The metal industry is one of the most expansive industries in Poland. It is connected with other industries such as machine steel, iron, tool and metal treatment. Key permanent absorption sectors for the metal industry are mainly construction, car and household appliances. If these sectors suffer a reduction in orders for metal products, it automatically results in the metal industry recording losses.
Currently, the Polish market is comprised of more than 53. 5 thousand companies in the metal industry (metal production and metal product manufacturing). Two largest groups are formed by companies employing up to 9 employees (ca. 91%) and 10 to 49 (more than 6%). The main problem of the industry is high fragmentation and the share of small/medium companies. It should be noted however, that last year many companies ceased their operations. In 2013, 886 bankruptcies were recorded, 1% more than in 2012. The problems of the metal industry result mostly from its strict links with other industries i.a. construction, machine and automotive. Companies are also struggling with surplus production capacity reaching 30-40%. Companies that positively assess their financial situation are also present. They indicate that it is connected to the high level of exports to the west.
Chart: Company Market Structure in the Metal and Machine Industry.
The machine sector in Poland may be divided into: general purpose machines, special purpose machines, agriculture and forestry machines, and mechanical equipment and devices. The machine industry is one of the strongest industries in Poland, in particular in the context of participation of machine companies on foreign markets. The location of Polish machine production plants in the heart of Europe favourably affects investments taken in this industry and order placement. 2014 recorded a nearly 3% increase in the number of entities dealing in the production of various kinds of machines as compared to the previous year. Companies are concentrated mostly in the Podkarpackie Province.
Currently the Polish machine industry is comprised of ca. 8 000 companies, of which more than 80% employs up to 9 people. A significant share belongs to small companies with 10-49 employees (1015 entities). Almost 5% employs up to 249 employees, and 79 companies, more than 250.
Nearly 70% of companies covered by BPC educational-consulting activities indicate that their current IT infrastructure does not meet the required functionality and is in need of modernizing. It lacks specialized tools regarding the production area. Entrepreneurs are also interested in ERP, APS, PLM, MES, CAx, EDI and WMS solutions.
Unlike the metal industry, this sector is strictly associated with agriculture and the food industry. Part of works is still performed manually, which is often difficult to encompass by a system. Machine metering is at times unprofitable, while the human factor results in inaccuracies of data introduced into the system.