LRW attended the OGA2015 show in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in June, where we had an opportunity to sit down with Evert van Beuzekom, Vice President Sales & Procurement at Van Beest. We spoke to Mr van Beuzekom (indicated by ‘EVB’ in the following interview) about the current direction of Van Beest and the advantages of Van Beest products.
LRW: Can you tell us a bit about what’s new at Van Beest?
EVB: In the past two years we have enlarged our warehouse, factory and office building by 30%. We are prepared for the future. Our business is expanding quite rapidly, especially in North America.
In the USA we moved to a new warehouse and appointed a new manager, Chris Keffer. Chris and his driven sales team are doing a great job to expand the business there. Our other markets are also expanding; we now have nearly 900 distributors worldwide.
We also put a lot of efforts in improving our product quality, developing new products, and developing new markets. All these efforts are making the company stronger whilst improving quality.
An important line of new products for example is a series of Green Pin® shackles that are suitable for operation by ROV robots.
Another important target industry is the renewables. We have a strong focus on products for the wind industry. This industry has a high quality standard and uses a lot of high quality lifting gear. Turbines are very expensive, so the people who work with them take absolutely no risks. They use nothing but good quality lifting gear, like Green Pin® shackles and Excel® lifting points.
The wind energy companies originate mainly from Europe. Countries like Spain, Denmark, and Germany are very big in wind mill manufacturing. Also in China more and more wind mills are built, as the wind energy industry is growing fast over there. Wind mills are built not only onshore, but also offshore. For Van Beest, this is very good because they need a lot of lifting equipment for the installation of wind turbines on or offshore.
LRW: How does the downturn in the oil and gas energy affect Van Beest?
EVB: A good strength of Van Beest is that we are not only offshore orientated. We are present in various industries like mining, construction, fishing and general industry. Our presence is found in all these industries worldwide.
As the oil and gas industry is slowing down, projects are postponed. We see a little dip in this specific turnover. But in general we are a very well diversified company, a strong company in all segments of the world market. Our company has a solid base to spread our risks. For example, the European market is picking up. The industrial market in Germany is very strong, as well as in France. These markets use a lot of our products and generate a decent turnover for Van Beest.
LRW: Can you tell us a bit about Van Beest’s distribution network?
EVB: We have a total of four sales offices. Our head office is in Holland, and the other three offices are located in Germany, France and the USA. In every office we have a manager and a sales team. From our head office in Holland, we travel to the majority of our distributors worldwide, based in over 80 countries. Each export manager is responsible for different areas.
We visit our distributors quite often, to give them training and to support them with technical details. It is very important for us to work closely with our distributors. We pride ourselves in being a reliable partner to our distributors.
We often join our distributors to visit their customers. It is important to do so. Customers appreciate the efforts and attention you spend to serve them. This also helps to strengthen the position of our distributors.
LRW: What are the benefits of buying lifting gear from Van Beest?
EVB: Van Beest is a 93 year-old company. We have been manufacturing shackles, hooks and chain components for a long time. We build our reputation on our high quality products and service, and by visiting all our distributors and their customers regularly, our Green Pin® and Excel® products have become well recognized brands worldwide.
Quality products backed by excellent service
If lifting needs to be done somewhere, a lifting company has two options: they can choose a no-brand shackle for a few USD, or spend just a little bit more money on a high quality, safe and well certified Green Pin® shackle from Van Beest: reliable brand with a long proven track record and an excellent service level. Green Pin® shackles are manufactured by robots in our factory in Holland, with a good and consistent high quality. High demanding customers don’t want to take any risk. And due to our high level of automation we are able to supply our products at a competitive price.
99% stock availability, stock shipped within 24 hours
Our central warehouse in the Netherlands is equipped with very modern logistic tools. Our stock position is unrivalled: 99% of all items are available from stock at any given moment. This is a huge benefit to our customers. For example, when we ship a customer order with 100 different products from Holland to New Zealand, it is important that we can ship it in one time instead of multiple deliveries. This saves the customer a lot of money and inconvenience. When a customer places an order with us, in 99% of the cases we have all requested products in stock. We can ship within 24 hours around the world. That’s definitely one of our strengths.
Documentations in customers’ preferred language
Apart from excellent product availability we also strive for a high service level. A well-equipped internal sales team and a modern IT-structure take care of that. For example: If a Spanish customer orders products, all documentation, certification and invoicing is printed in Spanish. Our computer system is well suited for this.
Products readily available anywhere in the world
Last but not least, it is very important for our customers to be able obtain our products quickly, regardless of the location of their project. For company like Shell for example, they need high quality products all around the world, and they have procurement departments in many places. They purchase lots of Green Pin® shackles for two main reasons I believe. First of all, they can rely on the products for 100%. Secondly, our shackles are available around the world through a worldwide network of distributors who stock our products and can supply them quickly. Whether our customers have a platform in Australia, an installation in the USA or a factory project in Germany, they can readily source Green Pin® shackles anywhere.