Issue Iss 2 2008
Storage meets intelligence at Nedcon
Founded in 1969, Nedcon has developed into a leading designer and manufacturer of standard racking and customised constructions for automated warehousing.
The business has three modern production facilities located in the Netherlands, Czech Republic and Russia. In addition to these, the company has sales offices in several European countries and in the US. These provide Nedcon with a solid base to offer customer satisfaction and highly efficient aftersales mservices.
The organisation offers a wide range of solutions, as Bertjan Piest, marketing director for the company explains: “Our business is split into two divisions – Nedcon Storage Systems and Nedcon Integrated Systems. Our storage unit provides systems for palletised goods, which include pallet racking and drive-in racking. This area also produces storage systems for small goods, including wide-span shelving and flow rack products, as well as mezzanine systems. Our integrated systems division offers customised racking solutions for automated storage and retrieval applications.”
All of Nedcon’s products and services are produced to the highest standards, thanks to its total quality management system. This service effectively monitors and manages the quality of the company’s processes, products and services. The main objectives of this system are; to guarantee all of Nedcon’s solutions are developed to the same high standard; to provide continuous improvement; and to ensure customer demands are being met. The company believes that by eliminating any production faults, customer satisfaction is then maximised.
Bertjan elaborates: “Within each of our facilities we have supervisors, project managers and health and safety co-ordinators. These people then take responsibility for the different areas of the business, which enables us to significantly improve our efficiency. As a result, we are not only fulfilling our customers’ needs but also providing a good working environment for our workforce.”
In addition to its quality management system, Nedcon has its own product development department, which designs client specific storage solutions. Furthermore, the company also has the capacity to build scale models of products for different ergonomic, functionality and safety issue reasons. This department is a centre of knowledge for cold rolled steel structures and provides market and customer driven product development, as well as endurance testing. With a focus on system functionality and over 30 registered patented solutions, Nedcon has built up a great reputation within its client base for providing customised services.
Bertjan continues: “The majority of our products and services are engineered solutions. Therefore we spend a significant amount of time and money on engineering, research and development. We have approximately 100 people working within this department, who continuously look at ways to develop and improve our existing product range. If a customer comes to us with specific requirements then we can adapt our solutions to meet their needs.”
The business compliments its high quality solutions and extensive research and development department further by providing complete installation services. Nedcon takes responsibility for all installation activities, and also offers experienced supervisors and well-equipped installation workers. The knowledge and experience of the company’s supervisors makes them excellent partners for the business’ clients during the co-ordination of the building process. As a result, the project is completed to a high standard and within the set terms and conditions.
Across all of Nedcon’s activities health and safety is of the utmost importance – this is a starting point for every Nedcon racking design. The company provides each solution with a user-friendly manual, which helps customers to understand their product. Furthermore, the quality and technical excellence of a Nedcon solution provides a continuous reliable and safe service. From the advising and designing of a product up to its installation, the company provides accurate procedures within its total quality management system. This ensures a safe and solid racking system, which is complimented by professional controls and extensive maintenance services.
Over the years, Nedcon has successfully completed a number of different projects. For example, the company provided a complete pallet racking solution, served by small aisle trucks, for a new warehouse at the Kruidvat company in the Netherlands. Feedback from this project was excellent, with Nedcon being praised for its accuracy and flexibility during the preparation and installation of the whole project.
Customer feedback is extremely important to the organisation as it identifies areas where improvements can be made. By taking its clients’ comments into consideration, Nedcon has become very successful within the racking industry. Bertjan comments: “Looking at the market, we are in a very good position at the moment. The main challenge we will be facing in the future is the lack of skilled personnel. In order to overcome this, we offer a very extensive training programme – this means we can employ people who might not have the right experience and then train them in a few months to reach the level we require.”
He continues: “With a highly skilled workforce in place, we believe that the company will continue to grow over the next few years. We plan to control this growth so that we don’t lose touch with our customers. Russia is a very important area for us at the moment, as there are many growth opportunities there. In addition, although we have no fixed plans at the moment, we are looking to venture into some new countries over the next five years.”
By utilising its key strengths and building on them, Nedcon believes it has a strong future ahead. Today, at every level, and by every measure of performance, Nedcon sets the global standard for innovative, reliable and technologically advanced industrial racking and construction systems. Bertjan concludes: “The secret to our success is strong customer relationships. We listen to our clients’ needs and provide solutions, which meet their racking requirements. With production facilities in Russia, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic, we can be close to our clients and deliver our complete solutions, including after-sales services, in a fast and accurate way.”
Products: Standard racking and customised constructions for automated warehousing
Employees: Approx. 500