Van Leeuwen
Stop, Set, Go!

Stop, Set, Go!

Amra Behić
Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube, Zwijndrecht, the Netherlands

Steel is regularly pushed to its limits in the petrochemical sector. Our pipes, fittings and flanges must endure extreme conditions and meet high level safety requirements. Steel parts are often replaced during shutdowns or repairs. Van Leeuwen knows that in this particular field of work, flexibility and speed are absolutely critical in these situations. For this reason, Van Leeuwen created a special department within the organization for the petrochemical sector. This department’s sole focus is to map and implement customer needs. Contract manager Amra Behić (28) is part of this team. Her ability to quickly shift between tasks and her organizational skills make her exceptionally suitable to handle the many daily challenges in this market.

I started my career at Van Leeuwen five years ago, at the Projects department. Currently, I work for the Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) department, where I focus on our customers in the petrochemical industry. Our customers need materials for daily maintenance as well as large maintenance projects. These materials are usually of vital importance to keep our customer’s production operational.

One phone call can change my entire day

Speed is a very important factor for customers in the MRO market. We obviously want to help all our customers quickly when they are in need, because long waiting times can have serious consequences for our MRO customers. The entire production can be halted if we do not respond quickly enough. This is what makes my work diverse and exciting: Today I do not know what to expect tomorrow. We are always ready for urgent deliveries, even taking into account the special customer specifications. This could mean that one day I am working on current orders and the next day I receive a call from a customer at 8 AM for an urgent delivery which has to be delivered before 12 AM. Having this level of variety in my work is what makes it fun.

Stop, set, go!

Our customers often schedule a so-called Turnaround, which means that one or several sections of, say, a refinery are temporarily put out of order for maintenance. This is a vital step to ensure the operation and durability of the installation. It is also very expensive, because there is no production during this time. In other words, a Turnaround should not take longer than absolutely necessary.

These types of maintenance projects have a longer lead time and are usually prepared one year in advance. In this case, it is my job to make sure that all deliveries are in order, that materials arrive on time and that operations go smoothly across the board. Our fast deliveries play an important part in avoiding halts and bumps in the process and helping our customer to quickly resume his work and keep on GO-ing!

24/7 on call

Our customers have high expectations of our service, and rightly so. Consider for instance the strict requirements we have to adhere to, like technical specifications, transport and logistics obligations and quick delivery times. Requirements and specifications may differ for each customer, which is why we offer a client-specific product range, logistics solutions and 24/7 on-call service in case of emergencies. I am happy to see that our customers value our service; in 2018, for example, our team received a Supplier Award as a token of appreciation from one of our large customers.

Teamwork makes the dream work

We work closely with the teams in our organization to produce the best results. Think for instance of the people in stock management, procurement, sales, warehouse, logistics and even bookkeeping. Especially when we are dealing with maintenance projects, communication between these departments is the key to success. Without our stock there is no delivery and if a customer wants the materials delivered on a Saturday, the logistics department has to jump in and make sure the materials get there on time.

Close collaboration between departments and even generations is a distinctive feature of working for Van Leeuwen. After all, the company has been around for 95 years and babyboomers and millenials (like myself) can learn a great deal from each other. This creates a very energetic atmosphere. My team, for instance, consists of people from three generations. This means my colleagues have known some customers for many years. Their vast knowledge and experience, combined with the creativity of younger colleagues, leads to the best ideas. I do my part by being very curious and leaving nothing to chance. When I see that something needs more attention, I see to it that it happens. I also do this to help out colleagues. I want to know how things work and I am very interested in our customers. Bring on the new customers and new types of contracts; we can take them all!



View all locations

Contact us