Monday, February 13, 2017
Guiding us through the picturesque neighbourhoods of Nowy Sącz in the Beskid Sądecki mountain range in Southern Poland, Ryszard Górskide describes the history of his business and his determination in chasing his dream. And he says the tenth sawmill will definitely not be the last one.
Ryszard Górski established Drewmex in 1996 in Królowa Górna, a village surrounded by hills and mountains. This was when he noticed the growing demand for timber products.
The region was full of old style sawmills using outdated technology with rather small potential for further development. So Ryszard decided to follow in his father's footsteps and create a sawmill which would offer something more.
For years Drewmex has been doing its best to respond to the complex needs of clients and has evolved into a reliable and friendly company, well known in the region. Now it is one of the leading suppliers of timber, roof trusses, joists and wood charcoal.
"In 1995 I bought my first hand-made sawmill and later two more. At that time I was supplying pine timber to Fakro - a company in Nowy Sącz which owned a Wood-Mizer sawmill. From them, I learned about Wood-Mizer’s representative near Rzeszów," says Ryszard. "Watching a Wood-Mizer cut for the first time was like a jump from League Two up to Premier League!"
In 2002 he bought an electric LT40 sawmill, and soon after two more LT40s. The company was growing fast, so he decided to replace the LT40s with high performance LT70 sawmills. Later he also installed an industrial LT300 (now known as WM3000) and a HR1000 multi-head horizontal resaw.
With growing demand from big companies Ryszard started to search for a wideband sawmill which would be easy to operate and ensure that the work would be fast and smooth. He chose the highly efficient Wood-Mizer WB2000. The new sawmill is equipped with an operator's panel with two joysticks, laser and camera system.
"The WB2000 combines advanced technology with easy-to-use features. In my company it is operated by the same man who previously worked with the LT300. So after a one-day training session, he was able to use the saw quite intuitively."
"The feed speed, efficient hydraulics, fast head adjustment and precision - that is what makes the WB2000 work 30% faster compared with other wideband sawmills we used before."
With many duties resulting from leading a prosperous company, Ryszard still does not neglect his hobbies. For many years he played football, then chaired a junior sports club, and practiced cross-country skiing. Now he prefers trekking in the Tatra mountains with his wife.
Persistence and courage often define the people of success who are not afraid of bold undertakings. The history of Drewmex shows that strong motivation can move the mountains. Literally.
In 2010, aiming at expanding the company, Ryszard started to build a new production facility. But a mountain decided to rain on his parade.
"We were digging down to 8 meters. And then the mountain located next to the site started to slide. The slope was made of loam - mainly sand and smaller amounts of clay. We had to quickly build a huge retaining wall to stop it. And we had to transport away lorries full of soil for weeks!"
The mission was successfully completed, however we could not help wondering why Ryszard had not decided to simply move the building to a more convenient location.
"It's because of the perseverance and stubbornness so characteristic for people living in this area," he laughs, adding that once he came up with his plan he did not even consider giving up despite the many people who tried to convince him to change his mind. This was his place on Earth.
"I'm in love with sawmilling. This type of activity gives me great satisfaction. This is working with nature. Wood, just like nature, can be hard to predict. It makes my work interesting. All the time I'm looking for new solutions, innovations. I keep my business modern and look to the future with optimism."
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