Electronics Production | November 24, 2010

TBP: 'We are third largest EMS provider in the Benelux and proud of it'

TBP is the 3rd biggest provider of EMS services in the Benelux region. The company has worked hard and is, rightfully so, proud of it.
"First we have to stress that TBP is the 3rd largest EMS-provider in the Benelux. Neways is number 1, ConnectSystems is number 2 and then we already come to TBP", says Anton Hermus responsible for General Management & Customer Relations at TBP in an interview.

The company's customers can found quite literally all over the planet, but focus is clearly on the Benelux, Germany and Northern France. "We also have a few customers in Denmark and Sweden, but it does not really matter where we deliver to", the manager adds.

Despite the fact that last year was generally referred to as crisis year, has TBP invested in new equipment and machinery. Why is that? The Dutch Anton Hermus gives the following answer: "The founder of the company is sitting over there and is called Ton Plooy. And he is not only thinking with his head, but also with his gut. If he feels like something is a good thing, then we do it."

However, the EMS-provider wants to be seen as an innovator. If you want to enter new markets and be successful in what you do, you need to make the corresponding investments, adds Jürgen Westenkirchner (Business Development & Sales Germany).

"Of course you need money to invest. And if you have no money, then one cannot invest. TBP had some money for its investments. That would also be an answer", says Anton Hermus with a grin.

And how about opening a manufacturing unit in Eastern Europe or Asia? There comes a clear No from both man. "We don't need that with our size".

Many companies have had to downsize in staff numbers during 2009. How did you manage that?

Anton Hermus: At our site in Belgium we have a program in place. Our staff may work 3, 4 or 5 days. In Geel, we have around 50% of our staff in this flexible system. There is also a very good government program in place 'Technical Unemployment'. Yes, we had hard times. Yes, at one point we had 40-50% of our staff in this particular program. However, that also meant that we did not need to lay off any of our qualified staff.

In respect to our Dutch site, we had to rely on different measures. Here we had to let people go last year. But, as the order situation improved, we were able to recruit new staff again.

And how would you describe the company's motto?

TBP is much more than just an EMS-company, says the manager. That is why we have the bar here at our booth at electronica. This usually stands back home in the office building. TBP stands for hospitality. People like to come to us: either for just a casual visit or to talk business.
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