When it comes to trading and logistical excellence, the Netherlands have a pretty stellar track record. Out of the 155 countries studied by The World Bank in 2010, the Netherlands was rated third for logistics competence and quality, second for logistics infrastructure and fourth for its customs environment. And although the Netherlands makes up 0.25% of the world’s population, it represents 3.7% of the world trading market—with a large number of companies focused solely on trading and logistics.
In recent years, we have seen an interesting shift in the Netherlands. Traditionally logistics-focused companies are beginning to expand their market reach to take on larger pieces of the supply chain, and an increasing number of companies are in need of a way to manage product data as it moves through its lifecycle. Fortunately, this is the specialty of our new partners at ProductStream, a Netherlands-based company that helps European manufacturers better centralize, organize and share product data.
ProductStream, founded by ERP/PLM specialists Ard Zonneveld and Johan Bax, is quickly gaining a reputation as a company that’s fully focused on supporting product development processes. ProductStream specializes in streamlining the product development cycle, so manufacturers can move more quickly from the initial idea to the final product release.
ProductStream has been particularly successful with companies looking to expand their participation in an international supply chain. According to Ard, this is a growing trend—as many Netherlands-based trading companies are looking to become more integrated in their approach to business. “In particular, we’ve seen a growing number of trading companies evolve into ‘integrated importers/wholesalers.’ This means that they grow vertically in the supply chain, taking over backward and forward activities to strengthen their market position. This development is in most cases combined with the production of their own or third party labels, and results in a scenario where design and product development is done locally, but manufacturing is outsourced to Asia or East-Europe.”
As we work with a variety of Netherlands-based organizations (like IRX) we look forward to a long and successful partnership with ProductStream. As more success stories from Dutch manufacturers come our way, we will be happy to share them with you.
ProductStream was born when Ard and Johan, who worked together as ERP /CRM consultants, saw the growing number of companies unsuccessfully trying to manage their product record with pencil and paper, email and excel. According to Ard, “In the average corporation, there are several disciplines involved with product development—in addition to the internal teams, companies may work with agencies, designers and contract manufacturers. Between these many outsourced players, companies who have a collaborative and centralized platform for product development are the most likely to be successful.”
For more about manufacturing in the Netherlands