Global Sourcing

Dennis Yap,
General Manager, Van Leeuwen China

David Sun,
Chief Procurement, Van Leeuwen China

Since its incorporation in 2002, Van Leeuwen China has evolved into a key procurement hub for the entire Group. David Sun, Chief Procurement, Van Leeuwen China in Shanghai: ‘We look after the procurement of pipes, fittings and flanges from Chinese manufacturers for our colleague companies throughout the world.’

‘For our function as procurement hub it is important to develop a sizeable pool of producers that are commercially interesting and that meet our quality criteria,’ Sun explains. ‘To qualify, potential suppliers go through an extensive selection process. For example, I visit producers myself and assess them in terms of certifications, working conditions and quality. In addition, we ask external auditors to carry out inspections.’ General Manager Dennis Yap adds: ‘China is the largest steel producer in the world. To select exactly the right producer from all of these steel producers, requires experience and insight into the projects carried out by our colleagues. The better we are able to do this, the more projects our colleagues are able to acquire.’

According to David, Van Leeuwen China leaves no stone unturned in its search for opportunities that provide the customer with benefit. ‘An example is the Tobolsk Project, the construction of an ethylene

plant in Tobolsk by Russia’s largest gas processing and petrochemical company SIBUR. Our customer, Linde, asked us for a minimum of three months warehousing for this project, because it is impossible to transport materials to this project site during the winter months. The Chinese producers were unable to accommodate the requested warehousing, while we have a suitable warehouse in Shanghai. This gave us an advantage in comparison to the competition and this is how we won the contract for 3,000 tons of carbon steel seemless pipes and 2,000 tons of stainless steel seemless pipes.’

In 2016, BP’s West Nile Delta project was an important project for Van Leeuwen China. David: ‘We supplied pipes, as well as fittings there on the basis of a call-off order. We are currently busily working on new projects, for example in Kuwait and Russia. Thanks to our international network of companies, we are able to supply our customers worldwide. For example, we are working for European companies that are building new facilities in Asia and the Middle East. The associated procurement requests come from our colleague Van Leeuwen companies in Europe. Every day we do our best to make sure they are satisfied and to deliver in accordance with the desired specificati ons and standards.’

Both David and Dennis expect a modest growth for the coming year. ‘Oil prices are rising again, although they are still at a low level. This is why in 2017 we will once again work hard to offer our customers added value, among other things by strengthening the partnerships with our key suppliers.’

'Our global sourcing is one
of the driving forces behind
Van Leeuwen’s growth.'‚Äč

Winalyn Litilit Adams,
Procurement Manager Dubai

'Our global procurement enables us to compete for large projects, deliver better quality, deliver faster and offer lower prices. It helps us in determining the procurement strategy when the issues at stake are quality, product specifications and project turnaround times. Global sourcing is one of the driving forces behind Van Leeuwen’s growth. This enables us to offer our customers a great deal: for instance, lower prices, fast on-site deliveries, and availability of the required quality and specifications, anywhere in the world.

From Dubai, together with a colleague, I look after the procurement for all countries within the Arab region. In this respect it is important that we have local branches. Apart from Dubai we also have a presence in Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Oman. Otherwise you cannot compete for local projects. Subsequently it is up to me to close the best deal for our customers.

With global procurement as our strength, Van Leeuwen gives substance to the slogan ‘more than tubes’, because it enables us to expand our procurement process. It provides us with a broader choice of suppliers and that is a competitive advantage. Just like our knowledge sharing; each month all procurement managers worldwide consult with each other in a large telephone conference. Precisely because we share our knowledge we offer more service to our customers in an increasingly further globalizing economy.’

'With our knowledge of global, specific regulations we contribute to the success of our customers.'

Frank Groeneveld,
QA Manager and lead Auditor
Van Leeuwen Precision
Deventer, the Netherlands

‘Global procurement is not possible without quality assurance. The standards in this area change over time throughout the world. Governments are continuously raising the bar, and industry too demands adherence to increasingly stricter quality criteria. Van Leeuwen distinguishes itself by knowing all relevant standards in this area and by keeping abreast of the changes to these standards. In this respect we keep a careful eye on what specifically applies to our customer. Some customers explicitly ask for certain certificates. Examples that come to mind are compliance with the REACH regulations in Europe, the corporate governance rules of the Dodd-Frank Act (USA), or the ISO 9001:2015.

For me the challenge at all times is to stay one step ahead of our customers in this knowledge area. Van Leeuwen continuously wants to be of the best possible service to our customers and identifying specific regulations is part of this. This enables us to provide added value each time all over again. Customers expect this from us. It is therefore important to have everything in order, internally as well. We are working increasingly more efficiently and we have improved our quality management system. With our knowledge of global, specific regulations we contribute to the success of our customers and maintain our leadership role.’

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