As I already mentioned earlier on the Detect History Facebook page, I spent several days in Istanbul and got the chance to visit the Nokta Makro team. I would like to thank Vice President, Dilek Gonulay, for giving me the opportunity to learn from her and her team, it was definitely an educational experience for me!
It’s actually quite interesting because I turned out to be the first blogger ever who visited the Nokta Makro office and possibly the first blogger to ever visit the office of any metal detectors manufacturing company at all (but I’m not sure about the second statement 😉 ). All this to say, this was truly an honor for me.
Now, let’s get down to business.
(Those of you who only have enough time for a synopsis, feel free to scroll down to read the summary with the key points only. However, you will miss out on all the interesting details.)
I received an extremely warm welcome from all company employees and spoke to employees of different types of positions. I even met the company president – or, more specifically, we said hello to each other 🙂
The company employs approximately 220 people but it feels like one big family. The atmosphere is friendly and it’s easy to see teamwork. In other words, everybody at Nokta Makro works hard to make their customers happy with their metal detectors and ensuring that everyone has a pocketful of finds.
All employees enjoy a nice workspace. The office includes an entertainment area and a dining room. The meals are also delicious! I tested them myself! 🙂
All manufacturing processes are situated in one facility; everything from the control unit to those that make all the small parts. They even make their own carry bags and finds bags in house. This is an advantage that not many metal detector manufacturers can boast about. As far as I know, only XP manufactures all details on their own. Almost all other companies are not bothered and outsource manufacturing to China.
The only things Nokta Makro orders are batteries, components and material which is obvious, because this stuff needs separate resources and technologies.
In fact, this nuance is crucial. The manufacturing process is one of the main aspects that influences product pricing. Maintaining control of the process is one way that Nokta Makro is able to offer its products for lower prices than its competitors, while also ensuring that their products are of the highest quality, making them one of the top companies on the market.
Unfortunately, I was not able to get pictures of everything but I’m happy to show you everything I was able to get.
On the upper floors, engineers develop the metal detectors and then other teams construct, test, and package the machines into pretty boxes for you. As I mentioned above, when everything is in one place, they can provide full quality control, which means they have happy customers.
It is my personal opinion that Nokta Makro is one of the most welcoming and customer-focused companies in the niche… I mean, how often do you see the Vice President of a company answering emails and Facebook comments? This was the first topic of our conversation with Vice President, Dilek Gonulay.
Q&A Session with Vice President, Dilek Gonulay
– Dilek, as far as I know, you travel a lot, represent Nokta Makro at all events, rallies, exhibitions, communicate with customers on Facebook and by email, make videos… and you do those things so well! How do you find time for all of that?
I do have a busy schedule, but I also always try to find time to communicate with the customers. Because they are the key to success. I want to understand what they want, what they need and I learn a lot from them!
As for travelling, I do travel a lot with Nokta Makro, but I of course I cannot visit all events. Sometimes several events are held simultaneously, so I cannot attend.
– All these things are part of your responsibilities within the company?
Almost. I’m part of the executive management team and I am responsible for the Sales and Marketing department. As a matter of fact, communication with end-users is not my direct responsibility. However, I do not want to lose that ‘’touch’’ with the customer. I like to read the feedbacks of customers and help them out if they have any issues.
– Many people still believe Nokta Makro to be a newer company, despite the fact that you have been on the market for many years… Why do you think that is?
I am not sure but it is true that some users around the world think that we are a small group of people manufacturing detectors. As a matter of fact, we are a Research and Development Center certified by the Goverment of Turkey. We have a pretty big manufacturing site that already needs a scale-up. And we are approximately 220 people. We are currently the fastest growing company in the industry.
– Impressive! Well, for example, I learned about your company around 5-6 years ago, when Nokta Impact and Makro Racer were released. Were these the first models in the hobby segment or there were other machines earlier?
These were not the first ones but they are some of the first models that became popular worldwide.
– Today, the metal detectors industry grows so fast; during the last 5 years, many new brands and new detectors appeared. Do you think the hobby metal detecting niche has more products than the customers demand?
Absolutely not. There are regions where this hobby has only started gaining popularity. Moreover, the general demand grows. The new generation of detectorists is interested in up-to-date machines. The competitors also offer a wide range of brands and models, and this is okay. Competition is high, but it motivates us and stimulates technology development.
– There are also tons of cheap Chinese products on the market. What is your opinion of those?
Those can barely be seriously discussed as something worthy… if we talk about popular brands fakes, they are usually made of low quality materials, so they won’t live long, and won’t be able to serve well.
Michael: I totally agree with Dilek. We always recommend avoiding them. My own position is that they bring more harm than good. Some people think that it’s a good idea to buy cheap detectors when they are newbies, just to give it a try and if they enjoy the hobby, they are expected to purchase a higher quality machine. Yet, in practice most people just get disappointed and drop the hobby altogether…
– Now, I’d like to change the topic and ask a question that interests me. Do metal detector manufacturers communicate or is it strictly competition? For example, can you meet a Garrett or Minelab representative at an event, sit down, and chat about the market and stuff? Or will you avoid each other?
We do communicate without any problems. We can discuss market development trends when we meet. We are engaged in healthy and fair competition, and in my opinion, this is fabulous. Of course, some companies do conflict a bit, but our company is open for communication. We support smooth business relationships.
Michael: I was happy to hear that. I believe when competitors honestly try to outsmart each other instead of exposing each other, this has a positive result and supports market growth.
– How much time is needed to make a new metal detector model, from concept to release?
I can’t give you an exact time. There are many factors leading to the total development time. For example, Anfibio and Kruzer share similar platforms so Anfibio development took less time. But Simplex, for examples, was created on a totally new platform.
However, if we actually talk numbers, ballpark, a company needs 1-2 years to develop a metal detector.
– Only in a few months, Simplex became incredibly popular. Is it a top product from your company at this time?
If you mean top in popularity and number of units sold, then yes, it definitely is!
– Today, the global trend is multi frequency metal detectors. Minelab is ready to release the Vanquish multi frequency metal detector series, which will become a direct competitor of Simplex. Why have you decided not to add multi frequency to Simplex?
We have not initially planned to make Simplex a multi frequency machine because we already have another project in the Works for that. Simplex+, from day 1, was planned as high-performance, waterproof, turn-on-go detector at an entry level price.
– Could you please give us a hint on whether we should expect new machines, or other novelties, from Nokta Makro in 2020?
One metal detector will definitely be released in the nearest future – the Nokta Makro Mini Hoard (see picture below). This is a fully functional and quality metal detector for kids between 4-9 years old. It is very easy to use, and moreover, it is fully waterproof! I mean, we all know how kids treat their stuff – they can spill water on it, drop it into the water, or simply break it. Yet, these issues are not expected with this machine. Also, we’re working on making a machine for older children and teenagers.
Michael’s comment: Nokta Makro Mini Hoard impresses with its high quality. It is easy to work with – you switch it on and can dig your finds. It has two Discrimination modes – for ferrous and non-ferrous metals. It is equipped with a depth indicator and a battery indicator. The thing is powered by 2 AA batteries. In the teenage-friendly version of the metal detector, we can expect a wider range of functions.
If you want to know more about higher level metal detectors, currently we are working on two new models. One of them is expected hopefully this year. The other one is expected to be released in the future – which is a PI machine.
– The most frequent question from our readers is will you release additional compatible coils for Simplex?
Yes, we’re currently working on three types of coils for Simplex: 9.5″x5″ elliptic coil, new 9″ round and 13″ large coil. However, unless all tests are finalized, I cannot confirm that they will all make it to the market.
– When is the release planned?
Soon. Spring – before summer hopefully.
– Simplex supports software updates. Does it mean we can expect some new functions or improved tech specs? Or was it provided more for bug fixing?
We give updates for both reasons – to fix any possible bugs and to provide users with advanced features. And yes, there will be an update coming soon.
– We are close to the end of our discussion, and I would like to ask just a few more questions. Is metal detecting allowed in Turkey?
Unfortunately, no. Turkey has a lot of history. Although we do not have very clear laws about metal detecting, I can say it is not a hobby to practice here easily. You need to get permission if you want to dig. On certain beaches, you may detect but that can even become a problem.
– Have you ever metal detecting?
Yes, I have! But normally, I don’t have time for that and like I said it is not easy here especially in a big city like Istanbul, but when I attend a rally or a festival, if I have a spare minute, I will go around with a metal detector. I love it.
– What is your favourite Nokta Makro metal detector?
This is a hard question to answer. I like them all, because I took part in developing each one of them, from the very beginning. They are almost like children to me. But if I have to name one, this is the Simplex.
You all know I love making conclusions. This is a reviewers blogger habit… However, I believe in this case, everybody can make their own conclusions and come to their own opinion on Nokta Makro. My task was just to share everything I saw and learned.
I would like to thank Vice President, Dilek Gonulay, again for this amazing opportunity, and the whole team at Nokta Makro – guys, you are so cool! This was a fun new experience for me – and most importantly educational. I was happy to meet you all.
I would like to see Nokta Makro grow and develop further, produce even more cool projects and more success on the market! Selfishly, I also hope they will upgrade to a bigger office so I will have a reason to visit you again! 🙂
Hope you enjoyed the longread because I definitely enjoyed my experience at Nokta Makro’s!
Those of you who managed to read the full text – well done!
Those who were too lazy or too busy, here are the most important points:
- Nokta Makro is a big company with 200+ employees
- It has its manufacturing fully in one place, and controls quality at every stage
- The company supports a friendly environment through teamwork, and combines experience with a fresh approach
- If you contact the Customer Support, be ready to get an answer from the Vice President herself
- The niche is slowly developing, but it is not oversaturated – the demand is steady, and the customers enjoy a range metal detectors for any level
- Healthy competition prevails – the manufacturers communicate (mostly) and try to outsmart each other through a fair contest, which is advantageous for the customers
- Making a new metal detector takes around 1-2 years
- Simplex is currently a top product in terms of popularity
- A new waterproof Nokta Makro Mini Hoard metal detector for kids will soon be released
- A new metal detector for older kids and teenagers will follow
- The company works on two new detectors, one of them with PI technology
- One of those two machines is expected to be released this year
- Additional coils for Simplex are to be released: 9.5″x5″ elliptic coil, new 9″ round and 13″ large coil.
- Simplex will improve its features via software updates
- Vice President, Dilek Gonulay, actually loves metal detecting, but she usually lacks time for that
- Her favourite detector is the Nokta Makro Simplex
Hope this was informative for you all! Wish you all cool finds on your digging journey..
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