Those who are well-acquainted with the Hungarian construction and mining machinery market might be familiar with FAMO’s name. It is not a coincidence, since this company is one of the most well-known manufacturers on the domestic market. We asked the CEO, Balázs Szűcs, how the firm had gotten to this point, what it means for the domestic and international markets and what the future holds for this industry.
FAMO’s 30-year-old history
The company, founded in 1991, was able to build up an impressive knowledge of construction and mining machinery attachments over 3 decades. In the beginning, they were only selling parts of machines from the GDR, and it took 10 years to come up with the idea of manufacturing their own. At first, the production was outsourced, but in order to improve quality and deadlines, the company started its plant upgrade and own production. Growth has accelerated from this point. It took them just one year to outgrow the 400 m2 workshop in Csepel Művek, so in 2006 they moved to a 1000 m2 hall. This is now complemented by a 400 m2 workshop equipped with cranes and a warehouse of the same size. In April 2021, a new 5-tonne bridge crane was added to the workshop, so now 4 cranes are moving the buckets during production.
As production volumes increased, technological progress also had to keep pace. A significant milestone in the company’s life was that all metalworking, including cutting and bending, is now carried out in-house. For this purpose, a CNC flame cutter and 400-tone CNC-controlled edge bending machine is available. Another major investment is planned for this year, the purchase of a plasma cutting machine that will enable them to produce cutting-edges with a technology that is unique in the country.
Custom-made attachments still feel like novelty
The focus has shifted from standard buckets in production, as customers have encountered short supply alongside timing problems. With custom-designed and self-manufactured products, FAMO’s scope has also grown and the range of customer needs has been extended on a larger scale.
Custom-made attachments are better suited to a certain job and can be ordered within a shorter period of time. Balázs stated that even today, customers are often surprised that besides standard products, custom attachments are also manufactured. In fact, custom-made products now account for approx. 40% of all products sold.
Nowadays, FAMO is a leader in the production of custom-made excavators and loader attachments in Hungary.
Custom manufacturing is not only a service, but a customer-centric approach
FAMO is characterized by a customer-centric approach, not only in production, but also among colleagues. In order to give solutions according to the problems of the customers, the customer-centric approach is supported from two directions. The company puts emphasis on developing a family-like workplace environment where all colleagues can have a good time. Less typically for the B2B sector, the company spends considerable resources on marketing and customer relations with the primary goal of reaching both larger companies and end-users, in addition, providing them with services of the same level.
Human labor is becoming more valuable
We asked the founder what the most popular attachment on the market is today, but it quickly turned out, it is not so easy to give an exact answer to that. It changes from year to year, which is the best-selling one, depending on orders we receive from the construction industry. There was a year when the tiltable ditch cleaning bucket was the most popular, this year it is rather the excavator bucket and the trapezoid bucket that are more in demand.
However, what is clear from market trends, is that the demand is shifting towards hydraulic equipment. There is an increasing number of hydraulic quick couplers, rotary engines and other hydraulic devices available on the market.
The Hungarian market follows western trends, but with a few years lag. There, besides the machine, human labor is considered to be one of the most valuable resources. The aim of machine owners is to get the most out of their machines by providing operators with more and more tools and attachments, so they can use different devices routinely.
This tendency is presented by Balázs through the example of FAMO’s brand new product, the auger drill adapter. “The reason for the introduction of new products is to make sure that the machine is suitable for many functions, therefore its owners can make better use of them.”
The market of construction and mining machinery on its way towards digitalization
Operators and owners have time typically after work to look for new attachments, machineries and novelties. For this reason, FAMO considers it exceptionally important to provide those interested with more information via digital platforms. With over half of their visitor traffic coming from mobile devices, they realized that the information transfer and ordering process needed to be quick and user-friendly. This is how online cutting edge ordering was launched, which has been well received by the market and regularly generates orders.
FAMO put continuous expansion of the product range as well as digital development in the focus point. During our interview, the founder also revealed that a webshop is about to be launched, where customers will be able to access the standard product range.
More information: www.famo.hu/en/