#Call4.0Leaders | Tudor Georgescu (Promateris): The adaptability of a flat organization is an important asset

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Tudor Georgescu has been the CEO of Promateris for six and a half years, a period during which he has guided the sustainable packaging manufacturer through many changes, both for the market and for his business. In 2021, the group delivered record revenue growth and a 129% increase in EBITDA, estimating a net profit of €4.3 million in 2022. In light of these developments, we sat down with He and Tudor Georgescu asked the already established questions from the #Call4.0Leaders interview series.

  1. What projects have you undertaken in the past year to make your business operations more sustainable and resilient?

I would say that for Promateris 2021 has been the year of operational optimizations, since we have implemented several projects in order to increase both our resilience and our sustainability. First of all, we implemented a new ERP program in partnership with the German supplier Theurer, in order to have data available in real time and to help us reduce costs, by having a lean production process. Moreover, resilience boils down to being responsive and agile and that is why when unexpected disruptions appear in the market, it is important for a company to be able to make quick judgments, seize opportunities. Second, we have installed a bio-based industrial waste recycling line, which helps us minimize our environmental impact and associated waste costs. Additionally, as the industry has been going through a supply chain crisis over the past two years, we have focused on applying a supply chain risk management strategy which has helped us to get through this crisis smoothly, which allowed us to ship all our orders on time and even more, allowed our accelerated growth. We have put in place a series of actions to increase our resilience in order to mitigate the increasingly frequent market disruptions.

  1. How do you strike the right balance between smart machines and human intelligence in the new business reality of accelerated automation and digitization?

It is certain that automation will eliminate some jobs over the next decade, but I think the real disruption will affect us all, absorbing more or less significant portions of all our jobs. Automation has grown significantly in recent years, moving beyond routine manufacturing activities, playing a transformative role in several industries. We have also witnessed this impactful transformation, seeing several production tasks in the bioplastics sector replaced by automation. At the same time, we have also seen a transition of blue collar workers into different and more “creative” organizational positions. This process has been made possible through training programs and retraining strategies of our colleagues. This could bring many benefits to everyone, and especially to employees who are now able to perform more rewarding and challenging tasks.

  1. Are flatter, more agile structures better equipped to succeed in the new reality than their more traditional, rigid counterparts? How would you describe your organization in this respect?

The adaptability of a horizontal organization is an important asset, especially in turbulent times like the ones we are currently going through. A company with reduced bureaucracy will also leave room for optimizations, initiatives and pro-activity. These are all characteristics that we constantly try to encourage in our organization, to infuse them into our DNA. We have repeatedly witnessed the power of being a low-hierarchical organization, where employees are more motivated and empowered. Ultimately, this led to better results, increased customer satisfaction, an ability to react quickly to challenges, and more competent employees. It also promotes the cooperation and a state of positive vigilance necessary to seize market opportunities.

  1. Is the business world moving from a competitive mindset to a coopetitive mindset? How integrated is your company in this respect and what can you tell us about the partnerships you have made with other organisations?

For us, this is a fairly new business approach that we have not been able to observe or implement so often with Romanian partners. On the other hand, we have several partners, especially in Scandinavia, with whom we have developed a series of projects that have created synergies and brought benefits to both parties. I think coopetition requires above all a good state of mind, good chemistry between the partners and trust. In some cases, it is difficult to pass from the competition or cooperate to compete and cooperate. It’s not just a question of mindset and flexibility, but sometimes the context makes it difficult to apply. In the end, I think it’s more a matter of thinking, thinking about the payoff in each situation, and deciding based on your trading goals.

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