Eurosport DHS S.A. from Romania is the leading ebike manufacturer in Eastern Europe and supply OEM services for famous European brands. Company is one of the largest bicycle factories in South-East Europe.
Especially for Manufacturing Journal an exclusive interview about Eurosport DHS company was given by:
- Claudia Diaconu - Financial Controller
- Mihai Bucur - Product Development Manager.
Could you briefly describe the history of the Eurosport DHS and most important moments of its development?
During its 20 year history EUROSPORT DHS recorded a particularly favorable evolution, reaching a turnover of 74 million euro. At the same time, it also made investments of 25 million euros in Deva, counting currently no less than 500 dealers in 24 European countries.
The company’s history timeline is presented below:
1999: DHS founds its first production facility with less than 100 employees. Being the first bicycle factory in post-communism Romania, it records a fast development with increased orders on a rapidly growing and demanding domestic market.
2004: A new strategy is required to cope with rising demand and market. DHS starts building a new 18,000sqm production facility in Deva over the course of 2 years.
2006: Eurosport DHS enters a joint-venture with Prophete Gmbh, one of the biggest bicycle players on the German Market. This partnership brings further growth, investments in new technologies in and opens the OEM and export markets.
2008: Eurosport DHS initiates a 3-year plan to expand its production facilities and warehouses. Another 13,000 sqm of infrastructure are added to the initial facility.
2012: Recognizing a rising trend in the ebike market, Eurosport DHS initiates an investment strategy that emphases on ebike production. After investments in technology and training, part of production capacity is allocated exclusively for ebike assembly.
2016: Eurosport DHS rebrands itself as a purely production-based company and redirects all sales to its subsidiary companies DHS BikeParts for domestic market distribution and Devron Europe for export distribution.
2019: Eurosport DHS celebrates 20 years of operations with partners, friends and collaborators. “A dream has come true! Another dream is born! ” This is the motto under which DHS celebrated its two decades of existence marking a new beginning in the company’s evolution.
Eurosport DHS developed a full line-up of own brands like DHS, Devron, Devron Electric. Next to your own brand, the company specialized in developing bicycles and e-bikes in all categories for OEM’s all over Europe. Can you tell us more about your products and services?
EUROSPORT DHS production facility is infrastructural capable to handle a yearly output of 650,000 pcs ebikes. The pandemic made us more careful, more balanced. 2020 marks the reorganization of Eurosport DHS. It has been an extremely difficult year to draw a clear business line. We have started several projects in reorganizing the handling of goods and production processes. These projects are extensive and focus on improving and reorganizing storage capacities as well as establishing Lean processes.
What are the elements that make your company unique from the point of view of design and production?
Designing a product in our business is sometimes challenging. Each market has unique requirements of design and specification. There is no “one model fits all” nor the perfect recipe and to create a successful model requires a lot of research and documentation. Colors, frame shapes, end-user age, preferences, habits, landforms or infrastructure, economy and many other aspects need to be taken into account. Matching looks with components, value and market launch are not enough. Aftersales services add solid value for the customers.
Worldwide industry boldly focuses on robotics and automation of production processes. Does the Eurosport DHS is also part of a trend of 4.0 Industry and invests in the latest technology?
Because of mostly a manufacturing process, integrating robotics and automation is a long term commitment but important steps towards this direction were made. The first interaction with the Industry 4.0 was in 2019 and we are continuing with the analysis for integration of new technologies and new, improved assembly techniques.
Please tell us about your company’s quality control system.
Quality is a dynamic concept which is defined in our organization by customer expectations and satisfaction. Quality Management Systems are designed to provide a framework for our organization to create and maintain customer relationships by understanding the customer’s preferences and needs. Customer satisfaction is achieved through the alignment of people, process, and technology throughout the product lifecycle. The quality control system is used to examine and test products and services to ensure that it meets the correct specifications and quality standards. Through quality control, we ensure the quality of raw materials provided by our partners, finished products and processes using indicators, statistical analysis and final tests with the main goal of meeting customer requirements and continuous improvement of our processes. The company has also implemented a Quality Management System - ISO 9001: 2015 certificate.
Please tell us what made your company so successful and gained the trust of its customers?
The most important is flexibility and constant development of our operations as well as employees. Eurosport DHS has invested in training employees as well as building solid relations with its suppliers, vendors and most importantly with its customers.
Please tell us about the size of your production and the number of people you employ in your company.
Yearly production output capability is cca. 650,000 units of electric bicycles in 3 shifts. Eurosport DHS currently operates one shift basis with 350 constant employees and 450 employees in peak season. Production operates on 4 assembly lines with a daily output of around 250 ebikes each. The 5th assembly line is used for normal bicycles.
Which strategies have proven to be the most useful over time?
It is not always about strategy. It is however almost always about sustained credibility, seriousness, determination and voice of “customer”. It is maintaining the perfect balance between demand and offer, always following the rules of suppling in time, according to the request and with the correct value.
What were the new products and technological innovations introduced by your Research & Development department in the last period?
It is not easy to innovate in an industry so diverse and with such a long and extensive history. Electric ebike is an innovation itself and we are still at its beginning. Together with our partners, we are developing our own electric system with our DEVRON ELECTRIC ebike operating firmware. The complete Devron Electric system is build according to specific requirements to make it unique in functionality as a pure city, leisure and commuter.
Have any significant investments been made recently? Are you planning any investments in the nearest future? How the new investments can change your company’s growth trajectory?
In order to meet the market requirements, the production needs permanent control and development. Emphasis was put on specialized wheel building robots. The modernization of equipment, workflow and the handling of goods are in constant development. Today we produce a total of over 1000 bicycles per day. Production has gradually increased in recent years and we are counting on an increase in the number of bicycles produced starting next year. Although the factory itself is a great investment, future plans include the 5-year plan of development so every shareholder, customer and supplier to consider DHS one of the most credible partners in the field. To quote Yang Tianqi, CEO of Eurosport DHS: “The energy of everyone here has taken us to the top of the wave. Now, we have to sail as far as possible.”
Are you planning to launch any new products in the nearest future?
Most likely, 2021 will be the year of new projects for us, the year in which we will make strategic decisions. We see 2021 as an important opportunity to continue our growth in a sustainable manner. The evolution of brands is consistent in the market. Within DEVRON brand, most resources have been allocated for research and development, especially in the electric bicycle segment. Related to these, we can say that we have consolidated a very competitive product segment in the class of city electric bicycles.
The quality of products and services is your priority. You know perfectly well that there is no place for compromises in your industry, which is why you work only among the best suppliers and subcontractors. Would you like to mention any in particular companies?
Indeed there is no place for compromise and we have developed along our history strong partnerships with our Far-East and Europe suppliers. We constantly work together to improve our cooperation as well as services and products provided.
The company supplies more than 600,000 bicycles to 600 dealers in 24 countries. Who are your most important customers right now and where are your main markets?
Our highest resources are concentrated in OEM production models. The main markets excluding OEMs are Northern and Central Europe.
What are your plans for gaining new foreign markets?
We are working to improve our range to adapt even further to markets that registered considerable growth in demand. We are also constantly focusing on the needs of our current and potential customers, supporting them in the development of personalized projects that meet their own market trends.
World currently struggling with the consequences of a pandemic coronavirus. How do you evaluate the future of the industry in which the company operates, what are the company’s plans in connection with this?
Europeans are adapting to huge changes in their daily lives to cope with the corona pandemic, and e-bikes can play an important role in their future. Sales of bicycles and e-bikes have grown rapidly, especially this year. This positive year for the EU bicycle industry which will lead to an increase in the production of e-bikes and the production of bicycle parts and accessories in Europe. Coping with the booming demand is a challenge for all, suppliers and producers as well.