On October 20th, 2016 in the capacities of Aktiva Automotive in Stip,  the Association of the Automotive Industry established by the Foreign Investors Council within the Economic Chamber of Macedonia organized the educational seminar: Integrating Aktiva Automotive in the supply chain of Van Hool.

The idea of the seminar was to introduce domestic and foreign companies members of the Association with the key phases in the process of establishing successful cooperation between a domestic and a foreign company from the automotive industry, by presenting the case study of Aktiva Automotive and Van Hool.

Avram Stojcevski, the Chairman of the Association, and the plant manager of Van Hool Macedonia, has pointed out that one of the goals of the Association is to foster the cooperation between foreign and domestic companies from the sector, through transfer of experiences on how to develop their production capacities, implement new technologies and develop the human resources potential.

According to Mr. Stojcevski, foreign investors are always interested in finding local suppliers that would meet their requirements instead of importing from other countries. The process of integrating the domestic companies in the supply chain of foreign investors is a long-term one, bearing in mind that the domestic companies are firstly required to obtain the appropriate international certificates, to fulfill the quality standards, delivery-time criteria, order continuity, workplace safety etc. in order to become local suppliers to foreign companies operating in the TIDZs. However, once they become part of the supply chain of a  global company, the Macedonian companies will gain access to the global market through the existing supply chain of multinational companies.

Zoran Nikolovski, from Aktiva Automotive presented the complete cooperation process with the Belgian bus company Van Hool, starting from the initial negotiations until the present successful partnership based on loyalty and trust. As he announced, the cooperation with Van Hool has been a success from the start, followed by the construction of the new plant of Aktiva Automotive for bus chassis welded elements, as a result of the demand of Van Hool. Aktiva Automotive has also acquired welding certificates compliant with European standards, and it has at the same time opened a separate welding training center its own needs. Mr. Nikolovski has pointed out that in their case, the basic elements in establishing a successful cooperation are: consistent production, high quality, timely and stable delivery, competitive price and loyalty.
The owner of Aktiva, Ilija Nikolov, has emphasized the support by the team of engineers from Van Hool  during the construction and technology choice for the new plant which covers 9,000 m2. The intensity of this cooperation has led to the need for additional capacity, more jobs, new machines, robotic equipment in order to meet the requirements of Van Hool for their factories in Skopje and Belgium.
The attending domestic and foreign companies at the seminar had the opportunity to take a look at the production capacity of the new plant, which is the first capital investment of its kind for production of automotive parts in Macedonia.

In line with the activities of the Association of the automotive industry there will be more initiatives aimed at developing the cooperation between the domestic and foreign companies.

Vlatko Stojanovski