Frank Fieger - General Manager Sibiu (Romania)

What began with three people in 2010 is now a team of 70 colleagues in our production facility in Sibiu. This Romanian city can be best described as modern and multicultural, having an airport, engineering universities and a history of its own manufacturing companies. For Aeronamic, this was the perfect place to develop a new production facility. But as you might guess, there’s more to it than meets the eye. We would like to give you an insight into how we achieve the best results with our location in Romania.

Of course, we’re not the only company to outsource part of our production process to emerging countries. In ‘our’ Sibiu, you will also find Siemens, Joyson Safety Systems, Continental, KUKA Industrial Robots and so on. That’s because of Sibiu’s competitive wages and available technical and engineering skills, which we combine with Aeronamic’s state-of-the-art equipment. As general manager, I push limits when it comes to combining these three into one formula. And, to get the best out of it, there is also a secret variable.

Specific components

Our facility here complements our location in the Netherlands. We focus on specific parts in small series – all in a high-tech and industrial environment, of course. We don’t put hands to work, but brains and skills. It comes down to our know-how of complex components and products.

Cultural skills

I’ve been living in Romania since the ‘90s. After working for a Swiss company there, I moved over to Aeronamic 6 years ago. The fact that I’m rooted in the country’s culture plays a pivotal role in our teamwork. Many people underestimate Romania, but our company has very skilled people. There is a self-supporting culture with a background in fine mechanical skills. Romania has always had its own manufacturing companies, but we couldn’t make use of all those great assets if we as Aeronamic didn’t have the cultural skills to match. That’s what completes our formula for best value. Our secret variable. You can’t just barge in with your Western way of doing things and assume it’s universal. To avoid a culture clash, you need to connect with the culture.

Learn and grow

If we want to push limitations and take Aeronamic to a higher level, we’ve got to do this together as a team. It’s a joint effort. Notice how we approach our facility in Sibiu. We let people learn and grow. We let them adapt things to their own liking. And from this, Aeronamic as a whole can learn. It’s the difference between saying, ‘This is the recipe and these are the ingredients’ and saying, ‘We want to have dinner’. In other words, we trust people’s own expertise to come up with the best ‘dinner’. Everyone is able to handle the responsibilities which come with achieving top-notch results. Also, we are investing in education. We see possibilities in a schooling system, such as the German system with ‘Azubis’. Using this form of apprenticeship system, we keep ourselves and the next generation keen on delivering the best and brightest in our field.

Although we already do an outstanding job in achieving the best value for our company and in our industry, we are never done tweaking our current formula. We’re always open for proposals which challenge us to improve. Perhaps there are other secret variables. Suggestions? Let us know.