Esra Vuslat Candan, Erkaya Laboratory Instruments & Improvers: “Quality is the basic element in determining where a product is positioned in the competition in the market. Companies aims to produce products and services that meet customer expectations with the most economical conditions thanks to quality control practices. Quality control laboratories are the right means for producers who are trying to turn wheat into products with high added value both economically and physically to offer the best quality customers expect.”
Interview: Namık Kemal Parlak
In our February issue, we wanted to host a company operating in the production of quality control and laboratory devices in milling in parallel with our cover story. In that regard, we interviewed with Esra Vuslat Candan, Area Sales Manager of Erkaya Laboratory Instruments & Improvers, one of the leading manufacturers of Turkey in the field of laboratory equipment & ingredients for wheat mills and bakeries. She tells us the importance of quality control for millers, digital transformation in the sector and future targets of Erkaya.
First of all, would you please give us brief information about your company's activities and fields of activity?
Our company was established in 2000 in Ankara. Our main fields of activity are the production and marketing of quality control instruments and flour and bread ingredients for the flour and feed industry. We were more active in the domestic market in the first years of our establishment, but we have been focusing on the overseas market for the last ten years. We serve our customers with our production, quality assurance, R&D, sales and after-sales technical service departments and our expert staff. In addition, our company offers sectoral consultancy services in its own area of activity. Our company's commitment to its customers is to provide customer-oriented sales policy, quality products, fast service, and uninterrupted support without sacrificing ethical values.
Why is quality control important in milling? What do quality control and laboratory bring to companies? Could you mention the significance of this issue, particularly in terms of sustainability, quality, and food safety?
Quality should generally be considered as meeting the needs of the customers and going beyond expectations. The concept of quality has also begun to penetrate the milling industry effectively and has become one of the important tools of competitiveness.
Quality is the basic element in determining where a product is located and positioned in the competition in the market. Companies aims to produce products and services that meet customer expectations with the most economical conditions thanks to quality control practices and to offer them to customer at the most affordable prices. And the customers can purchase products and services that best suit their expectations and economic conditions, thanks to the quality control application.
The issue is also important when the product has an impact on human life. This being the case, the quality of wheat flour, which is the main staple food, is also one of the most basic items of food safety and human health. With the increase of consumer awareness, manufacturers have started to be more transparent and offer the best quality expected customer. Quality control laboratories are the right means for producers who are trying to turn wheat into products with high added value both economically and physically to reach this purpose. In other words, it is the most basic tool for obtaining a consistent and reliable product.
We observe that the share of foreign sales and destinations in Erkaya's sales increased. Can you inform us about the new markets you have entered?
I would like to say that we are a company that has no limits on export. We export 80% of our products. Our company has worked hard on sales and marketing for years. We participate in almost all international sectoral exhibitions and advertise in industrial magazines. Today, our products are being used even in countries where many people have not even heard their names. Every new market we enter makes us excited more. In order to accurately determine the needs and expectations of the target markets, we try to provide the most accurate service by taking into account their demographic, social, economic and political structures and information on their geographical location. I think the most prominent markets in the new period will be South America, Africa, Russia, and Uzbekistan.
Particularly Argentina, Brazil, Russia, and Uzbekistan are significant markets for the sector. In addition, we also added the USA, Canada, Sri Lanka and India, in which we had references in the past, to our list of target markets.
Technology and digitalization, progressing at an unprecedented pace, continue to transform all sectors. How do this development and transformation affect the industry and your company?
Technology and digitalization are the key concepts of our age. All sectors are trying to make projects on technology and digitalization in order to secure their existence in the future. In this case, it is also impossible for the works in the sector we are in to continue to be performed in the same way. As Erkaya, we think that with the use of digital transformation and technology in business life, employee productivity will increase and company growth will accelerate as well. We also take our steps towards the future in this direction. In a world that has carefully focused on Industry 4.0, we do not want to offer our customers old fashioned devices that are behind the times.
Can you inform us about the new solutions and technologies you have recently presented or are about to present to the market?
As Erkaya, we are working hard to make our equipment more efficient and effective. We are the first company to produce touch screen flour analysis equipment instead of the down-level button devices. We introduced our touch screen instruments at the IDMA exhibition held at the beginning of 2019. These easy to use new modern models which have an industrial design were appreciated and demanded beyond our expectations. In addition to touch screen technology, as a company with devices on five continents, we use systems such as PLC. In this way, we are able to provide technical services to our devices located on the other parts of the world from a distant location. In the beginning of 2020, we are preparing to present four new devices that we have not produced before. We anticipate that the dough testing devices such as extensograph and farinograph, damaged starch analysis device and double-headed mill used for analyzing blended wheat will be released in the next few months.
Which of your products are more popular?
The devices we have been producing for years such as gluten washing system touch screen falling numbers, laboratory mills, and automated sampling probe are our most popular devices. They are among the devices that we have performed the best improvement and development. Touch screen gluten washing device and falling number were our most popular devices for this year.
Which subjects do you especially focus on in R&D?
With our products and technologies, we have obtained successful business results that carried our leadership to the international arena. One of the most crucial shares behind the company's achievements belongs to our R&D department.
The rapid digitalization of the world has triggered the process of change and transformation in the sector. In this context, the development and implementation of technologies that facilitate the use of devices are the top issues we care about.
Erkaya also produces flour improvers. Can you tell us about your activities on this subject?
Adopting the principle of being a solution partner of our customers and attaching great importance to customer satisfaction, our company makes ready-made improvers in our application laboratories together with the technical sales support team, as well as ready-made additives for our customers in line with their demands and needs.
Can you tell us about your future goals as a company?
Our company has many precious references at home and abroad. Our target is to carry our existing brand to an even better point on the world scale, to develop our markets and to constitute new markets. In this line, we try to increase our sales through our own sales staff and dealers.
Is there anything you would specifically like to add and share with our readers?
We would like to thank Parantez Group for publishing Miller Magazine which is constantly followed by the milling industry.