Polisport Offers Close to Market Production
CARREGOSA, Portugal – Change is a motivator in an important part of the strategy for Polisport Plásticos. The Portuguese manufacturer offers a wide range of plastic products in the bicycle and motorcycle industry but has also taken some significant steps in recent years to grow its business.
The location of Polisport Plásticos nearby Portugal’s Bike Value in Agueda gives the company a strong competitive advantage. “The introduction of the Portugal Bike Value still attracts a lot of attention to what Portugal’s industry offers,” says Pedro Araujo, CEO and President of Polisport Plasticos SA. “That’s one of the major benefits of the project. We also get a lot of requests and are always open for cooperation with new partners. And those requests also come from potential partners outside our own business field of plastic products.”
“At Polisport Plásticos we control all processes, from creation to design, product engineering and manufacturing as well as warehousing and logistics. The entire process is done in-house: a dedicated team, a design center, an exclusive unity dedicated to injection with automated processes, an exclusive unity dedicated to molds construction and development, an internal quality test center, a dedicated warehouse.”
“To emphasize our capabilities and to get our people even more focused on the products they are making, we have made a clear split between bicycle and motorcycle products. This even goes for the production departments, sales as well as R&D.” For the production of bottles mainly sold in the running and cycling industry, Polisport even founded an all new company called Poli Promotion. Polisport was already producing over a million bottles a year, this new company should grow the business on the promotion market as well. For the production of the bottles an all new factory is currently being set up.
New line up of injection molding machinery
“We need to prepare for a change,” is a phrase I often tell to the Polisport people says Pedro Araujo. “Improvement has become a part of our DNA. We are always working on the improvement of our efficiency on all levels. In the production we have implemented the Kaizen method. Recently we also invested in an all new line up of injection molding machinery what also resulted in much better working conditions for our people.”
During strategy sessions, each group within the company discusses the developments for the next five to six years. An important topics during those discussion is always ‘do we have the tools to achieve our goals?’. “Off course we also focus on the e-bike market,” says Pedro Araujo. “This is the market of the future and current growth will even accelerate thanks to new markets but also riders of younger age-groups. For one of the rapidly growing categories, the e-cargo bikes we are manufacturing the cargo boxes.”
Speed e-bike helmet
Also Polisport’s growing helmet production is anticipating on the increasing e-bike market with a NTA 8776 approved speed e-bike helmet. The company Headgy Helmets was founded in 2013. “We are planning to upgrade our helmet production to the high-end category in close cooperation with our partner. In future this factory should facilitate the high-end market as well. Our customers will continue to plan their mass-production in Asia, while we can be very flexible and provide close to the market production to guarantee product availability during the season.” A major incentive for this fashionable and volume-wise large product.
Polisport Group was founded in 1978, originating from the founders passion for two wheels. Today the company employs 350 people in Portugal and Brazil. Based on internationalization and innovation the company has expanded its customer portfolio and markets, and nowadays has a presence in more than 60 countries. Polisport is one of the stronger players on the baby-seats markets and its portfolio includes the high-end brand Bobike, acquired in 2013.
Polisport holds a strong position on the motorcycle sector as OEM supplier of the major manufacturers like KTM, Husqvarna, GASGAS, Triumph and BMW. How the bicycle industry in Portugal developed over the years can be illustrated by Pedro Araujo’s remarks: “in the past I was one of the few if not the only Portuguese company attending the international bicycles show. I had to explain people about our bicycle industry. Fortunately, this has changed a lot now and at next Eurobike our industry is even presenting itself in a joined Abimota booth.”