HISTORY LESSON

Polanik company was found in 1966 by Wiesław Szczepanik. At the beginning of the existence, thecompany manufactured household items, license plates, drawing board with accessories, etc.

The production of the sport javelins started in 1975. The owner had construced the machinery and all the instrumentation to produce those articles.  Those sport articles had already been exported  to many countries in the world, through the of foreign trade centre. The javelins were simple and cheap, designed for training. They were made of steel tape and in fact this product was in great demand, especially abroad.

 

However the ambition of Wiesław Szczepanik was to produce the high class competition javelins, made of duralumin pipes. In 1985, after more than five years of work, struggling not only with technical problems, but also with unfavorable  circumstances for private enterprises and the general economic crisis, the  owner  of the company completed the construction of the machine and all the instrumentation to produce  the aluminum javelins. In 1987, the innovative and unusual  technical solutions allowed to obtain the patent, for both  the machine producing javelins and the way of performing them.

First units of aluminum javelins left the factory in 1986.  They were advantageous by high precision of performance, high stiffness and compliance with standards of the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF).  Thanks to the previous export contracts, it was possible  to obtain the export license and sell products   without  mediation  of the foreign trade centre. It also facilitated  traveling abroad in order to look for new recipients.

At the time, when people waited for hours for international phone calls and nobody heard about devices such as fax, the only way to attract foreign client was to go abroad with products samples. Additionally the Polish products had opinion of poor quality and technological backwardness.
Another impediment to enter the market was lack of the contacts in athletes' environment, like coaches and activists, because  neither Wiesław Szczepanik, nor none  of his entourage  didn’t practice athletics.

Most of the companies choose such industry in consequence of sport career. In case of Poalnik the javelin production was a real challenge.

 

However,  beyond  the expectations, the high quality and attractive price of javelins allowed to gain some recipients  directly after the first trip. Mr. Szczepanik won big and well known in the industry Belgium and German companies and we cooperate with them to this day. Participation as a subexhibitor in ISPO fair in Munich - the  largest exposition event in the sport industry, allowed to establish some more contracts with other clients.

The financial resources obtained from the first  export contracts  were directly invested in launching the production of more articles: shot puts, hammers and hurdles. Again in this case, use of innovative technologies  made possible to obtain  a patent for “production of shot puts and  hammers head and for shot puts and hammers head manufactured in this way”. The owner obtained also the  protection right for the  collapsible athletic hurdles, which were very well accepted  on the market. Its  collapsible construction had posiitive influence on transport cost.

Meanwhile, the owner of the company received the confirmation letter from the International  Association of Athletics Federation. The document certified that Polanik javelins meet all IAAF requirements  and allowed use them during  the competition of the highest level. In such way Polanik entered the elite producers of sport javelins. Nowadays  there are only five of them in the world.

New products implementation and company development were inhibited by  social- economic system reigned in Poland at that time.  At the turn of eighties and nineties, during  the system  transformation, conditions for  private enterprises have changed and new opportunities have opened up. In 1989 Wiesław Szczepanik decided for  loan from European Union for small and medium sized businesses, and within two years  production hall of 1200 smq was built.

Since then, began a period of dynamic development. Excellent products quality, unusual and user-friendly technical solutions resulted in great acceptance of that equipment on the market. This brought new recipients acquisition and increase of orders.

In the company development are also involved owner’s children son and two daughters. Every year brings somenews to the production.  The owner  of the company holds many patents and protection rights for its products (in total about 30). In 1992 production of athletic discuss stared. Initially  there were only school wooden discuss, in the next years  appeared some new models: plastic  with IAAF Certificate, from special wood material to intensive trainings in clubs  and ultra - modern made of carbon fibre and fibreglass with  brass rim, which also has IAAF Certificate. We currently produce approximately 50 models of discuss, that meet the most sophisticated needs of the athletes.

Afterwards, in 1993  we started to  produce  starting blocks, in total 4 models: school - training, universal  and two kinds of competition blocks  with IAAF Certificate. Competition blocks  had applied special  profiles of extruded aluminum in contrast to other companies, which used aluminum casts.

The collapsible hurdles has been replaced by  the new, better model. In one  box can be packed 40 pieces of collapsible hurdles, which resulted in a significant reduction of transport cost and final hurdle  price (for comparison,  in one box  can be packed 15 pieces of not collapsible hurdles). It empowers export to the farthest corners of the world, such as Korea, Venezuela, Canada. Over time the production of other  school, training and competition  models of hurdles started..

 

In 1997 another group of products  started to be manufactured -  high jumps stands. Nowadays we produce 4 models: two school, universal for clubs and competition  with telescopic construction , certificated by IAAF. All stands are made of aluminum profiles  designed in Polanik company and are  patented by the Patent Office. The telescopic construction and special mechanism of competition stands allows for comfortable  operating. This equipment is considered as one of the best on the world.

In 1998 the company has introduced safety cages for discuss and hammer throwing. The cages performed vey well on many stadiums in Poland, Denmark, Sweden, Great Britain, Italy, Turkey and Malta.

At the same time, except implementation of sport equipment, we  launched manufacture of basketball rings and auxiliaries such as racks and carts to storage sport articles.

Over time, the athletic equipment began to appear on more and more serious sport events and the brand Polanik became increasingly  known  and appreciated.

In 1997 there was a breakthrough, the athletics hurdles of Polanik appeared at the World Championships in Athens ’97.  Since  then, each year Polanik sport equipment is used during top sporting events on the world.

In 1998, the International Association of Athletic Federations introduced  the certification system  for athletic equipment in order to  improve the quality  of  sport equipment and to compensate competitors chances .  At the highest level of sport competition can only be used  equipment tested by the Technical Committee of the Federation, which meets the requirements.  Such certificates obtained 80 products of Polanik company. They are mentioned in official publications of the Federation as acceptable for competition at the highest level including the Olympic Games. In case of Polanik company it  became a reality in year 2000 in Sydney, Athens, Beijing or last Olympic games in London 2012.

Since 1999, the company participates, as an independent exhibitor in the  ISPO fair  in Munich, and since 1994 we present our equipment in trade fair of Sport and Recreation in Warsaw. It is important to mention about participation in fair FSB in Cologne, where the company is present as an exhibitor since 2007.

This helps in gaining more customers and enhances Polanik’s prestige. The company is  already the laureate of many awards and honors: Polish Association of Athletics Federation and the Polish Olympic Committee  for the best products, National Labour Inspectorate  in the competition  “Employer, Organizer of Safe Work”, the title “Business Fair Play” for year 2001, and the owner - Wiesław Szczepanik  was honored as An Entrepreneur of the year 2003 by the Regional Chamber of Economy in Piotrków Tryb. In 2011 Wiesław Szczepanik received the award of the Mayor of Piotrków Trybunalski.

In 2001 another production hall with an area of 1,750 sqm. was finished. We located there modern welding, joinery, javelin section, powder paint  spraying and galvanization. This allowed to increase the production capacity, independence from suppliers, launch production of new products, raise work safety and social conditions of the crew. We have always paid big attention on work conditions, because well qualified  personnel is very important for business development.

In the period 1990 - 2003  production area of  Polanik company has grown  from 200 to 3000 sqm, employment increased from 6 to 80 people and its assortment expanded the range  from 30 to 250 products.

In 2012 many investment were realized. The main office was completely renovated. Now our team members work in significantly more comfortable conditions, and first of all the quality of customer service is higher. The product showroom with not only the athletics equipment but also the athletics apparel collection and footwear was set in the new office. We built ne hall 450 square metres to expand our storage space in order to achieve on of our key objectives which is to shorten maximally the order execution time. We bought another CNC mashine canter.

Not many polish companies can boast about period of almost fifty years of continuous, business development. During that time, the small workshop  has gradually turned into modern undertaking. All our investming activities result from a belief that continous developmnet of the company guarantees its stability. Dariusz Szczepanik says: "In my opinion, the company which designates, as a rule,  a significant part of its income, irrespectively to the amount,  for investments has better chances tosurvive in unfovourable conditions and to developeffectively in goodeconomic situation." That rule has been working well at our company for years.

Today we have new hall of 5000 square metres, over 100 employees works on the assortment of over 1000 products, which goes to tens markets around the world.
We have also ntroduced to our offer professional sports appareal and footwear, we take special care of every product from our range.

In 2003  formed  Family partnership Polanik Sp. z o.o., which  gradually takes over the company's current activities carried out individually by Wieslaw Szczepanik.  The aim to establish  such partnership was  further company development and  willingness to hand it over  to the next generation. The company’s shareholders are: Wieslaw Szczepanik, his wife Emilia and children: son Dariusz  and two daughters Ewa and Joanna. The two - person board of directors consists: Dariusz Szczepanik (president) and Wiesław Sczepanik (vice president). The  process of taking over the production by the partnership  was planned to be spread for 3 years, in order not to be perceptible too much by our recipients.

In accordance to permanent  company development and  product range extension,  in 2011 there was created: Polanik Spółka z o.o. Spółka Komandytowa. New parnership is responsible for the trade and distribution and  Polanik Sp. z o.o. is manufacturing and providing services.

The ambition of the shareholders is  further stable development of the company, new products introduction, expanding markets, strengthening the image of the producer and distributor of branded sports equipment.

The founder - Wiesław Szczepanik is still taking an acive part the life of the company, he keeps designing new products. He once said:  "When I establishe the company I did not expect that it will expand so much, I just did what I liked... the rest happened kind of by the way" .

 
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