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The Warsaw Voice » Other » April 26, 2006
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A Logical Step Forward
April 26, 2006   
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Edwin Tebbens, Country Manager for Verhoeven Poland talks to Ewa Andrzejczak.

What is the secret behind the success of your company?
Verhoeven has 80 years of history in which we developed a distinct corporate culture. We have always focused on operational excellence to fulfill customer needs. We pay great attention to ISO procedures and invested early in information technology. Groupage transports are now supervised by automated planning and onboard computers with GPS. I am happy that our customer survey confirms that Polish clients score quality and customer orientation very high.

Operational excellence also made us confident in entering developing markets early. We started transport to Poland over 20 years ago and in 1993 we opened an office. Last year as one of the first foreign logistics companies we opened our terminal in Kiev where we can use the same technology and procedures.

How does the Polish market differ from the Dutch market?
The Polish logistics market is very young and EU entry created a shift in conditions. As a result many customers have problems with finding out the suppliers and the quality of their offer.

Another difference is in the customer relations. Because Dutch customers have experience with outsourcing transport, they work as partners. In Poland customer and logistics suppliers are more short-term oriented and negotiate harder. As a result the market is more price-driven.

In warehousing and complex logistics, there are those who understand the advantages of outsourcing, many firms want to manage their own operations. This means that logistics suppliers have to educate them more. A company that understood this from the beginning is Den Braven East, a leader in the production of sealants, with whom we are signing a contract for its Polish distribution.

What are Verhoeven Poland's plans for the future?
As a logistics operator we offer as much as possible integrated solutions for transport and warehousing because there are many synergies. We need more warehouse space for that and we will invest in the short term.

In our groupage network we are upgrading our service. We are entering into cooperation with new partners in Germany and Italy to improve reliability and lead times. We will start offering groupage to Ukraine via our Kiev terminal. Also, within Poland we are building on our network to shorten lead times, so we plan to open offices in Warsaw and Katowice. For our most demanding customers we will offer an extra speed service.

In terms of technology we are now implementing onboard navigation and, in short, we start with a full data transfer between a central computer and onboard computers. Finally, we will implement EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) with our network partners to speed up information flow.

These developments are securing our place in the market. On the one hand, we have the same technology as the consolidated companies that struggle with maintaining an individual approach; on the other, we offer a superior product compared to small forwarders and newcomers to the market.
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