André van Leeuwen, managing director at KAVO. The company is active as an importer and supplier of Japanese and Korean car-parts. Once started as a representative in this branche, Van Leeuwen starts his company in Raalte. Apeldoorn becomes KAVO’s new place of business after an expansion. The entrepreneur built an automotive imperium and supplies car-parts to at least 55 countries.
Service from the ground up
A building containing both an office and a mega-stockroom. A stockroom containing all possible parts. Fulfillment-service is taken care of meticulously. Many e-commerce companies can learn a thing or two here. You are surrounded by a blue wave of keenly selected KAVO-packagings when entering this car-part-warehouse. Parts are sorted clear, plastered with barcodes, product name et cetera, ready for daily rapid delivery to the clients.
André van Leeuwen: “It once started with filters. Mapping the many sorts and sizes available. Filters that are the same, but provided with different original number for that export country.” An old catalogue, containing thirty year old examples, is placed on the table. Van Leeuwen invested many hours to map those original numbers back then. Connecting data, so the right product can be found at first glance. Now his employees research this information. Automatically processed with computers and servers, so the e-commerce company can work optimally.
‘Leave your ego at home’
And with this information Van Leeuwen travels the world. Negotiates with Japanese, and later Korean, car company CEO’s. Japanese think from the product side, while Dutch people from the client’s side. His commercial side has been tested many times. Always keeping an eye on his goal, becoming a worldwide importer. “Leave your ego at home when you’re negotiating with the Japanese, you will gain much more than when you take a stand.”
`Talk about what you do and do as you say´.
Van Leeuwen does not fear the use of ‘old ladies wisdom’. Short and to the point. Direct, to the point and with a dose of humor and an overview, a company environment that breathes quality. Client and service are at the forefront and each employee acts on that.
Kavo | Peter Bloemberg