Mepro Utilaje is one of main Romanian companies specializing in the sale and servicing of CNC machine tools for metal splinting. Established in 2010 as a Dutch owned company, it is a branch of Mepro Industrial Sourcing of the Netherlands and brings Western experience and approach towards the metal working industry to Romania. Jeffrey van der Wal, the general manager of the company, speaks to us about how everything began and what is the position of the company on the CNC machine tool market at this time.
Interview with Jeffrey van der Wal, General Manager of Mepro Utilaje
“Seriousness is our golden rule.”
- What made you open a business in Romania?
It is a well-known fact that Romania became an attraction for Dutch investors in the 1990’s, and my family was one of them. In 1993, we opened a company manufacturing machine parts in Braşov, which made me aware of the potential of Romanian engineers and their capability to work to the highest European standards. In 2009, we became a dealership for well-known Asian CNC machine tools manufacturers, in a joint venture with a large Dutch company in this field. In 2010, we became sole dealers of those companies on the Romanian market.
- Were there people who influenced you in that decision?
The most important thing was the experience of our family in this field and the support of Steven Gijsen, a powerful Dutch business and a who’s who in the European field of CNC machine tools, who’d had a special relationship with Romania for a long time. This gave me the courage to start the business in Braşov, a strong industrial city with favour- able geographic position.
- What strengths of the company emerged over time? How does MEPRO stand out from its competitors?
MEPRO brings a Western outlook and the successful Dutch business model to the Romanian market, which particularly emphasizes the quality of services. Thus, the strengths of the company and what implicitly sets us apart from the competition are the quality of services, and in particular customer support. Moreover, the sales and servicing experience of the MEPRO specialists does have a say. Our specialists are recognized all over the country and have more than 10 years of experience in the field. Other aspects that set us apart from our competitors are the logistics and the technological centre opened in the Prejmer Industrial Park last year.
- What is your golden rule in relation to MEPRO customers? And how did you select your partners? What do you appreciate the most in them?
Our most important rule in relation to our customers is the seriousness with which we approach their inquiries. Moreover, maintaining after-sales customer satisfaction and the technical support for achieving their objectives is a priority to us all. We stood by the same rule when selecting our partners. We chose partners which complied with our established standards and were able to offer the entire range of CNC machine tools at the performance standards required by our customers.
- What can you tell us about the MEPRO team? What do you expect from your employees?
I wish my employees showed initiative, involvement and energy. Team spirit is another criterion I rely on.
- What is the biggest challenge you are facing on the Romanian machine-tools market?
We aim to be a reliable and long term partner for our customers. As such, we provide our customers with opti- mum technological and financial solutions for a profitable investment. We also need to be permanently in sync with the newest technological breakthroughs.
- How did MEPRO fare as compared with initial expec- tations? How 2015 was for MEPRO and what are your goals for the future?
Despite the difficulties of the financial crisis that Romania also went through, MEPRO managed to maintain the upward trend forecasted at the time of incorporation. We managed to complete the Technological Centre in the Prejmer Industrial Park in 2014, we doubled the number of companies represented and increased our team to 14 employees from the initial 3. As for the future, we seek to increase our geographical reach and sales and service team, to develop the Technological centre and fit it with more machines. This will enable us to provide the techni- cal and technological support our customers need and to better promote our products.