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translation is beneath.
VOKA = Flemish chamber of Commerce
Astronauts use fasteners out of Leisele
Distributor of fasteners, Anemo Engineering from Leisele, close by Veurne, breaks all boundaries via the internet, even the planetary one. “We service customers online worldwide in the aerospace and industry, of which two projects for space”, says Bart Vandezande. In January Anemo Engineering hat its record month in sales.
Bart Vandezande (41) studied after his engineering studies a post graduate business administration. He worked in the past as a sales manager for a German and American producer of fasteners and couplings. For the aerospace and industry. In 2004 he founded the company Anemo Engineering, first in Koksijde and sicne 2010 in Leisele – Veurne.
First I managed for the manufacturing plant CPC the distributors in South Europe, France and the Benelux. At the same moment I developed in 2005 an own website for fasteners. This website acquired more and more customers each year from EU and Chinese companies, but also distributors in the UK and the USA. From 2008 the sales of fasteners went sky rocket towards OEM’s of machines, trains, trams and aerospace applications.
The choice for internet tends to be a golden manoeuvre. “Our strategy is to be unique with the online sales of technical products”. We excel in search engine optimisation (SEO). If you are worldwide number one in google, then your location, Leisele or London, is not of any importance. The strength behind our online sales is that we provide professional technical advice, provide high quality goods and that we are very reactive. Thanks to these efforts Anemo grows each year with more then 20%. January was our record month in sales.
What are your most important markets?
Almost 30% of our sales come from the US, 20% from France, 6% in Belgium and the rest from anywhere over the globe. This week we got our first order from Saudi Arabia. Special strikes for a skyscraper, and just recently we sold for the first time to Greenland, and we are now busy with somebody from the Fiji Islands. Everything goes through the internet. Only in the USA, I’ve visited our main customers and suppliers. We will soon also launch a new product.
Are you afraid for American protectionism thanks to president Trump?
If the US adds an import tax, then I will not feel this immediately. Recently we slightly increased our pricing for the American market, by offering inclusive transport. Americans prefer the choose for service and ease of doing business, by taking this step all costs are incorporated in our pricing. We also have specialised ourselves into niche products and can supply very quick, either from stock, or with a lead time of just 8 weeks. The local US suppliers offers with a standard lead time of 24 weeks, we slowly invested thanks to our private equity in stock that no one else has available in this world.
Do you do also own innovative product developments?
The word Engineering in our company name shows our strength. We are not a catalog reseller., but provide technical advice and avoid that customers select the wrong product for instance on the working grounds in Bolivia. We also co-engineer on innovations, We recently sold products for a project for the international space station ISS, and for a company in California we think together with them to take a 3D printers with recycling capacity for plastics on board of the Mars mission. Our expertise helped to select the lightest product with the technical requirements. You have to avoid for instance that the astronaut starts to twist when he operates the fastener.
Do you have still enough room in Leisele for your growth plans?
In the meantime we work with 5 people, and are looking for 2 extra more, not only the offices, but also the stock requires a relocation. That’s why I’ve done an official request to the WVI, to be able to build new offices in Veurne industry park Proostdijk. We have to wait, as the demand is very big. To relocate to France, I do not see this as an option as the work rules are too stug and not flexible in order to entrepreneur.
Anemo sold recently this quarter turns for a project at the ISS. This part is a connection between the machine where experiments are done and a ventilator. Because experiment boxes need to be replaced frequently, the fastener needs to enable a fast and reliable connection. Says Bart Vandezande. With Anemo, we could make not only the difference by our short delivery time, but also thanks to our technical advice. At Zero-gravity it is not obvious to turn a fastener, because the astronaut starts to twist himself too. That’s why the tension force of this fastener was very important.