From the First Sawmill in BiH to Production Capacity of Million Chairs a Year – Nova DIPO Soon to Open Pellet Factory
The first sawmill in BiH, founded back in 1855, Nova DIPO from Gradiska, can say with pride that it still operates successfully, featuring a full production cycle – from the logs to the finished products. The current number of employees is 366, and additional employments are possible as well, because the construction of a pellet factory that will use raw materials from the company's own production is close to completion.
– We are planning to soon open a new pellet factory within our plant, which is a considerable investment that will increase the usage rate of the raw materials, but also increase our revenues – the director of Nova DIPO, Veljko Beuk, pointed out for eKapija.
The facilities of Nova DIPO of around 24,000 m2 are located in Gornji Podgradci, on around 97,000 m2 of land. Since the company's founding in 1855, the operations have changed considerably – from the first water-powered sawmill to the state-of-the-art wood processing machines.
– Our facilities produce chairs, stairs, some types of tables and other products of similar characteristics. The most important product is the chair, which we are currently producing several models of, and the plan for the future period is to introduce both new chair models and new products – Beuk says.
He adds that nearly everything they produce is meant for export. The products of Nova DIPO are sold worldwide, in Asia, Europe and America. Their most important markets are Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Sweden...
– Nova DIPO is an example of a successful privatization, because two positive circumstances had met, which were the market demand for the production of chairs and the purchaser of the company, which at that moment bought the 100% ownership in DI Podgradci and DI Vrbas Banjaluka. Through further cooperation with the biggest purchaser of our products, IKEA, and our owner, we have developed a chair production capacity of one million a year – our interviewee points out.
Beuk says that the main raw ingredients are procured from local sources, namely, the annual agreement with the PE Sume RS, and especially from the local SG Gradiska, which provides the famous white beech, which was crucial to the opening of the first sawmill in BiH.
– The most important partner of Nova DIPO is the Swedish company IKEA, with which we have been cooperating for a number of years now. It is very important for the strategic partner to be a stable international company with a developed network of shopping center, so that our products can reach buyers worldwide. Working with IKEA is a great challenge for us, both due to the required amounts and the specifications, technical characteristics of the products and the proscribed procedures.
Beuk says that the cooperation with the local community is satisfactory. They get special support in procuring the raw materials and educating the vocational workers. Furthermore, they regularly get invited to take part in various projects carried out by the City of Gradiska.
– As for the plans for the upcoming period, we are constantly negotiating with new partners so that we would have several strong buyers with which we would enter new markets in the future. In order to survive in the market in the modern system, one must constantly follow the technical achievements and new wood processing technologies and, accordingly, procure new equipment and update the existing one – says the director of Nova DIPO.