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A guest article by Valentina Haumer – Student of Business and Economics (Vienna University of Economics and Business)

Thinking outside the box

Every year, young adults have the opportunity to do a summer internship at asma and by working in different departments from quality assurance and finish to homepage support they gain an insight into the professional life and the international activity of asma: Outside the box, in many areas.

Valentina Haumer:

In the Waldviertel, asma is quite well known and many people are acquainted with the company´s white-green logo. But what happens “outside the box” and what about the reach of the company?

The focus of asma´s international activity is mainly on export and import and less on foreign direct investments (FDI). A whole 30% of the goods sold directly, cross the Austrian border on their way to the customer – a much larger proportion via distributors and implemented in machines. For the production of asma´s customized material systems, about two thirds of the required raw materials are imported. Thus, good relations to the international business partners are essential. So how does asma manage its subsidiary?

To be able to classify asma´s international strategy, in other words, how the company organises its international activities, it is essential to analyse the way, the Polish subsidiary is managed, more precisely. The steady exchange of ideas and know-how between the two companies, which are each other´s customers and suppliers at the same time, ensures asma to be in a unique position, especially in Lower Austria. Nevertheless, the corporate management, which makes decisions in an independent manner, consists exclusively of Polish citizens. Therefore, the international business strategy can be considered to be polycentric using the EPG model (Howard V. Perlmutter) since the international activity is organised in a way to best fit the requirements and needs of the respective country (and their local companies). Due to the fact that asma offers products which are produced to best suit its customers´ needs, the material systems by asma are known in many countries beyond Austria´s borders, so “outside the box” is quite a large area.

Per definition, an international company is a firm that operates in at least two economies. Those activities may be taken in the form of investments or by importing and exporting products and raw materials from or to foreign countries. Analysing asma with respect to this institutional approach, so regardless of quantity and quality of the product, asma can be classified as an international company. Apart from the Polish subsidiary, asma also trades with corporations located in Hungary, Slovakia, Sweden, Russia and China, as business partners in import and export. As can be seen, the company founded in Wultschau is also popular in the extra-European area.

asma GmbH – Summer internship