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Paul Meijering Metals always want to be ahead of the competition

The company switched to the Thinkwise platform a few years ago.

"Being at the forefront is important in this industry. I want to do things differently and better than the rest, being a bit stubborn. However, it's becoming increasingly challenging as everyone is focused on digitization," says Paul Meijering of Paul Meijering Metalen from Zaltbommel.

The wholesale business delivers directly from its own stock of pipes, fittings, flanges and sheets in stainless steel and special alloys. In addition to a wide range of high-quality materials, the company also offers customizations and special processing as a machining company. "We're not a manufacturing company; we always provide semi-finished products. Our products are used for making pizza ovens but also for fryers used for frying french fries," explains Meijering.

Going digital

Digitalization and automation are becoming increasingly important for Paul Meijering, particularly for the further optimization of production processes and productivity. The company has a fully automated warehouse management system and an ERP system that has been built using the Thinkwise platform. “When an order is entered the goods are automatically removed from the warehouse. I want to make everything digital. We already work a lot with EDI. When we receive a request we can automatically make an offer. In the future that must also go directly to one of our warehouses.”, Meijering explains.

A number of years ago the company switched over to the Thinkwise platform. The company previously worked with Prostaal. However, after the former owner of Prostaal sold his company, the company came to a standstill. Meijering: “Nothing new has been developed during the past ten years. My Google fingers eventually brought me to Thinkwise. And even though we initially had to discover what form the cooperation should take, it has turned out to be a good choice. It was agreed that they would develop the shell, a kind of basic package, and that we were then responsible for its continued development. The benefit of this is that we have kept everything simple. But there is also a downside, because it requires a lot of in-house knowledge."

Ahead of the competition

At a certain moment Paul Meijering's IT team fell apart and there was little capacity available to keep the system running, it was then that the platform really proved itself; the system remained operational without any problems. And there are plenty of plans for the future. “I always want to keep ahead of the competition, I'm not easily satisfied. We have engaged Fizor, a Thinkwise partner, to develop a number of connections and a sawing app and processing app. We cut and saw sheet material ourselves and chamfer pipes. We can make anything that someone can draw, which enables us to automate processes even further. They are going to start on this in a couple of weeks. We estimate that this will involve two weeks of programming. This process currently involves a lot of manual effort”, says Meijering.

He also wants to make organisational improvements in the future. “I do not want to be a software developer, just a user. But that is not possible with fewer internal people in IT. Furthermore, it is good for the company when external people look at what we are doing. A fresh pair of eyes leads to new perspectives and ideas. Only implementing your own ideas and those of your own staff may lead to organisational blindness. I want to broaden our view of automaton. Because I want to progress. You cannot change things on your own, you have to do it together.