Chropynska is people – Juraj

Our colleague Juraj is one of our most experienced employees. He has been working at Chropynska for almost 4 decades, during which he has been part of significant changes. He was directly responsible for the introduction of production management systems, headed the company as a director for 15 years, and since 2012 he has been responsible for the quality management system and production plan management. In the interview he described to us his career at Chropynska, his plans for his upcoming retirement, whether he has a successor and much more.


You are one of the most experienced employees of Chropynska. Do you remember your beginnings?

Very good.  I started in 1983 in the “Tool Room” in Hall 8, which is no longer used.  There were always very clever people working there who were  able to solve problems and enjoyed the work. I was recruited by the  head of the plant, Mr. Zat’ko, an experienced professional. I would like to mention colleagues such as Peter Baláž, Juraj Pivoluska and Juraj Laššák, from whom I learned a lot. They were professionals who did not stop at any problem.

What positions have you gone through over the years?

I guess  I’d rather talk about projects, that’s how I’ve always seen my work. I was fascinated by computing, I implemented CAD systems, but also  the first tool production management system ASR VN. Its operation started in 1992 and it was one of the first applications of PC on LAN in  engineering in Slovakia. From 1996 to 2012 I was the Director of the company.

What is your role in  your current position?

Since 2012,  I have been responsible for the quality area and SAP deployment. I returned to the “craft” of management systems development,  enriched by valuable experience from management practice. After 10 years, the system represents a unique solution tailored to the management of piece production, which is also praised by foreign  customers. Today, I mainly deal with management superstructures that enable improved management. No more paper reports as in the past are needed. Information is available at a few clicks.

“Turnkey production is mainly built on people, their experience and professional  development, which takes 5 years or more”.

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What major changes in Chropynska have you been part of?

The most  challenging and important was the independence from the parent company PPS. The latter gradually ran into problems and went bankrupt  in 2002. Together with my colleagues, we dealt with the direct  supply of energy and heat, as well as the accounting system and finances. There was a winter period when PPS stopped supplying us with heat. It was 10 to 12 degrees on the shop floor. We managed to  cope, which I owe to all my colleagues, from the workers to the managers. At the same time, we were gaining new customers from the west, which already accounted for 95% of our orders in 1999.

You are planning to retire next year. Will there be anyone to replace you?

I’m not  worried about my replacement. My colleague has already taken over the quality area. She has a pull on the gate, she understands  the organization but also the technical problems. Another colleague is  gradually taking over communication with the SAP/Prod21 supplier, proposing new solutions and managing the development of the LH21 management information system. We have been working with both of them for more than a year, which is good.   

What will you miss the most?

Definitely  people, I miss some of them already. We went through the  whole transition and crisis period with the feeling that we were doing  this for the people. Turnkey production is mainly built on people,  their experience and professional growth, which takes 5 years or more.  When introducing the company to new customers, I always talked about experienced colleagues, whether they were behind the machine, solving technical problems or finance. They were all better at something than I was, I had a lot to learn.

How do you spend your free time?

I’m a 5-time grandfather. That’s a whole new dimension of leisure time. I’m gradually learning songs for the kids on the guitar, we sing and dance together. I go swimming and running regularly and so far I’ve managed to heal physical and mental trauma through sport. I am interested in problems at the edge of human knowledge such as artificial intelligence, the universe and quantum physics.