The beginning of the 90’s was a time of great political and economic changes in Poland. For some, it was a great moment to grasp the dynamics of capitalism, for others, looking at the bigger picture – like Stefan Dobak, Dr. Eng., President of the Management Board of Remark-Kayser – to build the foundations of a new future.
Opportunities during the transformation
The economy at that time was not oriented towards upholding basic human values, but on getting rich as individuals and making the first money. But while most people, enthralled by the opened borders, were engaged in mere commerce, importing foreign goods, the President of the current Remark-Kayser saw an opportunity beyond financial goals. He based his long-term vision on developing innovative technology and marketing domestic products. The main goal was to be environmentally friendly and to increase the comfort and health of people living in an increasingly industrialized environment.
The first steps of an entrepreneur require not only vision, but also determination
An undefined and practically non-existent market made acquiring customers a very difficult task.However, the engineering spirit of the inventor-constructor, spiced with personal qualities of Remark’s boss, such as persistence and diligence, made it possible for the company he led to create its own niche in the dynamically developing industry in the era of young Polish capitalism in the 90’s of the 20th century.
An unprecedented leader in the dust collection industry
Participation in national and international trade fairs and countless in-depth discussions on dust emissions allowed Dr. Dobak to form his own business idea. It was directly related both to the knowledge and skills gained from his alma mater – the Poznań University of Technology – and to environmental protection. Using his experience and innovative thinking focused on specialization, he became a pioneer and expert in solving dust separation problems in our country.
In those years, the technology of dust collection units was imported from abroad under a top-down order, and hardly anyone in Poland had ever heard of the filter bags themselves. These were imported as ordinary spare parts, without any clear specification. On the other hand, the founder of Remark, who wanted to optimize the functioning of industrial dust collectors, managed to establish a fruitful cooperation with process engineers and manufacturers of dust collecting equipment, among others from Kowent, a company which pioneered in this field in Poland.
Encouraging people to use the new technology and making them aware of the need to care about air pollution, as well as helping them solve their problems in this respect, became the main tasks for the production and service company Remark Industrie (RI) established in 1992 by the President. The company’s first successes were with customers from cement works, who were able to overcome the problems they encountered thanks to new technological concepts developed by RI, which were already remarkable at the time. After professional selection of the right material and precise adaptation of the filter bag design to the respective plant, the freshly manufactured goods were successfully delivered to the customers.
The foundation of Remark-Kayser and a period of dynamic growth
Several years of RI’s well-established market activities aimed at serving an emerging niche in the filtration industry, as well as the promising nature of this business, revealed new opportunities. Advanced business talks took place between Remark-Industrie and its existing supplier of the main raw material, i.e. the needle felt manufacturer with a tradition of more than three hundred years, A. Kayser GmbH & CO.KG, and the decision was taken to set up a company. As a result of an agreement between both shareholders – already 25 years ago – on November 25, 1995 Remark-Kayser Sp. z o. o. was established under the leadership of the President of the Board, Stefan Dobak, Dr. Eng. as we know it today.
The following years of hard work allowed the company to strengthen its position in the country and to become more and more visible in the international arena. Poland’s accession to the European Union in 2004 was also a breakthrough moment, which greatly facilitated cross-border logistics and strengthened relations with a number of qualified suppliers of raw materials of European quality. Another milestone directly influencing the speed and flexibility of delivery of goods manufactured at Remark-Kayser was our country’s joining the Schengen Agreement in 2007, which allowed us to streamline our production management model using the just-in-time logistics method.
After more than ten years in the dust collection business and bringing Remark-Kayser to a stable company level, the CEO – always looking ahead – made two key decisions. In 2003, Remark-Kayser’s headquarters were moved to a larger facility in Batorowo, an industrial zone near Poznan, where it continues to operate (after further expansion). Seizing the momentum, the President also led to the launch of a separate, new filtration division, i.e. the production of goods from the field of air conditioning and ventilation (HVAC), such as pocket and cassette filters. During this time, the growing core of the company gradually crystallized as the various divisions began to grow and take shape.
It was not long after we had settled into our new facility, equipped with modern machinery, that the global economic crisis hit Poland in 2008/9. Difficult as it was, Remark-Kayser withstood the tough market conditions and emerged unscathed, thanks to decisive steps taken by the CEO and coordinated action by its employees. Unlike so many companies at the time, Remark-Kayser closed 2009, and the previous year, on a positive note with another increase in revenue.
The biggest leap in the scale of Remark-Kayser’s business came in 2011, when the company was proud to have another financial year closed with positive results and over 40% growth. The expansion path of Remark-Kayser – which has already for several years been among the most dynamically developing small and medium enterprises showing financial growth tendencies – is clearly visible in the Business Gazelle rankings (annually organized by economic dailies belonging to the Swedish Bonnier publishing group – in Poland publisher of “Puls Biznesu”).
This success, apart from a consistently implemented production and sales plan by a seasoned team, was due to further bold strategic decisions and successfully undertaken new challenges. These definitely included the implementation of the third branch of business activity, i.e. liquid filtration, and the establishment of partner companies – the effect of many years of efforts and fostering solid relations with counterparties from eastern markets, i.e. first of all the CIS countries. Remark-Kayser’s ventures and cooperations in other regions, e.g. Western Europe, North Africa and Middle East, were also of significance.
Taking care of a transparent management system in the organization, Remark-Kayser takes pride in being certified (first certification: 1999) PN-EN ISO 9001, as well as ISO 14001. In the spirit of continuous improvement, in order to further increase the potential of the company and prepare it to efficiently serve an increasing number of clients, a computer ERP system duly integrated with the production module in accordance with the concept of Industry 4.0 was introduced in 2013.
In recent years, our activities have largely focused on the new concepts of our Research and Development department. An achievement particularly worth noting is the acquisition of patent protection for our innovative solution, appreciated in various applications and used in many countries around the world, concerning a special seam sealing that helps significantly reduce dust emissions (RKDTD seam sealing – patent no. EP3283190 of 2018. S. Dobak, T. Tyszkiewicz, P. Dobak).
Our values and plans for the future
As you can see from Remark-Kayser’s twenty-five year history – and even longer career of the CEO – we are a strong team that works together for our success. We know that a company must be dynamic and constantly evolve, which is why over the years our organisation has reached successive stages of development, constantly adapting to the changing market conditions. The current pandemic situation is another such challenge. Thanks to our flexibility, we were able to react quickly, put the right safety procedures in place and once again adapted. We are continuously reviewing and updating our plans; it is vital to always be ready for change.
What remains constant for us is our main goal – to solve technical problems efficiently, to serve our customers at the highest level and to make a positive contribution to the environment in which we all live.