“We have a customer in Germany with branches in several countries, where we used to supply everything at the head office. However, they had high internal costs for intercompany deliveries, so they asked us to think along with them. Now any branch can order directly from us, as it doesn’t make much difference to us in terms of transport costs whether we have to deliver in France or Germany”.
At Multifix, Rob Hoeks is responsible for the existing customers, including the logistics cooperation. He talks proudly about Multifix’ ‘global supply’ solution: “We can provide our internationally operating customers all over the world with the products they buy from us, and more and more customers are asking for this service. But unfortunately, too few people are familiar with our concept, so it’s good that we’re doing this interview”.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA OF ‘GLOBAL SUPPLY’?
“More and more often, customers with their own branch in China asked if we could not deliver our customised products directly from Multifix Shanghai to their local branch. Of course, that makes more sense than a route via Europe, especially since our products have already had all the quality tests there. Plus: you pay less import and export taxes. We also have a customer with an office in the US, despite the distance it is smarter to deliver the products we make for them in China directly to their US office”.
“Apart from that, Multifix is taking over more and more tasks from its customers, some of them only do the development and sales and leave the production to us. As the range of products and services offered to customers becomes wider, we can of course also take over their logistical challenges”.
HOW DO YOU TACKLE A ‘GLOBAL SUPPLY’ PROJECT?
“If a customer shows an interest in our global supply solution, we will of course first make arrangements with their head office. They first indicate where their branches are, we then look for the most favourable logistics solutions. That depends on distances, but also on taxes of course. And administration, depending on how the customers want to be invoiced”.
“We started small with ‘global supply’, in order to make the concept better and better. Of course, it requires quite a bit of fine-tuning with regard to stock: the various branches of customers do not have to ‘steal’ stock from each other. That’s why you need a forecast of all the branches. In this way, we monitor the customer’s stock, because they often do not have that overview themselves. It is now a mature concept; we hear from more and more international customers that choose for our ‘global supply’ service”.
HAVE YOU BEEN WORKING AT MULTIFIX FOR A LONG TIME?
“I’ve been working here for 12.5 years now, that was recently celebrated. My position has recently become ‘Manager Existing Business’, I manage the office staff who focus on existing customers. We ensure that they are and remain satisfied, for example by optimally managing stock levels, so that the customer doesn’t go wrong”.
“I like working at Multifix, my new position is a good challenge. I think it’s a nice organisation, very flat and focused: the customer is always in 1st place! There is always good consultation and the cooperation is very informal, also with customers. After all, they outsource more and more to us, so a good relationship is increasingly important. Above all, it is important that we are reliable, but we do our best to ensure that you are”.