Although KomFort has been operating in Germany for almost two years, it can already be said that the decision to start cooperation with our neighbors was accurate and enabled the export of construction services to many companies. How does work in Germany look like? How are Polish specialists assessed? Robert Katzmarczyk, who represents KomFort Polska on the German market, is responsible for these and other questions and is responsible for acquiring construction orders for Polish subcontractors.
How do you get offers for subcontractors from Poland? Do you stick to the worked out template?
My daily work is primarily about looking, browsing, browsing. In the first place I am looking for companies that may be interested in working with us: companies that have won the tender and need subcontractors, companies that carry out a lot of construction projects or those that simply may need our services. Later it looks a lot like the work of a representative: telephone, meeting, presentation. KomFort has hundreds of successful contracts in France or Belgium, so it's something to be proud of. Thanks to this, if it comes to a meeting, it ends up in most cases positively.
What are the clients from Germany suggesting when choosing a subcontracting company?
We always try to present to the customer the company whose business profile agrees with its requirements. To a large extent, the price decides, but also the documented experience. Principals know that it is not worth risking and being guided solely by financial arguments. The possibility of communication at the construction site with a German manager is also important, which is why language skills are encouraged by at least one of the employees.
Is the presentation of the company enough for the client to decide on cooperation?
No. The most important thing is to prepare a quote based on the company's specifications. In case of any problems or questions, the companies interested in exporting the services can count on the support of employees of the KomFort offer department. After the valuation analysis, the subcontractor is selected and the meeting with the main contractor is organized, so that future business partners can get to know each other and discuss the details. Then the most common decision is: we start cooperation or not.
"Contractors are often impressed by the level of presentation of companies from Poland, which proves that KomFort is very well prepared for operations on foreign markets."
Is Polish subcontractors required to have special certificates, to take specialized courses?
In the sanitary or electrical installations sector, I sometimes meet the requirement to have an SCC certificate, but not in every case. While working in Germany, it is worth remembering about clothing and protective equipment. Failure to comply with health and safety rules may result in serious consequences.
If you are talking about construction sectors, then in which of them you will subcontractyou can find the most offers?
Until now, the largest number of orders related to general construction works, mainly execution of states of raw buildings - from single-family houses to office buildings.
What opinions do you usually encounter about the work of Polish companies?
I often hear in meetings that subcontractors are working quickly, and at the same time thoroughly and "cleanly". They are able to make decisions and know their profession well, so that they do not need to be constantly guided and controlled. This streamlines the project implementation.
And how are KomFort's activities assessed?
Generally, I meet with positive reactions, especially from small and medium-sized companies. They are mainly interested in our services because they have problems finding employees in Germany. Contractors are often impressed by the level of presentation of companies from Poland, which proves that KomFort is very well prepared for operations on foreign markets.
So you can expect the company's development in Germany?
I hope so and everything indicates it. Contractors are interested in the services of KomFort, we start to be recognized and associated with good subcontractors. On the other hand, construction companies from Poland are willing to submit their orders, because employees often have experience in carrying out construction works in Germany and know the language at a communicative level. The neighborhood of both countries is also an argument in favor of exporting services just for our western border.
Thank you for the conversation.
1. What does your job look like? What is the main responsibility of the technical coordinator?My work starts already when I receive an offer from an investor. I help in translating it into Polish, taking into account, above all, specific industry vocabulary, so that subcontractors can find clear, understandable documentation. This is called CCTP (cahier des charges techniques particulières), or specification containing all technical information about the contract.
2. Does this specification help in the preparation of the appraisal?Of course. Companies can prepare and delegate the best qualified employees. As for the valuation, they sometimes have problems with presenting acceptable rates. It does not surprise me, because the company, which is supposed to perform the first foreign contract, does not know the specifics of the market. Therefore, the valuation analysis is also my responsibility. In the event of any irregularities, I inform the company about the need to make a correction.
3. What happens after accepting the cost estimate of one of the subcontractors?The legal department prepares the necessary formalities so that the company can start work as soon as possible. When the contract begins and the team comes to the construction site, I am responsible primarily for its correct course.
4. What exactly is the cooperation with construction crews already on the spot?The most important is the first day of construction, which is the opening day. Subcontractor gets to know the investor, enter the construction site. I am translating the conversations, introducing the team, informing the manager about the most important matters, eg related to health and safety and the need to use personal protection equipment at the construction site, because it is often a matter of control abroad. Sometimes there are minor misunderstandings, and my task is to minimize and solve them.
„Above all, my activities are to make it easier for the company to stay abroad and implement the contract.”
5. And already during the contract by the subcontractor - can he count on the support of the coordinator?Above all, my activities are to make it easier for the company to stay abroad and implement the contract. So I try to visit the construction site as often as possible. I check then if the team is efficient and successive and reliably implements the work schedule. Subcontractors, in case of any problems, may also contact me by phone.
6. You have raised a very important topic on the quality of work. What happens if the company can not deal with the contract and the investor is dissatisfied?We always try to explain the subcontractors, what the problem is and what the investor requires. However, these are very sporadic situations. Foreign clients value the reliability and qualifications of Polish employees, and cooperation with them has no financial motivation, contrary to popular opinion.
7. What are the most common problems for subcontractors abroad?/h4> These are probably the most common problems related to language ignorance. It is required that at least one person knows a foreign language among employees. In practice, it looks different, so if the situation requires it, the subcontractor contacts me. It happens that we employ an interpreter for the duration of the order. At the moment, we are also working on the preparation of a specialized French-Polish dictionary for construction workers.
8. The coordinator's work seems to be very demanding. What skills do you need to have to perform it well?Experience in the construction industry abroad is indispensable. You need to know the specific vocabulary, work culture, market of services and materials. I studied architecture in France, I worked in architectural offices, among others in Marseilles and Strasbourg, for several years I ran my own construction company specializing in the construction of houses in the wooden frame technology. This experience taught me to work with people, work in the field.
9. As a summary, how is the position of technical coordinator assessed by subcontractors?I think they rate them positively. Especially those who had previously carried out the contracts themselves, which often ended in failure due to lack of knowledge of the language or local law. I think that this position is needed for the contracts of Polish subcontractors to be successful.