“El País” interview

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“Our high investment in R & D allows our customers to reduce 64% consumption, maintenance and recycling with our refrigerated cabinets.”

“Our high investment in R & D allows our customers to reduce 64% consumption, maintenance and recycling with our refrigerated cabinets.” (ALFONSO ANTOÑANZAS managing director and EXKAL president)

“Exposición y Conservación de Almentos” was born in April 2005 to design, manufacture and put in market commercial refrigerated cabinets which widely reduce energy consumption and total life cycle cost compared to existing market products.The brand, EXKAL, is the market leader since 2011 and in ten years has reduced to 36% of the product’s life cycle thanks to its R & D cost.

How EXKAL was introduced in the market?

Since 2006 we manufacture a wide range of commercial refrigeration furniture for supermarkets, since 2009 we cover all formats of the market, and since 2011 we lead. We are in all retail chains, large and small and have grown every year of the crisis. The partners had 33 years of experience in the sector when we founded the company, and we wanted to offer our customers a differentiated product.

Why is different?

We like to talk about life cycle cost, which is what it costs to the customer, because in our cabinet, to a value of ten, the initial cost is very small, between 1 and 1.5; energy consumption cost between seven and eight, maintenance costs and product loss cost around 5%, and when it ends the life of the cabinet must recover and recycle. The differentiation of our product comes from our plans to reduce total life cycle cost. We made a first plan 2005-2010 with the aim of reducing it to 40%. We got it and in the 2010-2015 plan we set it down to 36%. We achieved it again and we have a 2015-2020 plan to reach 22% over the original cost. The key aspect is reducing consumption, but also reduce maintenance operations and product losses and recovery and recycling plan, with more simple design and even you can get to reuse. We SR10-003 2011 AENOR certificate that identifies us as the third company in Spain to obtain the certification of our management system of social responsibility and act accordingly.

How much is invested in R&D?

We make very high investments in R&D, and reinvest 100% of the profits. We have nine projects approved by the CDTI and tenth in the process of approval, which is more than an innovative project per year. All are strongly supported with loans at very low interest. Two of them have two major labels to recognize us as a technological and innovative company: Eureka project and Chineka project, which is a bilateral agreement between the CDTI and China Torch agency.

What countries do you export?

For us the environment is very important, and make transfers of 10.000 kilometers with our cabinets is unsustainable, because you take little product and spend a lot of fuel. Therefore, our expansion was first factories. In 2009 we opened in Mexico and China, in 2011 we added another in Chile and in 2014 in Colombia. In 2011 we started to export to nearby countries. We went to Portugal, France and Belgium, from China to Malaysia and Taiwan, and from Chile to Peru. The next goal is, as the situation has improved for export, enhance our departure to the Arab countries, north of Africa and major European countries such as England and Germany.

How will you face this challenge?

We are in an investment of eight million euros to be more competitive in the export and increase production capacity because in the first four months of this year we have grown more than 60% compared to 2014. For a small business, which has invoiced 32 millions last year, is a huge number, but if Spain goes forward, which is predictable, our customers have the capacity to buy worth between 80 and 100 million euros, and we have to be prepared to not abuse the trust we have been granted.