Thursday, 24th June 2010, Velenje, Slovenia

Innovation Awards Presented by Chamber of Commerce and Industry

On June 22nd, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Savinjsko-šaleška (SAŠA) region presented the awards and diplomas for the best innovations in the SAŠA region for the year 2009. Gorenje won two gold, one silver, and six bronze awards, and two diplomas. The gold-award-winning Slovenian Service Network Business Model Revision project was also nominated for the award at the national level. The other gold-winning innovation was the Simplicity Line.

Revision of Gorenje's service network business model included introduction of a central call centre to improve communication with the customers, while central management of service technicians evened out the waiting periods throughout the country and provided comprehensive support and supervision of the service technicians, enhancement of their technical skills, and faster flow of information. Service technicians no longer merely execute their tasks; rather, they are independent entrepreneurs within Gorenje. As a result, the customers are more satisfied with the lead time, response, and quality of the service technicians' work. Improved customer satisfaction is also expected to result in higher market share of Gorenje brand appliances. Authors of the Slovenian Service Network Business Model Revision are: Franc Košec, Milan Meža, Matjaž Bergant, Bojan Hudej, Matjaž Gaberšek, Tomaž Kolar, Jože Steblovnik, Dare Bujan, Aleš Rakovnik, and Boštjan Beršnjak.

The key feature of the Simplicity line of appliances is the simplicity of their use: in a single step, with logical selection of programs using a simplified user interface. The appliances also boast low power consumption. Model protection was filed for control buttons on particular appliances. Elimination of "superfluous" functions from the appliances has rendered their production simpler and easier on both fuel consumption and workforce requirements. Use of authentic materials and lesser number of installed components allows simpler recycling. Since appliances only feature those functions that are most commonly used by the users, control and use of these appliances is simple and pleasing as there is no stress and waste of time caused by incomprehensible appliance functions. The authors of the Simplicity Line are: Mitja Dobravc, Damjan Golčman, Rok Grudnik, Tone Holobar, Irena Knez, Matej Kotnik, Aleš Korošec, Nives Kraševec, Tomi Krašovec, Matej Mogilnicki, Miran Napotnik, Zlatko Novak, Matevž Popič, Lidija Pritržnik, Janez Rop, and Aleksander Uranc.

Silver award for professional innovation was won by the Cooling system of the refrigerator-freezer designed by Edi Pocajt, Izidor Zupanc, Vladimir Bač, Marko Kralj, and Vasilij Kugonič.

Bronze award for professional innovation was presented for the implementation of flat cables with IDC connectors in cooking appliances, authored by Gregor Leskovšek, Angela Zupancm and Zvonko Zimic; automated production of connector terminals for cooking appliances by Zlatko Bartolac, Angela Zupanc, and Zvonko Zimic; device for easier washing machine blocking by Robertino Posedel and Evgen Vršnak; development of complex functional device for automatic opening of burner nests on the gas ramp pre-assembly line by Franjo Grobelnik, Matjaž Lešnik, and Igor Blatnik; innovative installation of C-RAL gas springs by Mihael Lavre and Robert Koletnik; and lowering the gas temperature in the oven and flat part enamel coating furnace by Evgen Vršnak, David Dokl, Breda Bezgovšek, and Mihalj Palfi.

Diplomas for professional innovation were awarded for automatic (instant) reporting of semi products by Zlatko Bartolac, Robert Poznič, and Angela Zupanc; and replacement of Virplast tape with semi-automatic mounting of cable clamps on cooking appliance sets by Zvonko Zimic, Damir Mejrič, and Angela Zupanc.