“Constant innovation required to stay at the top”

12 April 20188 min reading

“In order to survive in the sector of milling machine production, you need to keep up with technology. To stay at the top, you need make innovation constantly. From the inception of our company, we serve our customers with aforementioned spirit. New machines are produced according to customers’ request in line with their needs. Thus, the research and development team comes up with new design and products all the time.”


M. Nuri ÖZŞAHİN - Genel Değirmen Makine, Assistant General Manager

Genel Değirmen Makine (GDM), along with the installation of turn-key facilities, produces milling machines and provides spare parts. Founded by İbrahim Özşahin thirty years ago, the company took firms steps in Turkey and abroad and completed turn-key facilities more than thirty countries to date. Assistant General Manager of Genel Değirmen Makine M. Nuri Özşahin spoke with Değirmen Magazine. He said the company produces its machines with Industry 4.0 integration.

Saying that there is too much milling machine producers, Özşahin noted this fact lowered the profitability as there is high competition. Also, this reality has bad consequences on the research and development budget, according to Özşahin. “In the coming period, those companies that do not invest on R&D, innovation and improvement will stay behind in the sector,” he warned.

Here is the full interview with Assistant General Manager Özşahin:

Can you tell us your company’s past and your journey to this point? Over eight years, GDM serves the sector. Along with installation of turn-key facilities, we produce machines like full automatic roller mill, plan sifter, semolina separator, vibro separator, grain separator, wheat brush, radial tarar, dry stoner, trieur classification and pneumatic fan and provide spare parts. CEO İbrahim Özşahin has experience over thirty years in this sector and accumulated know-how. He completed many projects in home and abroad. With his experience, we continue to move ahead.

Can you tell us about your production facility? We manufacture machines including turn-key facilities in our 16 thousand square meter closed space in Konya Organized Industrial Site. We have more than 100 experienced personnel. We use the latest technology. We produce machines in line with our time through integrating Industry 4.0 technology.

Your company makes turn-key facilities. Can you tell us about specifications of these facilities? Our turn-key facilities vary from 50 tons per day to 1000 tons per day capacity. We install both wheat and soft wheat grinding facilities. Also, we establish corn flour and semolina factories, which, I think, will become alternative to wheat and experience surge in demand. When we say ‘turn-key,’ we actually mean ‘tailor-made.’ We install factories according to customer’s specific demand. We meet every request from building to ceiling, from ceiling to doors and windows.

WE ARE EXPORT-ORIENTED COMPANY What kind of role and place does your company have in the milling industry? As I pointed out, the company’s CEO, İbrahim Özşahin, had served the sector more than 30 years. He was the first person that produced pneumatic roller mill in Turkey. He is among the experienced people on roller mills in Turkey. The company took firm steps ahead since we have required experienced and say in the sector. We are proud to serve in this sector in developing Turkey.

Service has been important just as technology you produce. What can you tell us about technical service, spare parts, and service after sale and training to customers? We perceive service something that provides competition edge, customer satisfaction, and long term relationship and plays an important role in new product development. We do not see service as burden. Also, we are aware that the service and support before and after sale is the first step toward profitability, acceleration in growth, customer loyalty and creation of difference in product and service. When we fully determine a customer’s need before sale, we can design the best possible project for this customer and avoid unnecessary spending and time loss. At the moment of sale, we direct our customers to necessary preparations and avoid possible mistakes. On after sale, we manage the installation process and provide trainings they require to enable them to fully utilize from the facility. After the project delivery, we help customers to protect their productive with regular maintenance, repair service and guarantee service. Additionally, we keep the factory up-to-date with improvement service.

Can you tell us about your foreign operations? How many countries do you sale? Is there any region you targeted? I can say that ‘the foundation philosophy of our company is based on export.’ That’s why we work hard in order to serve in all countries. We exported machines more than 30 countries. Instead of concentrating on a particular region, we work hard to provide service and technology to different geographies. Customers whom we worked with in Italy provided value to our company. Cooperation with an Italian mill producer enabled us to increase our machines’ quality and also enabled us to target a big market.

Which regions do you get excited as promising overseas markets? Since cereals are the basic element of many foods, we perceive every part of globe as market and potential customers. I think that we should not focus on a particular region in a globalizing world; instead we should work on diversity in exports. The most important thing after this is that we should ensure the customer’s satisfaction and produce high quality machines.

What can you tell us about R&D and innovation? Significant change and differentiation in customer needs and preferences cause quick and variable development on production, speed, and price. Thus, it is necessary for companies to make differentiation in order to stay alive in the sector. With the increase of competition in the world, it has become necessary for companies to adapt their skills and resources to a flexible and open development process. As Genel Değirmen Makine, since our establishment, we put importance on the research and development systematically. Our aim is to keep up with technological development in our age and protect our competition power and lower the production cost and duration without sacrificing quality. Meanwhile, we aim to minimize the possibility of human error and target perfection. As we weight upon R&D activities, we are aware that the most important resource is human. We try to reflect development and innovation to our design with mental and physical change.

THERE IS SERIOUS COMPETITION IN THE SECTOR There are many mill machine producers in Turkey. What does GDM offer to flour producer in this keen rivalry? Under this keen rivalry, as I mentioned before, we promise to provide customer satisfaction and high quality service to our customers. The main aim of our company is to provide customer oriented projects and services.

Are there any innovations you are ready to present to the market in the coming period? In order to survive in this market, you need to keep up with technology. To stay at the top, you need make innovation constantly. From the inception of our company, we serve our customers with aforementioned spirit. Thus, the research and development team comes up with new design and products all the time.

What are the biggest challenges facing the industry at the moment? As you know, there is too much mill machine exporter in Turkey. This fact paves the way for keen rivalry. That’s why companies cannot allocate enough budgets for R&D as they cannot make enough money. In the coming period, those companies that do not invest on R&D, innovation and improvement will stay behind in the sector. R&D and innovation are indispensable part of this sector.

“FLOUR INDUSTRIALISTS OUGHT TO TRUST IN LOCAL COMPANIES” You are in close contact with flour industrialists. What kind of expectations do customers have from mill producers and what are your expectations from the industrialists? One of the big competitors of local producers established high capacity mills in different parts of the country. I think flour industrialists know that we are as good as this foreign company, and we are even better in planning and auxiliary equipment. We, the mill machine producers, catch up with high technology and even left European companies behind us. Our expectation from Turkish flour industrialists is that they ought to trust us instead of trusting European companies.

Recently, you placed solar panels on the roof of your production facility and switched to environmentally friendly energy. Can you tell us about this development? We are proud to be the first company engaged in this investment in Turkey and even around the world. The biggest factor in making such an investment is to provide profit and value to Turkey. With this environment friendly project, we aim to be an example of leaving a livable world for future generations by avoiding environmental pollution as well as reducing the cost of energy consumption drastically. This system meets our energy consumption, and we provide the rest to the organized industrial site in Konya. Such system meets its expense within five years. In coming periods, since this system will provide energy efficiency to our company, production consumption will decrease and make us more competitive.

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