The principal UK importer of the Wisniowski brand of sectional and insulated side hinged garage doors organised and generously paid for a factory visit for a selection of their trade customers. This was the second trip they have organised since their launch of the Wisniowski brand in the UK earlier in this year.
Mark Arridge, MD of Arridge Garage Doors Ltd was invited and this is how it went …..
In Bristol Airport Brunel bar at 1pm on Tuesday 6th December 2022 I met up with Lewis our new rep, a lovely guy, who offered me a beer straight away and Jason the sales manager (who was full of cold) plus 8 other trade customers. I strategically avoided the early beers and boarded the plane.
To Infinity and Beyond Bar and pool, a good start to any trip
It was a good flight, then a 2 hour drive in the minibus from Krakov airport and we arrived at the Heron Hotel. Built and owned by Mr Wisniowski, just 10 minutes from the factory, this 5 star hotel with a sauna, pools (swimming and snooker type) was a real treat.
Fantastic View of the lake from breakfast We get ready for the 10 minute ride to the factory
The entire atrium at Wisniowski Jason Braced himself for the corporate intro again
Covering the area of approximately 60 football pitches the Wisniowski factory employs 2200 people, makes 200,000 doors per year and has a turnover of £250,000,000 and makes a jolly good garage door.
The vast “overhanging” offices, glass open plan workspaces and unhurried, efficient and friendly, hardworking staff immediately impressed.
It looked like Lloyds of London or something from Dubai certainly compared to any other garage door factory any of us had visited before.
Mr Wisniowski started in 1989 by building his first up and over garage door in his garage at home. He built six, sold them, used the proceeds to build a workshop in which he could build more doors and set himself a target of making one door per day. He’s certainly managed that!
Now you see it Now you don’t
We had the usual corporate introduction by Marcin, the export manager (the one in the chequered jacket in the photo above trying to get the PowerPoint presentation to work) ate homemade pastries, met some other engaging Wisniowski staff and set off on a very long walk.
Unfortunately no photographs were allowed in the actual factory, only in the showroom that showcases the finished products.
No exaggeration here, it was exceptional.
- Some of the individual corridors were over 500 metres long
- We walked past at least 8 massive works canteens
- The factory expanded a few years ago to the other side of the main trunk road so they built a massive bridge over it to join the 2 sites.
- There was a good mix of high tech machinery and hard working, well trained personnel.
- We saw some great products:-
– Wisniowski fencing
– Wisniowski windows and doors
– Wisniowski gates
Having a good look at the side sprung Wisniowski sectional door, the popular one for the UK market.
With sore feet we ended up in the showroom and looked in detail at the installed products, a super dooper insulated extra posh sectional door not yet launched in the UK and their rather hypnotic range of fencing and gates.
The 60mm insulated Wisniowski sectional with powder coated tracks, joint covers etc.
Yet to be launched in the UK.
The showroom, like the factory was vast.
Agnita explains something in detail to Jason
Back to the hotel, 20 minutes in the gym, 20 minutes in the sauna, a dip in the outdoor unheated swimming pool (very brass monkeys) and more beer was consumed. Thankfully late night vodka drinking did not ensue but Lewis and a couple of the other lads did do that the night before and were very grateful for the paracetamol I had in my bag as we headed towards the factory in the minibus the following morning.
Some of the export team from Wisniowski came to the hotel that evening for a buffet and to play 10 pin bowling – the hotel has 2 bowling lanes.
Callum celebrates a strike and Jacob prepares to bowl Tim gets a strike as Karl gets ready to bowl
A great time was had by all.
We took a minibus back to the airport, boarded a Ryanair flight back to Bristol airport and finally drove home.
Goodbye to the new friends made.
A very memorable trip.