Our Story

We are a Slovak company with German know-how in the automotive industry since 2001.

My husband, a German army retired officer and farmer was sixty two, I was a former dental technician in my forty seven and not working either.

We were financially secure, so we travelled a lot and enjoyed the life. Well, it sounds great, but as the time was passing by, we were getting bored and we had a strong need to give effect to something, to fulfill ourselves.

First, we considered that, along with one of our friends, we would establish a certification company, but it did not happen for several reasons. So, after the market research, we decided in January 2001 to establish a sorting company for the automotive industry, HOLLEN s.r.o. (limited liability company). We had no vision to build a „holding company“, we just wanted to do something useful.

Today our company operates in 4 countries, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary and in Russia, we have more than 800 technicians working in the field of Quality Management in Automotive Industry and our main clients are the significant OEMs in the territory like VW, PSA, KIA, Hyundai, Škoda, Audi and their suppliers.

We took doing a business as a challenge. A former army officer and a dental technician. We had not a great experience in business. But we loved to learn new things. My husband had a previous experience with accounting and management of a medium size agricultural farm, but I did not know absolutely anything about business, I had a problem to fill in a bank receipt – but step by step we learned all what was necessary.


We started from ground zero:

- in our private apartment, with our own personal car, with our private computer; we did not start quit as a garage company, in fact, we held our business meetings in our living room and it was connected with the kitchen, so we should probably say that we started as a kitchen company.
- with thirty elder pensioners and one technician. They were mostly people who wanted to do something, be active and to earn a little extra money.
- in VW we had one container serving as a technician‘s and a material storage including one company bicycle.
And it worked. We started very modestly and carefully, without any loans. We have been working on a simple principle – once we had earned money only then we invested in new things. From the beginning we have set up a high level of quality of our services. We focused on flexibility and well trained people.


How did we manage to build up a prosperous company?

My husband and I, we have always tried to manage the company in a fair manner, with integrity and in accordance with the highest principles. The good workers are the most important asset of the company and thus deserve to be paid well. We have been able to make the right decisions. You do not need so much expertise, more important is to be humble enough and to ask those who know more about the problem. It is important to view the problem from a higher perspective. Not everyone can do that, but I think we have managed.

All company matters are dealt with together by both of us, and we never move further, until we agree on a solution. It's challenging, because often we have differing opinions. When we cannot find an agreement we ask others, we call this searching for the third alternative. Thanks to that we have always managed to make good decisions.

Dedication and honest work; personal discipline of each individual as an obvious part of the corporate culture, these are the values that we have been able to set up and make our company successful and thriving. Laid down in „manners“.

My husband was the operation manager, running day-to-day business. He was responsible for the handling of orders, he perfectly knew how to organize and motivate people; and I was responsible for financial and legal affairs. Our shared control was divided: he was a leader and a visionary, I was a housekeeper and systematic. We were a perfect match. At the moment we already have a CEO, who took over management of the company. Now we have just the owner related responsibilities. But still deeply involved.


Do we have any competition on the market?

There is a lot of competitors, however I would venture to say that we are the best in terms of the provision of services and expertise. Our company policy is to do everything requested, so that the client is satisfied. We are extremely flexible, we are available twenty-four hours.


How quickly the company has grown? We always caught the chances that were offered.

In 2001 we began to provide service of quality, sorting works and small repairs for VW Bratislava. We were successful at it and it was nice to see that we are good and our company was growing. The two of us worked sometimes twelve hours a day. We got more and more orders and they had to be arranged fast, so we had to employ more people. It happened that we both had to work night shifts sorting, because we did not have enough employees. I have to say that we were lucky to find the right people and we have managed to create a great, excited team with a company spirit.

Early in 2002 it was obvious we need more office space for the company. It was not possible to work and live in one apartment, so we bought a small plot of land on Bystrická street in Devínska Nová Ves and in March, 2003 we moved to newly build premises. The house was built in record time, six months.

In the same year we have started our Christmas Party” tradition, as we wanted to promote the company culture and make our people to meet also in a informal way as a family..

In 2004, to keep good relationship with suppliers and customers, we started to organize “Grill Parties”.

And then came other chances. When we heard PSA Peugeot Citroën was coming to Slovakia to build a factory; we immediately began to learn French in our company to be prepared. It paid off. We won the tender procedure and in 2005 we opened a branch in Trnava. The corporate policy of PSA at the time was set so that only one supplier for sorting services was acceptable. We had tremendous luck, since we came on the market at just the right moment.

The new branch needed to define the rules and put all the procedures in a written form and we began to develop a set of guidelines, a so called company “Handbuch” as Standing Operation Procedures.

The company has become a big family. To enhance the feeling of fellowship we organize the “Family days” since 2005. We generously support such activities and do not save money on them. It is a form of incentive for our staff. Good human relations are very important to us. Employees, who have family problems – such as handicapped children, are also supported.

The number of work hour in the VW branch increased in 2005 by 65%, it was a very prosperous year for the company. In the year 2006 the number even increased by 182%.

In August, 2005, we had first talks with KIA Žilina. The communication with Korean management was not the easiest one, yet we stood in competition with 6 external companies. We have succeeded in a tender, and in 2006 we opened a branch in Žilina.

To improve communication between management, workers and associates, we have started to issue the newspaper “HOLLEN NEWS” since 2007 twice a year..

In 2007 the PSA branch reported the increased number of worked hours by 50%. In the same year the football tradition “HOLLEN CUP” have started to be organized each year in Trnava..

The company continually grew and expanded and so also the administration in Head Office. The house on Bystrická street was soon too small, we also missed a conference room. For the Accounting Department we had to rent a 3-room apartment in a neighboring house, and at the same time we were already looking for new premises for the Headquarters and the Branch Bratislava. It was not easy, two years lasted till we succeeded and bought two neighboring buildings at Kosatcová street in Devínska Nová Ves. The buildings were devastated, so we reconstructed them. In July, 2008 we moved in. Workshop, warehouse and apartments were finished one year later.

The company strategy to be in own premises has proved to be reliable as a guaranty of stability and certainty. Our premises are adapted to fit to our needs and we have no concerns over an increased rent or termination of a rental contract at the most inconvenient time.
We did not stay with our business in Slovakia...
The important year 2009. Since January we have EURO currency in Slovakia, and a world global crisis began and with it concerns of further development in all areas.


Our company has grown beyond the borders. In Škoda Mladá Boleslav we began to operate in the year of crisis, in 2009. My husband wanted the company to grow, I told him it was foolish at that time. But it was not. I was outvoted – and the decision has proved to be correct. We have offered better service than the competitors, and we succeeded. At first we were in a rented premises, but in 2012 we bought our own building and moved in in the year 2013. Now we have a daughter company there and subordinate also a branch in Trutnov.

We are in Russia, too, in Kaluga, where VW and PSA have their plants, but for the time being we are not thriving there. The daughter company was established there in 2009, just before the time of crisis.

In the year 2009 we have also started with restoration of Oldtimers. It is a good add on to our core business.

After years of success and constant grow, the year 2013 brought a decrease in orders by around 10% and we lost the position of the exclusive supplier of sorting services in PSA Trnava. The economic results achieved were barely satisfactory.

In the year 2014 we started with optimization processes and in all branches we registered an increase of orders. In Branch Bratislava it was actually the increase of 300%.

To the tender procedure to AUDI Gyor we prepared very carefully, we were extremely interested to get there, the position near Bratislava is a great advantage. We succeeded, in May, 2014, we have established a daughter company there. Hungary is a challenge due to the language barrier, but we managed to find people, able to communicate in Hungarian and Slovak languages, as well as in German and English. At the time being we have just started, we will see how the business will go in the future.


How creative is entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurship is a creative activity. My husband and I, we like to solve problems that pop up every day, we like to see how the company develops and grows. To build a good company means to take care of it permanently. There is always something what could be amended. To improve processes or to write guidelines, we still need innovative ideas and creativity. We must not sleep on laurels, there is always some week spot we have to tackle and at the same time we need to move forward.


We have focused on education and trainings

Not only language courses – German, English and French – which we have running continuously almost from the beginning of our company, in addition, twice a year we organize seminars for the management by their own choice. In 2008 we organized the first seminar for the all company executives in Stupava. The name “Stupava” is still used for this event ever since, even if the seminar is organized in another place. Also increase the joint feeling of being part of HOLLEN Family. In addition we found 2014 the “HOLLEN Academy”, which should help to bring all the incoming technician of our widespread company to the same level of expertise.

In 2013 we have developed and implemented HOLLEN Supplier B2B Portal (HSB2BP) for the electronic communication with our service providers, which allowed us to increase the speed and simplification of the business transactions and afterwards the overall overview of the cost structure of our company. In 2014 we have developed and implemented the application HOLLEN Smart Work Place (HSWPA), which is designed for computerization of the selected work places and next year 2015 we introduced the application HOLLEN Customer B2B Portal (HCB2BP), which allows our customers to remotely view the results of our work in sophisticated way. Our aim was not only to be in line with the technology achievements but mainly to make our operation more efficient, decrease the administration workload and increase the information flow.
Our company, my husband, me and all our employees and partners continue to learn, we continue to grow and I believe that this will last in the future same way.

I like the slogan of Bob Dylan: “if you're not busy being born, you're busy dying.”

Hot Line

Slovak republic

Bratislava (VW Slovakia)
+421 905 902 093

Trnava (PSA Slovakia)
+421 908 754 305

Lužianky (Jaguar Land Rover)
+421 908 754 305

Žilina (KIA Slovakia)
+421 908 784 713

Košice
+421 908 784 713

Czech republic

Mladá Boleslav (Škoda Auto)
+420 774 531 562, +420 774 691 833

Trutnov (Continental)
+420 737 173 179

Frýdek Místek (Hyundai)
+420 734 673 994

Brandýs nad Labem (Continental)
+420 733 533 609

Kvasiny
+420 603 174 865

Russia

Kaluga (VW Rus)
+79 109 186 861

Ryazan
+79 109 186 861

Hungary

Györ (Audi Hungaria)
+36 202 300 934