The first seat of Biuromax was in my aunt’s apartment. We were working there from morning until she came back from work. The first warehouse was in my father’s garage nearby. We had to worry about the cash ourselves because the bank did not provide loans. And there wasn’t any VAT at that time. I know, so began many business stories in Poland AD 1989.
The most difficult task was to find employees. In those times the foreign companies were ‘rounding up’ young Poles just like it is done today by the English, German or Spanish football clubs who seek young and talented footballers. They were enticed by high salaries, laptops, cellular phones and company cars. But the most tempting was an efficiently organized employer.
The market of toners grew at dynamical pace along with the growth of the sale of devices, but it took some years before we became the recognized importer with an independent and broad offer. The Polish market was too small for large distribution, it is too small still today. Export hampered by numerous borders was practically nonexistent. Europe traded in a different way. When the opportunity arose in 1994 I established a second company in Hungary. Thus we operated in two markets. Had the borders not opened overnight we would have probably operated in this mode further. But as it was my Hungarian company became the first foreign client of Biuromax. Before Poland joined the European Union we had had maybe a dozen customers in Europe. We were determined to stick to toners and consumables.
Between 1990 and 2004 we made many valuable business relation with office equipment manufacturers and their European representatives. Most of those first excellent partnerships still function today. Biuromax became one of the sale leaders of consumables in Poland. We educated professional sale and import personnel. In that period we had a continuing growth and record sales of OEM toners and parts for copiers. We contracted goods all around the world but sold them mainly in Poland.
At that point we changed our location, moving outside the city centre to gain ‘space’ for growth.
Poland’s accession into the European Union resulted in a fair earthquake in our organization. Many regulations were modified. The world opened up to us but also to our customers. Everything speeded up. Biuromax’es interest in toners became a real passion. We included the manufacturers of components for recycling of consumables into the group of our suppliers. Those were much bigger companies. It turned out, that the material called toner consists of many components, which combined in the right way determine the quality of print.
We studied the needs of our customers, established further contacts, strengthened relationships required for a long term business. Logistics posed another challenge. Logistics has always been and forever will be the key issue of successful distribution. How to connect a manufacturer from Japan with Jan Kowalski in a Polish village? I believe, we figured it out because in 2008 we became a recognized supplier of consumables in Poland and some two, three years later – in Europe.
We have always valued education, relations and honesty in business. We promote and support our suppliers, because we are aware that they bear all the risk of product creation and multi million worth investment. We help them by providing continuous large orders and prompt payment, but above we all maintain excellent relationships with them.
The mutual support and good relations among the Biuromax employees are also important. For the past 30 years there has been a very low rate of staff turnover.