Achieving Success by Focusing on Sustainable and Bespoke Heating Solutions...
Founded in 1998, Dalkia Polska is the largest European private operator of heating networks, present in forty towns and cities across Poland. The company specializes in management and maintenance services to operators of industrial production sites, public utilities, offices and hospitals and is committed to providing its end-users with a quality and reliable service while considering the wider community as a whole.
Dalkia Polska’s group-wide strategy is based on the principles of sustainable development including the use of renewable energy sources; in particular biomass, and the company is always looking to diversity its sustainable product and service offerings. For more than 15 years, Dalkia Polska has been building long-term relationships with local authorities to support the sustainable development of cities.
“Our ambition is to develop heating networks that form a significant advantage for the present and future energy challenge of the cities we operate in,” says Luiz Hanania, CFO, Dalkia Polska. “We also want to develop new cogeneration plants, based on renewable energy sources, wherever possible,” he says.
Dalkia Poland’s business model relies on effective use of all resources and allows for implementation of state-of-the-art technologies while maintaining a moderate price point. In fact, the company’s ability to provide users with innovative, economically viable and importantly, environmentally effective heating solutions sets it apart from the competition. “We provide innovative solutions, which support the sustainable development of cities and businesses,” says Hanania.
Developing bespoke solutions
While sustainability is at the heart of what Dalkia Polska does, so too is product development and client satisfaction. The company has established an R&D center in the country - one of the most sophisticated of its kind - where it develops new and bespoke heating solutions for its clients.
“We want to offer our clients tailored solutions by supplementing our offer with operator agreements, as well as a broad range of energy services. While using our knowledge and experience on international markets, our clients have the opportunity to obtain complex solutions in the area of supplying electricity, heat and industrial media, as well as technical maintenance of their facilities,” says Hanania.
The company covers a significant part of heating distribution needs in the country, especially since winning a tender for the takeover of the District Heating Network (DHN) in Warsaw in 2011- the largest of its kind in EU, with more than 1,700 km of extension - however, today the business is ramping up for aggressive expansion.
A journey to lean
“Looking forward we want to be more aggressive and seize the wonderful opportunities still at hand,” explains Hanania. “Instead of waiting for clients to come to us, we are now in a position as a business to approach them.” The journey for Dalkia in recent years however has not been one without hurdles and the company has had to fine-tune its operations to achieve the standards it is proud of today.
“Following the win of the Warsaw tender there was a period of transition, and for one to two years business was extremely tough,” says Hanania. Ultimately though this period resulted in a very lean operation, which is far more nimble and efficient. “We have integrated IT systems and today operate with 40 percent less headcount while increasing revenues. Now Dalkia Warszawa has less than 1,100 employees, down from 1,800 pre takeover, for example. And if one can easily realize that financial and operational performance were quite boosted in such a short period, a plethora of innovative and passionate projects demonstrate there’s still an interesting pathway ahead. With a clear strategy for sustainable growth, competitiveness and profitability can definitely co-exist and all stakeholders will benefit from it,” says Hanania.
Relying on people and training
In order to develop such a lean operation, the company has had to place a huge emphasis on people management and training. With this in mind, Dalkia Polska developed a partnership with the Polytechnic University of Warsaw to identify top talent. They also run regular training schemes in-house and have a management system, whereby employees showing potential are given extra mentorship to rise through the ranks. “We have placed a great emphasis on identifying talent and as a result have exceptional staff retention,” says Hanania.
Dalkia Polska is the largest private operator of district heating networks in Poland. About 5 100 Dalkia employees across 40 cities of Poland manage more than 3 000 km of district heating networks, providing 4 800 MW of thermal energy and 800 MW of electricity. Dalkia operates in Poland through its subsidiaries, including: Dalkia Polska (holding company), 6 major operating companies - Dalkia Warszawa, Dalkia Lodz, Dalkia Poznan, Dalkia Poznan ZEC, Dalkia term, Dalkia Energy & Technical Services and its subsidiaries.
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