Vestel Beyaz Eşya Global Purchasing Director Kemal Özgür
September 2012

Dear Readers of BEYSAD;

We are happy to be in your presence with yet another main industry representative. As BEYSAD, we have continuous communication with main industry representatives in the course of our works. However, we are also of the opinion that it is quite beneficial to get to know them better and introduce them to you through these interviews. We believe it is important for our supply industry’s development that they communicate the messages they would like to give to suppliers through us.

Our guest in this issue is once again from Vestel. We are hosting Mr. Kemal Özgür, Global Purchasing Director of Vestel Beyaz Eşya, both in order to congratulate him on his new position and to get better acquaintance with him. He was kind enough to put a great deal of effort and support us in spite of his busy schedule. His assistant dear Mrs. Zeliha also helped us greatly in this regard. Taking this opportunity, we extend our heartfelt gratitude and believe that their success will also make our industry more successful.

Mr. Kemal Özgür, could you please tell us about yourself and your career so far?

I am an industrial engineer. I started my career at Peg-Profilo Technical Services Department. In 1997, I served in the establishment of Vestel Beyaz Eşya’s Refrigerator and Washing Machine factories. I am currently Vestel Beyaz Eşya’s Global Purchasing Director. 

Where do you stand on the management chart?

I am heading the operation through which all purchases of Vestel Beyaz Eşya’s factories in Turkey and Russia are carried out. I work under Vestel Beyaz Eşya’s General Management. 

What is your opinion about the position white goods industry has achieved in Turkey? Where does Vestel stand in this development?

Turkey has become Europe’s largest white goods manufacturer. Yet, this is still not adequate. We pursued European manufacturers for many years and today we are competing against them in technology and products. It is our belief that we will further improve this favorable situation with the other companies in the sector. 

It would be nice to benefit from your experiences in other countries. Could you please compare the white goods supply industry in Turkey and abroad?

Significant differences arise as a result of the cultures in other countries. Whereas a European company displays competitiveness at the beginning step in order to get the job, a Far Eastern company can become more competitive as more work is done and relations gradually improve. 

In Turkey, this relationship differs from company to company. Firms with a strong financial structure are capable of establishing partnership relations with the main industry; they can adopt a continuous improvement principle as a result of the awareness that comes with simultaneous growth. Quality workforce in Turkey is also a supporting factor to this growth.

Where are Vestel’s facilities in Turkey and around the globe located? What goods are manufactured there?

Vestel Beyaz Eşya maintains two large-scale production centers in Manisa and Alexandrow city in Russia. We call our facility in Manisa “Vestel City”. It is the only white goods factory in Europe possessing the largest enclosed area. 

What percent of your production in Turkey do you export, and to which countries? Could we please learn your opinions on competition conditions as well as your opinions on the countries and brands you consider rivals in the domestic and foreign market?

We export approximately 80% of our production in Turkey. We export to 138 countries, mainly European ones. White goods industry is a very competitive market; it is vital to stay fast and competitive here. As Vestel Beyaz Eşya we are capable of providing the services our customers expect in a very short time. 

I do know that Vestel greatly emphasizes sustainable development, innovation and energy efficiency. Could you please inform us on recent developments in this subject?

In terms of energy efficiency, all our products sold domestically are highly energy-efficient goods. In 2012 IFA fair, we presented our products which are the least energy and water consuming white goods of the world. We explore this subject continuously. It is our aim to include additional features in all our new products which will offer greater satisfaction and ease-of-use to our customers. 

Can you tell us about your R&D activities?

Vestel is one of Turkey’s strongest R&D companies. In 2012, Vestel’s R&D Center was awarded the first place in Patent category by the Minister of Industry. Additionally, we were awarded the grand prize in White Goods category at “The Most Innovative Brand” competition organized by “Plus X” in Germany. We continue our R&D investments to further and maintain this success. 

Are all the purchasing operations for all Vestel facilities managed from Turkey? What is the workflow?

The entirety of Vestel’s purchasing operations is managed from our headquarters in Manisa. Local purchases of our factory in Russia are carried out in coordination with the purchasing team located in Alexandrov. Our sourcing office in Shanghai provides service to Turkey in terms of supplier research/utilization in the Far East. 

What are Vestel’s greatest expectations / criteria from its supply industries in purchases? How are purchasing processes conducted?

As Vestel, we are interested in doing business with long-term partners with whom we have mutual trust and who are capable of supporting sustainable growth with innovative ideas. Among the principal criteria we look for in our suppliers are the possession of quality standards, proficiency in production technologies, and having production planning and logistics skills. 

What is the most significant problem you experience with your suppliers? Could you please evaluate this issue in terms of quality, logistics, and price?

We prefer to work with our suppliers beginning from the design phase for the goods they manufacture. Considering the heavy competition today, if the prices of goods get out of the manufacturers’ control and go on a rising trend, competing on a price basis would become even harder. Therefore, today, making a difference in the market is only possible by innovative products/components. 

In terms of purchasing, our need for suppliers who can provide us with competitive advantage in product design is ever-growing. Furthermore, we are working to have the TPM (Total Productive Maintenance) used in Vestel Group Companies implemented in our supplier firms. We encourage our suppliers to pursue continuous improvement in their own manufacturing efficiency.

Could you please compare your domestic and foreign suppliers with their positive and negative sides? If certain countries are “superior”, about which subjects would you make such an evaluation, what superior sides does the “superior” one possess?

Turkey has a significant superiority in that it has a highly-trained, young, active, dynamic and hard-working population. It is our belief that we will obtain good results if we direct this workforce correctly. In the Far East, on the other hand, there is a huge market created by high populations, which entails an important advantage in terms of quantity for the manufacturers there. This condition makes Far Eastern manufacturers quite competitive. 

Do you perform joint efforts with your suppliers? If you do so, at which steps does this happen?

In our R&D efforts we prefer to conduct joint studies with our suppliers at the concept level. In order to become competitive both in terms of price and quality, we are aiming to benefit from the valuable ideas and contributions of our expert suppliers beginning from the design phase. 

Which subjects would you recommend for the supply industry to invest in Turkey? Would it be possible for suppliers to unite under BEYSAD and manufacture certain components not produced in Turkey? Would you support such an undertaking??

In Turkey, we obtain almost the entire supply of compressor/engine/pump, etc. components from abroad. Our very few suppliers manufacturing these components are not competitive in terms of price. Therefore, we would like to support the firms which would be interested in making investments to this end. 

What is your supplier policy? Do you have any messages for them?

We expect our suppliers to improve themselves all the time in the context of continuous development. We expect them to keep up with the new trends, new technologies and be competitive all the time. 

Our works for the White Goods Supply Industry Strategy Paper are about to be finished and we have been receiving great support from you and your colleagues at Vestel. Even though it is about to be completed, what are your expectations from this strategy paper? Which subjects would you want to see discussed?

I believe this strategy paper that is being drafted will be an important document for the improvement of our current situation by making it sustainable. It is my opinion that this paper will constitute a road map which should be closely followed so the white goods industry can achieve its goals. 

Our expectations from the white goods supply industry strategy paper are;

  • The requirements for strengthening the R&D infrastructure of supply industries should be determined, and efforts in parallel to these requirements should be initiated.
  • Strategies should be established for new investments. 

What are your opinions on and expectations from BEYSAD? As the supply industry of Turkey, what else can we do for you in addition to the strategy paper?

We can easily say that BEYSAD contributed greatly to carry our supply industry to this level. This strong supply industry makes it possible for the main industry to stand stronger and create an advantage for itself. BEYSAD is performing a very important task in that, it allows not only a few supply companies but rather the entire supply industry to improve itself and attain higher standards. I think it would be beneficial for BEYSAD to establish highly-populated project teams specializing on certain subjects specific to our industry.

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