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Flor Peersman, Chief Operations Officer (COO), Connect Group: Proximity and flexibility is our key to success

What is Connect Group’s philosophy and strategy ?

 

Being a sub-contractor over the last 25 years, we build up a huge portfolio on experience and expertise.

In 1987 we started as a sub-contractor pure san, building together customers products based on their requirements and even often with material delivered by them.

First step in our roadmap, was setting up a Logistic competence, enabling us to buy for our customers the components described by their engineering or development division.

Second step was the installation of an Engineering division, offering our customers support in the industrialisation of their products. Now we are at the phase where we really can develop new products based on an idea. The next coming years we will extend this activity. Next to that we will focus more and more on power electronics, sensor technology, data management and visualisation. This result in the strategic decision to offer the complete package to the market under the name of TiaS –Technology is a Service.

Based on the evolution of the Group, we can support our customers from the beginning of the development phase, going over the engineering via the production, assembling and testing till the after sales, and this build upon a strong Logistics and Quality organisation. Life cycle management during the existing of a product is a service we offer our customers for several reasons: we can assure our customer:” Your product is always up to date and will stay competitive”. In this way the “life” of a product will be extended which will bring the cost of ownership down.

 

What was the most challenging project in which Connect Group has been involved?

 

Recently we did a redesign to cost on a convertor for the railway market. For the group this project was on all levels challenging. We used this opportunity to push our total organisation to a higher level, by installing new manufacturing processes, logistic flows and supplier selection criteria. At the end of this project, the final customer was so impressed on the installed way of working and the way this project was managed, that he honoured us with a huge order, the first obtained within the group in this specific market segment.

 

Why has your company chosen to operate in Romania and to open Connectronics Romania, the largest factory in the Group here, near Oradea?

 

As you will find in all our communications and strategic mailings, proximity and flexibility is the key to success. The successful combination for us was having a strong technical group of colleagues with a competent group of operators in a low cost country. We started the company with 8 people, of which 7 are still in our team.

As from the start, it has been the goal and mission from the Belgian Board, to install a local Management with full authority on all business processes. This mission has been realised by training, support and mostly by the motivation based on mutual trust and fair cooperation.

A close cooperation with local authorities and Universities is the key to engage good and competent people. Internal training projects within the Group, were our Romanian colleagues can increase their competences by exchanging experiences with their Belgian, Dutch, German and Czech colleagues, enable them to support the projected growth of themselves and the Romanian subsidiary.

 

 

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