Question: Could you please share the data about your activities, employment, and capacity size with us by informing us about your company?
Sedat Guney: Veldo Technology is one of Aldo Group's affiliates, operating for 42 years and was established in 2007 in Mersin University Technology Development Zone Technopark. R&D and P&D studies continue intensively about hidden automatic sliding door systems, electric automatic slide-out step and security systems, air conditioning products, and special project products. Within the scope of its wide product range, mass production, sales, and after-sales activities continue at an intensive and ever-developing pace. Moreover, it makes a difference in the sector with its innovative and customer-oriented perspective that rapidly develops customer-specific solutions and the latest technologies. Veldo Corporation, which has been operating in Mersin for a long time in its establishment and thereafter, embarked on its Istanbul adventure with Ataşehir Veldo factory in 2015, with an area of 1200 m2. In parallel with the Istanbul organization's development, we made a new investment. We moved to our factory with a closed area of 4000 m2 in ITOSB (Istanbul Tuzla Organized Industrial Zone) in April 2017. Our developing product structure and organization have formed the need for new investment. In this context, the factory land has been bought in TAYSAD Organized Industrial Zone, and the construction will start in April 2021. We aim to complete our factory building, designed as a total closed area of 18000 m2, in 1 year. With more than 80 employees and an annual production capacity of 400000 units, Veldo Technology sees it as its mission to provide innovative solutions for commercial vehicle customers. It follows technical developments closely by receiving consultancy services from faculty members at the engineering faculties of universities. For Veldo Technology, which adapts to the quality conditions required by the ever-changing and developing world conditions, it is critically important to provide services and solutions that meet the customer's expectations by understanding them most accurately and ensuring customer satisfaction after it.
Q: Which issues did your company put a signature in the sense of growth, capacity, new investment, new project, new product, r&d work, additional facility investment, and the foreign market concerning 2020? Could you please give information about the budget you allocated for your investments and the contributions it will make to your company?
S.G.: Although 2020 was a pandemic year, it was a successful year for Veldo. It has been a year in a commercial sense and changing the perspective, remodeling business manners and investment strategies. Our infrastructure works, the investments we made in our human resources, electronic software R&D installation and investments, investments in foreign marketing have all been success stories per se. Our hidden sliding door and step systems have already been our lifeblood in Turkey via our primary industry and dealers, as it was for many years. There is no end to development. Therefore, although there are revisions according to customer demands, we can say that these products are now rooted. We had the opportunity to contact many points with our air conditioning products. When we look at 2020, on the export side, we have exported to 38 countries. Export turnover increased by 28% compared to the previous year. 35% of our total turnover comes from exports. Veldo products are used in 73 countries, and we reached 300 regular customers. One of our most important goals is to increase this rate even more in 2021. For this cause, we are expanding our export team by employing new professionals. Although no international fairs organized in 2020, we are adding strength to our strength with the distributorships in Germany, Poland, and the Netherlands that have just joined us.
Q: Will you make new investments in 2021? Could you please give detailed information about the content, amount, starting time, and the contributions of your investment? What are your objectives?
S.G.: In 2021, our targets are much higher, and we have started the year very fast. We have declared 2021 as a "key year" to achieve our goals within the scope of Vision 2025. So, our subject for the year 2021 is; Key Year / Breakthrough and Competition. This year, we aim to produce new innovative products and proceed more effectively path in all markets. We are activating many of our innovative products not done before in the automotive sector, where both technological and commercial returns will be high and commercial benefits will be provided for customers, this year. Our projects and factory investment, which we heard footsteps in 2020 but will be activated in 2021:
Vboard Step Systems:
New products have been added with 170mm press surface as a new addition to our Mercedes Vito, Mercedes Viano, Ford Custom, VW Transporter, VW Caravelle new generation step systems we started up in 2020. Our latest technology product group, whose field tests were completed in January 2021 and is compatible with VW Crafter, Mercedes Sprinter, Ford Transit vehicles, has started serial production with the new IP69 engine, with a new 230 mm press surface series. Works have been completed for the Ford Ranger, and serial production has started. Vehicle assemblies were made. Works continue for SUV and off-road vehicles.
Brushless Mini Servo Motor:
Another critical and strategic product of 2021 is the "engine". We aim to reduce costs and eliminate our dependence on suppliers by using it in our own products. The next stage will be the meeting of Veldo Motor with buyers around the world. We believe that the engine will become an important source of income in a short time.
Smart Baggage Lift Systems:
Our automatic baggage lifting systems for all commercial vehicles will be on the market as of June 2021. Field tests are currently being made, and we think there will be a serious potential in a short time. The software is 100% Veldo Technology design and production. The most critical parameter in such applications is to have safe and intelligent software. In case of a defect, the defect source is determined by connecting to the vehicle remotely and the problem can be solved rapidly. Our software, which has been studied and finalized in 2 years, is designed for every vehicle type.
Vsenst Vision Technology:
We will launch our project, which is almost a digital revolution in public transportation in May 2021. We form a serious product group with AI, which will be released with 100% Veldo Technology production and software. With Veldo applications, it will be easily accessible from mobile phones, computers, and any platform. Let this much information be enough for now.
It causes difficulties for us when considering achieving all these developments and goals mentioned so far, although our current location is in a closed area of 4000 m2. In 1 year, it will be impossible for it to be sufficient beyond difficulties. As we foresee this situation, the project works for the second factory of Veldo Technology, which is planned to have a closed area of approximately 18000 m2 on the land we bought in TAYSAD 2 years ago, has been finalized. We will be laying the foundations of our new factory in May 2021. In this facility, we will implement many innovative projects within the scope of the 2025 targets. We will start producing products that are not being made in Turkey, produced by only a few companies worldwide who keep their monopoly. We have already begun to prepare our machine parks for these productions and have ordered them.
Q: What are the most critical problems you have in the sector? Can you describe your solution proposals?
S.G.: Although we have a patent or utility model, the biggest problem we are experiencing in the current period is the copying rate and the lack of systems to deter the copying party adequately. R&D processes are incredibly difficult, lengthy and they require investing in a and bottomless well continuously. The relevant patent and utility model is the requital of so much investment, risk, and effort. However, unfortunately, this area in our country does not get the value and attention it deserves. This is an issue that must be addressed from our point of view. Another critical issue is the difficulty of reaching qualified human resources in both blue-collar and white-collar. Although it supports production, the education system cannot help young people's upbringing at the same rate. Under these circumstances, we must either continue with low qualified people, train inexperienced friends or employ/retain experienced friends with high salaries. We would have liked that we can educate, develop our friends and pay the highest salaries to all of them. But unfortunately, competition in the sector, low profit margins, high interest rates, taxes do not allow us to realize whatever we are dreaming of every time.However, despite everything, we are determined to implement the "Veldo academy" project this year. I do not want to give a name because it is not clear yet, but we also try to cooperate with one of Turkey's very prestigious universities. To talk about the project;
Researches since the beginning of the 21st century show that there are
- Sense of Belonging
- Career planning
- Being evaluated according to performance
- Being priced based on performance
- Subsidiary income or services
among the main motivations of both the white-collar team and the laborintensive professionals who are described as blue-collar professionals.
Development is being targeted in 2 aspects, with Veldo academy:
- Standardization of recruitment, orientation, and training processes of new teams
- Rewarding the current squad depending on the training, development, and development performance
Although the project steps will be detailed in the upcoming period, the basic steps are:
- Mass recruitment from technical high schools with internship or reference
- Charging a professional from the Veldo team, who is called an expert in the production/assembly of the relevant product, as a "trainer".
- Standard trainings for Veldo team and the new team
- Issuance of the appropriate "certificate" to the professional after the relevant exam/assembly/testings.
- Watching the performance and rewarding based on performance
- Preventing wrong investment by parting ways during the trial process with the employees in the new team who cannot pass the exams
- Averting the person-dependent business model by providing the level at which all Veldo products are being able to be produced or assembled by each employee.
As Veldo, we will actualize a solution of our own. But if these and such solutions can be intensified, it will relieve and develop the whole sector. It will increase employee satisfaction, and this will positively affect customer satisfaction. This is helical; education is an essential part of it.