doubled and amounted to 75 economists and engineers.
NEW PRODUCTS AND INVESTMENT ENGINEERING
This fifth decade of the Metalac took place between the year of bombing in Serbia and the year of global economic crisis. In the fifth decade the Metalac wrote very important pages of its future history. First of all there is slow passage of the Metalac into a holding organization having 12 subsidiaries, as a consequence of its progress in all the aspects. In this new organization Metalac Cookware is the biggest production subsidiary nd the core business.
Durring this decade Metalac Cookware enters production of decor transfers for enamel cookwareand builds the warehouse of raw materials, starts production of aluminum non-stick cookware... Quality and Ecology Management Systems were integrated and passage made to Baan ERP software platform. Construction of waste water treatment plant was finalized after 15 years of continuous upgrading. This project was example of good industrial practice and together with other various activities performed by the company in view of ecology, capital, employees and the community, it brught a prescious award to Metalac for social responsibility »CSR Serbia Award 2008«.
All this time exports have continuously grown and freign markets widened. During this period Metalac Cookware has won the greatest number of awards and recognitions, firstly as a famous brand.
JUBILEE CHALLENGED BY WORLD CRISIS
In April 2009 the company Metalac a.d. celebrated 50th anniversary in the presence of the Serbian Prime Minister, President of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, President of the Central bank and other 300 local and foreign partners, most of them cooperating and relating to Metalac production and marketing of cookware to over 25 world markets.
The world crisis escalated. With lower income than in 2008 Metalac Cookware, as the whole company made profit. With controlled optimism and relying upon internal reserves, the costs were carefully managed and resulted in absolute stability of the company that didn’t dismiss workers and kept all its markets. Several new products were developed, too.
In 2010 and 2011 Metalac Cookware already marks income growth and exports as well, particularly to Finland, Russia, USA ...
The year 2012 will be remembered as one of the best in Metalac history with growth of total income, profit and exports. Such trend could not be kept in 2013 however the year ended with better results than the previous. In 2014 Metalac had been pronounced for the corporate brand of the year. Product portfolio was expanded with automotive parts in 2015, by purchasing the local producer - company FAD. In 2017 Metalac established a new company, Metalac Digital, to be in charge for online sales support and digital promotion.