interview | Berghof Testing

Six Questions to Goran Stojanovic

January 17, 2018

Goran Stojanovic’s goal, when he started at Berghof Testing in 2013, was to give the company a new international direction. This big challenge excited the born marketer, and after four years of being with the company, the facts speak for themselves: The Testing business unit, which has two sites in Germany and 55 employees, has been able to achieve a 50% export ratio, a new subsidiary in the USA and new business in China and other European countries.

What did you do before arriving at Berghof, and what was your path here?

Well, actually I am a business school graduate, not a technical person. But I have always worked in a technology oriented environment. Before coming to Berghof, I was in Key Account Management for era-contact, the world leader for electrical rail couplings. The rail area is very international, which is why I traveled a lot during this period. Berghof was still very regional at the time, the largest portion of the customer base being around Stuttgart and the Swabian Alps. The goal was to boost international growth. The challenge of rebuilding marketing internationally was very appealing to me and also the reason why I started at Berghof.

 

What does a typical day look like for you?

The most important thing when I arrive at the office is: coffee. Then, fresh cup in hand, I can begin my day. Usually that entails many strategy-type meetings where we define: In which direction do we want to move the company? Where do we want to be in 5 years? A current topic is: How do we structure our processes? What topics should be the focus in doing so? Then, of course, there’s the everyday business, usually customer requests that need to be implemented quickly. That goes hand in hand for us.

 

What has changed at Berghof Testing since you’ve been on board?

First of all, I would say the successful internationalization of the company. Our export share has reached 50% in the meantime. We have opened an office in the USA and most recently established a partnership in China. We are now actively abroad. Our sales volume for the past 4 years has also grown significantly. From about 2.5 million in 2013 to 9.5 million this year. We are also in the process of changing our business model. Our goal is to become increasingly modular and productive. Specifically that means: we will concentrate less on individual solutions and more on having a stronger focus on components. We are also aiming for more dynamic project processes so that we can, for instance, significantly shorten project completion times.

 

What is your plan for the next three years for Berghof Testing?

Our next challenge is to increase the company’s efficiency and profitability. We are also planning to modernize and optimize our work structures. We want to optimize the division of work and the specializations. We are very flexible and can adapt ourselves very well to market conditions. We are open to new things - those are our strengths. That is why we will be able to see many of the results of what we are doing today in the next year or two.

 

Everyone was talking about the diesel scandal this year. Does that tangent Berghof Testing as well?

Yes, absolutely. For one, some projects from the big automotive manufacturers like Audi and VW have been temporarily stopped since it was not clear what the impacts of the scandal would be on further processes. At the same time, we have products in our repertoire that are strongly directed towards e-mobility. We have been experiencing strong demand in this area, which of course makes us happy.

 

What are you, as an individual, interested it?

Well, my first interest is my daughter! I try to spend every free moment I have with her; that’s very important to me. There are also two things that really make me feel good in my free time as well. I am a huge soccer fan. And there is only one club: VfB Stuttgart. I am known throughout the company for using soccer analogies to explain things. I am also an absolute Metallica fan. In fact, just heavy metal in general - nothing can beat it.