BUDAPEST, Hungary – With NCR Corp.‘s decision to relocate its headquarters to metro Atlanta and build a factory in nearby Columbus, the state has a new connection to the Hungarian town of Szigetszentmiklós.
Since 2005, NCR has produced automated teller machines at a factory in Szigetszentmiklós, about six miles from Hungary’s capital of Budapest.
On June 2, NCR announced it is relocating its world headquarters from Dayton, Ohio, to the Atlanta suburb of Duluth. It is also constructing an ATM factory in Columbus, Ga., that is scheduled to open in October and will eventually employ more than 800 people.
Within days of the NCR announcement, a three-person project study team from the state of Georgia’s Quick Start workforce training agency was on its way to Szigetszentmiklós to document the ATM production process for training newly hired NCR workers in Columbus.
“When they were were ready, we were ready,” said Quick Start spokesman Rodger Brown.
Meanwhile, NCR was shipping ATM machines from the Hungary plant to Columbus for the training program.
When Peter Dorsman, NCR’s senior vice president and chief operations officer, arrived in Atlanta for the corporate headquarters announcement, he had just returned from a month in Szigetszentmiklós. He travels to Hungary every three months.
“It’s a wonderful place to do business,” Mr. Dorsman told GlobalAtlanta in a telephone interview. “We have a world-class facility there with world-class workers who are helping us grow our business.” NCR also has factories in India and China.
The Szigetszentmiklós factory currently employs about 370 people, plant operations director Zoltan Kiss told GlobalAtlanta in an e-mail interview.
“The plant in Hungary manufactures products mostly for Western and Eastern Europe as well as the Russian, Middle Eastern and African markets,” said Mr. Kiss. “Since the plant started in 2005, it has shipped ATMs to more than 80 countries around the world.”
Hungary’s central location in Europe makes it ideal for the NCR factory, allowing for shipment by truck in two days to locations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Russia, said Mr. Kiss. “We can service our customers quickly,” he said.
NCR and Hungary have a long-standing relationship, Gyorgy Retfalvi, CEO of Hungary’s Investment and Trade Development Agency, told GlobalAtlanta in an interview at his Budapest office. “As far as I know, they are very happy with the competitive advantage they could find all over Europe but mainly in the quicky growing part of Central Eastern Europe,” he said.
Last year, NCR opened a customer service center in Budapest called a Global Center for Excellence. The company is planning a similar center in Peachtree City south of Atlanta that will produce 916 jobs over the next two years.
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