SPECIAL DELIVERIES | INTERVIEWS WITH OUR SUPPLIERS
| We are builders at CONRAD, but make conscious use of the products of selected suppliers. We would like to put a number of regular partners in the spotlight in the coming period. Today it is KRAMP from Varsseveld. Their motto: It's that easy!
Every machine that we produce at CONRAD is tailor-made and as good as the sum of its parts, plus that little bit extra that our specialists add. We do a lot ourselves, but make conscious use of the products from selected suppliers. And that means working together, coming up with ideas, continuing to develop and trusting each other's expertise. We would like to put a number of regular partners in the spotlight in the coming period. Because we are happy with the collaboration.
IT'S SO EASY!
One of those parties is KRAMP from Varsseveld, the largest supplier of parts and accessories in the agricultural sector and specialist in garden & park, machine building and construction. CONRAD purchases products for hydraulics, drive and vehicle technology and materials for the workplace, among other things. We speak with Marlous de Beer, who is responsible for account management and business development at KRAMP and has been responsible for contact with CONRAD for more than five years.
Hi Marlous, of course you know us well, but tell something about KRAMP
It all started in 1951. The then 34-year-old Johan Kramp bought a stock of cutter bars and parts for 5,000 guilders. He stored the parts in the garage of a hotel in Varsseveld. In the first years he was a buyer, seller, administrative assistant and logistics trader at the same time. He was a true entrepreneur, creative and stubborn in his approach. He cycled across the border to get to know the German market and started his own production unit, because supplier Walterscheid did not want to sell parts to him.
His business philosophy was as clear as anything: make it as easy as possible for customers to buy from you. According to him, business success depended on four factors: happiness, hard work, hard work and hard work. All orders had to be processed the same day. It didn't matter what time it was and it didn't matter what position you were in the company. Everyone helped. When economist and later director Anjo Joldersma started working for the company, Mr. Kramp said: "Economists don't bring me anything, start in the warehouse. Only then do you understand what this is good for".
That sounds like a real approach. Do you still see that in the organization now?
The foundation for Kramp as we know it has been built by Mr. Kramp. By looking at how he started and what made him special, we still learn today. Currently, around 3,200 people work in 27 countries. The head office is in Varsseveld, just like the KRAMP Hub for IT and we have a sales office in Leek. Yet KRAMP still feels like a family business. It is a social company, full of initiative. Rather go for it once, then lack of initiative. The people are sober and social. You can see that reflected in the vision and mission of the company.
"You can make a mistake, but if you cheat on me for ten euro's you are out." - Johan Kramp
What is your vision then?
We want to be the essential partner in the agricultural parts and accessories market by fulfilling the farmer's needs together with the dealers. In order to realize this vision, we need a larger volume in all countries, including where we are still small. We want to achieve this with the growth of our turnover and a larger market share. Partly through organic growth and partly through acquisitions.
KRAMP is there for the long term, clearly. How do you make sustainable progress?
As a company in the agricultural sector, we know how important it is to take good care of our environment. A sustainable way of doing business has always been important for KRAMP. That is why we gladly go the extra mile. From the start, Johan Kramp gave boxes from suppliers a second life by reusing them for transport. These boxes have since been replaced by our red return containers, but the principles have remained the same. The customer has no waste, the return bins are reusable and stackable so that the trucks can be well loaded. In this way we transport less air and therefore make more efficient use of the fuel required for transport.
What else do you do?
By definition, recycling is important to us. That is why all packaging from Kramp and Gopart has the Green Dot logo. This logo indicates that the company makes a financial contribution to the selective collection, sorting and recycling of packaging. To fill our shipping packaging, we use 100% recycled paper. We then seal our pallets with thinner film using a stretch machine. A nice saving on waste. Where possible we use green energy. In addition, we use geothermal heat and heat and cold storage instead of regular heating and cooling systems for the locations in the Netherlands and France and our roof in Varsseveld is just full of 1,636 solar panels.
We also want to give something back. Kramp supports charities in various countries. In England, for example, we sponsor the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institute. This organization supports farmers who are faced with a loss in income. We support Kanjers for Kanjers in the Netherlands through the Kramp Run. This foundation supports local projects for the welfare of the child, preferably through sports and games.
We want to offer groups with a distance to the regular labor market a place within Kramp. In Varsseveld we have a unique collaboration with various social partners in logistics processes. This enables us to offer people who are at a distance from the labor market a suitable place in our business operations and, in some cases, to keep them permanently employed. We have been working together for more than 5 years and have already been able to offer a workplace to more than 60 people at Kramp.
And in the short term. What are your priorities?
We are working day after day to improve the business, that never stops. Digitization is therefore very important. It's not for nothing that more than 120 people work at IT at KRAMP. No less than 95% is ordered via the webshop, but with customization we always go to the table. Our slogan: We want to emphasize it’s that easy. With this philosophy we also want to reach our end users better, for example the contractors and the farmers. This means that we use other means of communication in addition to the business to business channels and that we operate both globally and locally. Last July we worked together on a striking activation at the Zwarte Cross event. We placed the big slide on the theme: Do Your Own Stunt !, we sponsored the crossers, supplied parts and invited customers from the Zwarte Cross to experience them to the maximum. In addition, we are working hard on the image of our thirty to thirty-five shops in the Netherlands. The emphasis is on clear and attractive branding of the brand.
Super cool of course, we also have a thing with the motor cross at CONRAD. You knew that.
Yes, it fits the market in which we work. Active towards the target group. And I see CONRAD doing that too. You too have a clear vision with which growth is achieved. The first CONRAD sales figures at KRAMP come from 2001. The total order amount was € 106.40. Although CONRAD was, of course, already a serious organization, over the past few years I have seen a wonderful company that does a great job of surviving in the future. You are constantly working on innovation, optimization and professionalization. Just take the new building.
We now deliver incomparably much more to CONRAD than the first year of our collaboration. From mini power packs to engines, from bearings to V-belts and from ball valves to cable ties, you can't think of that. With more than 500,000 items, our range is therefore unique. And that means convenience for the customer.
We are indeed happy about that. And also from this interview, by the way. Thank you for your time and effort. Are you now on the road again with the radio on?
That's right! I travel a lot. And the advantage is that I can set up my own music. Radio 538 is always on at the office, but I prefer to listen to Q-Music, with the "Foute Uur" between 9-10 and the 90's as a favorite. Why do you ask that?
We will come back to this later.