As a result of the acquisition of Benteler Distribution in 2019, the company’s size has doubled. Our product range has been broadened, our customer offer has been expanded and our global footprint has increased significantly. In 2020, we therefore reviewed our strategy and brought it in line with the new situation. Our strategic plans for the coming years have been redefined and refined. As of 2021, under the heading of “Van Leeuwen 4.0”, we will further elaborate and roll out this strategy in the organization.
Our strategy is focused on the creation of further added value for our customers. We do this in part by broadening our offer of products, and in part especially by further developing and expanding our offer of services and treatments of pipes and pipe and tube products. Key steps in this respect are investments in advanced treatment machines, together with the robotization and digitalization of the production process. A spearhead here is the digitalization of communications with customers, ranging from ‘no touch’ order processing to the integration of stock management. Our strong European distribution organization and our global footprint are great strengths in this regard.
We will also continue to invest in the mechanization and automation of our warehouses and logistics storage systems. Our new warehouse in Tobel-Tägerschen in Switzerland became operational in December 2020. € 36 million was invested in this state-of-the-art facility with three fully automated honeycomb storage systems. Ten roboticized treatment machines are used here to produce for customers in the automotive industry and the mechanical engineering sector, among others. Under the header Warehouse 4.0 further investments are planned for the near future for various locations including Zwijndrecht in the Netherlands, Halmstad in Sweden, and Vyškov in the Czech Republic.
Our people are always the determining factor in the development and success of the company. Changes in the market, new systems and other business processes demand other skills and knowledge of our employees. This is why we continue to invest in the further development of our people and in developing their talents. We do this through training and education, recruiting, and by retaining and motivating our employees.
In July 2020, a Van Leeuwen-wide team, consisting of commercial experts and marketing specialists, spent time on reviewing our market segmentation. This has resulted in a redefinition of Van Leeuwen’s six market segments of focus, including four Industry segments (Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering & Construction, Automotive, Hydraulics) and two Energy segments (Process & Power, Pipelines).