At FIB Industries, contact with the customer is extremely important. Good communication is the key to ensure that the product meets the customer’s requirements. Customers come to us and tell us all about their process (e.g. temperature, pressure, medium) and the equipment they need to run their process. However, we can support our customer by mechanically engineering and manufacturing the process equipment so that it complies with local laws and regulations, the applicable design code, and the customer’s own requirements. Someone who has a lot to do with this is Account Manager Thijs Straatsma.
Thijs joined FIB Industries in 2005 after just having graduated and hasn’t left since. However, he has held various positions: “After I completed my mechanical engineering studies, I worked as a work planner for a few months and as a project leader for at least a decade. I wanted to do something else after that, but I liked working for FIB Industries too much to leave. Then I started working as an Account Manager.” He derives great satisfaction from the company’s versatility: “You have to deal with so many different facets; it’s always a challenge and never boring! You have to set prices, you have a lot of contact with customers, but you also have to decide how you’re going to approach each project because we don’t have a standard product. Then you have to deal with the implementation within our factory, but also with suppliers and logistics if you have to transport large appliances, for example.” What Thijs likes most about FIB Industries is that the company has its own production facilities, “I find the whole production process very interesting and you get to see everything that’s required in building the equipment. Then you can also see how important welding is, for example. Each type of material has its specific points for attention, and good specialists are needed for this.
My experience as a project manager helps me to advise a customer as much as possible and to come to a good proposal together during the sales process. After you’ve gone through the whole process together with the customer, it’s very nice to be able to see the result.”
According to Thijs, a lot of the work is currently related to the energy transition that is taking place. “A lot of companies are currently making the switch to biofuels or alternative energy technologies. Many of our customers are also optimising their processes to use less energy or reduce their CO2 emissions. As a result, the product we make for these customers often has to be adapted as well. We try to brainstorm with the customer as much as possible here. That’s often very much appreciated!”
Brainstorming with customers and delivering customised work are important at FIB Industries. This is something that Thijs always lives by, “This is how FIB Industries delivers added value compared to many other parties.
The versatility of products ensures a wide range of experience throughout the company. In the field of mechanical engineering and manufacturing, we can think creatively with the customer to further develop and improve the product’s design. We can really optimise products in the field of construction and manufacturability.
Good examples are the gasification burners and reactor internals that we have been manufacturing for decades for one of our largest customers. There is continuous consultation between the technical departments of FIB Industries and the customer to achieve the best possible design. We’re not afraid to try out new manufacturing techniques, either.”
For 75 years, FIB Industries has been a household name in the manufacturing of stainless steel products for the process equipment industry. Sales are worldwide, while production takes place in Leeuwarden. This is possible due to the professionalism of Account Managers like Thijs Straatsma. The process of brainstorming with the customer is one of the core values that FIB Industries has been building on for years because it’s exactly this what makes us a reliable party that can deliver quality products.