GREAT NEW DEVELOPMENTS!

The past four years at Brecon 

The presentation of the new development strategy to the shareholders of Brecon Cleanroom Systems B.V. at the start of 2014 marked a special moment in our history. As a consultant, I had done everything I could to get an idea of the Controlled Environment market. I carried out competitor research at a national and international level, made a SWOT analysis, studied the entire range of product offerings and above all, I looked at what possibilities Brecon had to generate turnover growth. In all honesty, the latter was not Rocket science!

 

By 2013, we had been in business for roughly 24 years and our impeccable track record as builder of cleanroom systems was mostly based on the AMSL Campus in Veldhoven where we once began building offices.  In the early nineties, unburdened by much prior knowledge and experience, we enthusiastically started our first assignment of building a cleanroom at ASML. Now, over halfway through 2018, we have built over 54,000 m² of cleanroom surfaces to the thorough satisfaction of this outstanding semi-conductor company.

 

So, up to 2014, we had had a few ups and downs and worked very hard to generate quite some earnings with only one client. This doesn’t mean that we didn’t acquire a little experience in other markets! With the well-known ASML as a reference, Brecon had begun to build a solid reputation in the Netherlands without even having a real marketing plan to base this on.

 

It was known among many facility managers and entrepreneurs that this company in Veldhoven maintained the highest standards for quality, flexibility and the timely commissioning of work. If you are able to realise such a high level of satisfaction for so many years, you really are a quality firm.  That is why we also started to receive other work assignments from, among others, the TNO Delft, MSD in Oss and Boxmeer and Patheon Pharma in Tilburg. These and many other great projects were realised in the period between 1990 – 2014. But, the strategy to extend our growth beyond ASML still wasn’t in place.

 

To take a successful company in an entirely new direction with many changes in its daily operations, product implementation, personnel composition and management, (just to name a few of the recommendations established by me), was not only unique but also certainly quite exciting. A SWOT analysis can also be confronting when you come to the section on ‘internal weaknesses’… But, the shareholder responded positively and it didn’t take long before we went to work. As member of board, I was able to initiate, implement and supervise all of the further change processes for the new commercial initiatives. But you don’t achieve success on your own, only with a team of outstanding and inspired colleagues can you really create something!

 

The Brecon Cassette Panel System

With this blog, I would like to take moment to explain how proud we are of these new developments of the past year, and especially the BCPS (Brecon Cassette Panel System). It was quite exciting to conceive and develop a modular wall ceiling system from the ground up. Even more exciting was having the ultimate result tested by an internationally recognised organisation like the German Fraunhofer Institute. Because like the Opel commercial says, “We Germans don’t make jokes!”

 

Right at the start of the development phase in 2016 we decided that we would have our new system certified by the renowned Fraunhofer Institute IPA (Industrial Production and Automation). Our goal was to be registered in the data files of IPA as a tested and certified cleanroom building system. (www.tested-device.com).

 

In our actual Whitepaper which can be downloaded on our websites, we have thoroughly described how this process went. The IPA registration certainly did not occur overnight! Once we were ready, my colleague Frank Moelands and I visited Stuttgart in 2017 to discuss the process and everything that was needed to have the tests carried out. Co-member of the board Frank was already involved with production development at Brecon for 28 years and together with my partner in crime we conceived this entire BCPS product development process!

 

During one of our visits, we were able to take a tour through their high-quality cleanrooms. It was immensely impressive to see the approx. 150 m² sized cleanroom in the ISO 14644 class 1 in action.  This classification may not mean much to many of you, of course, but try to imagine that in the air of a room of one m³ (1x1x1m), your bedroom, for example, where roughly 30 to 40 million dust particles smaller than one micron can be found floating around. These are air particles, smaller than one thousandths millimeter which you cannot see with the naked eye. Germs (bacteria, fungal spores, viruses) can be found on a part of these dust particles. Now try to image that in a cleanroom at the Fraunhofer Institute that number of approx. 35,000,000 dust particles per m³ smaller than 1 micron is reduced to less than 10 dust particles smaller than 0.1 micron! There are only three such cleanrooms to be found in all of Europe, which really says it all!

 

In April of this year we built a “BCPS test box” of our system for this cleanroom in Stuttgart. With a door, a window and a ceiling made in the kinds of finishing materials (steel and HPL) and two kinds of insulation materials (aluminium honeycomb and Rockwool). In July, after months and months of testing, we finally received word! Summarised in short: “suitable for high classified cleanrooms in all market segments.” How pleased and proud we were of this result! In September, we will officially introduce the BCPS building system with an expansive marketing package at the international Controlled Environment congress ISCC’18 in The Hague. How fantastic that we can verify the quality and suitability of this great system as based on Fraunhofer certification! This may sound like a whirlwind marketing text, but that is purely unintentional, I am only trying to describe a realistic part of our company history and my personal involvement in it.

 

Next time, I promise to write more about the phenomenon of dust and the dangers it carries. I often hear that people want to hear more about this…so I hereby pledge to cover this topic in my next blogs.

 

Greetings, Geerd

 

If you would like more information about the BCPS system or our certification, please visit our websites and download our latest Whitepaper on www.pp4c.nl or www.brecon.nl

Success gives an adrenaline rush!

Everyone is familiar with success in sports or otherwise. Do you enjoy the adrenaline rush that it gives as well?

In March of this year, we were introduced to a large EMS producer in Bayern (Bavaria), Germany. In addition to many other definitions, EMS also means Electronic Manufacturing Services. This company often assembles electronic components based on designs and guidelines of other huge plants. As they were unfamiliar with clean room technology up to this points and a new international client had high demands, we put a lot of energy into the transfer of knowledge in the last period.

The necessary visits to beautiful Bayern have not been in vain.
Now, a few months later, I can describe the message on the PP4CE site as follows:

“PP4CE was hired this week to design and set up all clean room engineering activities to be created in the German Bavarian area. It is a semi-conductor-related clean room, to be created in two successive phases, with a total area of approximately 2,300 m2. The global client will make one of its existing sites fully available for the construction of this clean room to deploy new EMS activities. The commissioning of the ISO 14644 class 7 clean room is scheduled for the end of March 2019.

After this engineering assignment, more discussions will take place about the actual construction of this beautiful turnkey project by PP4CE in the coming period. More news about this wonderful project will follow as soon as possible.”

Brecon, together with PP4C partner Kuijpers, also received a great order at the BIC (Brainport Industrial Campus) in Eindhoven. The well-known KMWE, with their CEO Edward Voncken as one of the leaders of the overall BIC project and current president of Brainport Industries, has great plans for the campus with 30,000 m2 of production space. PP4C is allowed to build the approximately 1,400 m2 new clean room to be commissioned in January. One of the many Controlled Environment facilities within this beautiful company. After the 1,850 m2 realisation of Anteryon in the last half year, the 2nd beautiful BIC project that we will realise in the coming period is now a fact!

Brainport Industries Campus

I do not want to bother everyone with a list of current projects, successful deliveries, or possible projects that are currently being discussed. Sometimes, I am even not allowed to write about a specific activity, simply because a confidentiality agreement is in force. This is also the case in the project in Germany discussed above! But where possible, it is nice to share successes.

Receiving these assignments with the PP4C(E) concept gives us an adrenaline rush!

Implementing Inbound Marketing is completely different, but also damn interesting!

Developing an international marketing strategy and converting it into a marketing plan is an interesting challenge. Previously, as Senior Executive within the BASF group, I had several millions available for our marketing activities in Europe, and now I have to undertake worldwide marketing activities with a really small budget… Talking about challenges!

Much has changed in the marketing world over the past 10 years. Fortunately, I enjoy studying in my free time besides my normal day job. For some time now, I have been very busy with an “inbound marketing” course through an extensive webinar offered by HubSpot, the founders of Inbound Marketing. This (content) marketing concept is not really new, as many larger companies in particular have been using it for a long time and have fully implemented Inbound Marketing over the last couple of years.

Outbound marketing means that you try to attract the interest of potential customers by spreading a general offline marketing message through classic media channels (TV and radio advertising, advertisements, trade fairs, direct mail etc.). This will cost you a fortune if you do it on an international scale!

Nevertheless, we have to find new clients as PP4CE, in countries where our organisation is not yet known.

With Inbound marketing, you offer the prospects the information they need, mainly online. What is a prospect doing? What does he want? What interests him? By studying this and by offering digitally adapted content, we can make people or prospects become aware of our activities.

This familiarity convert a prospect to a potential client, a lead! By nurturing this lead and using the right sales approach, you can come to an actual order! Afterwards, by providing the right services through a well-executed periodic maintenance and cleaning programme, the customer may become an ambassador who may provide good new leads.
In Inbound Marketing terms, this timeframe is called the Customer Journey.

The entire communication process mainly takes place digitally through, among other things, White Paper publications, Call To Action, blog writing, etc. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Advertising (SEA) require a lot of attention to be successfully positioned at Google on an international level.

But also by giving lectures at seminars and congresses, as we do this year with PP4CE in The Hague for the ICSS 2018 and in London at the EHEDG. In April 2019, we will introduce ourselves to the pharmaceutical market in Dublin at the ISPE annual conference.

I cannot explain it more briefly and any clearer. Inbound Marketing will allow us to position PP4CE internationally faster and in a more affordable way!

This keeps me reasonably busy and demands the necessary time and energy.
In any case, it keeps me away of trouble…

Until the next Blog!

Best regards,
Geerd

P.S. Brainport Industries Campus will be a hypermodern campus, implemented over approximately 200 hectares of greenery, amidst one of the largest city parks in Eindhoven. An innovative and sustainable work landscape where stylish company buildings form a coherent whole with the green, forest area of Brainport Park
Leading knowledge institutes and reputable companies will work together at the Brainport Industries Campus to make ideas ready for production and develop business cases. The campus is a state-of-the-art working and learning environment for the next generation in high-tech manufacturing. The Brainport Industries Campus is home to broad alliances between suppliers, specialised companies, and innovative educational and knowledge institutions.

“Never too old to face challenges!”

That I would keep myself busy with writing a blog, I really did not expect that anymore. Let’s face it, with the nice age of 63 you sometimes have some trouble with all the developments on social media and I can assure everyone: I will not have any problems with private information on the web by using Facebook or Instagram. I really do not feel at home on such platforms, where everyone thinks the world is interested in the colour of the underwear you wear that day, or what I ate that evening!

Rest assured, if you decide to continue reading this first blog, you will at most get to know me and read something about my passion, my work! In the future I would also like to share what I am concerned with and what my experiences are in our area of ​​work, develop and build Controlled Environment facilities. That may be about international trends and developments in our expertise, great stories about realised projects or whatever comes my way!

Anyway, age is already known. To view my career, it’s best to check out my LinkedIn site. In any case, I was allowed to do damn interesting work, cooperated with many intelligent and interesting people, in both small and also 15 years in very large companies and I have travelled a lot. I am happily married, have four wonderful adult children and together they are responsible for 8 fantastic grandchildren.

After more than 30 years working in the construction-chemical world, I became acquainted with cleanroom technology, almost 5 years ago! Super interesting, and a very nice product segment. From that acquaintance I was part of the Brecon Group management. After having led the group as general manager for a number of years, I am currently occupied with the marketing strategy for the entire group and the development of our international activities.

I am the initiator of the PP4C and PP4CE concept. A partnership within our field: Controlled Environment! Check the sites if you have never heard of these two market parties in this domain.

PP4C has been very successful on the Dutch market for several years and at the end of this year PP4CE will also be known in the international Controlled Environment market as a designer and builder of Turnkey Controlled Environment facilities. They do this for various market segments, such as Pharma, food, medical devices, but also the semiconductor market and many related market segments.

How did I actually come up with the PP4C (E) concept?

From my construction chemistry time it was clear to me that there are many different disciplines in a building process, for which specific product- and professional knowledge is necessary. Specialized companies are therefore required to perform these special activities correctly. Even though it may not seem obvious, but for example, you do not allow a sand-cement floor layer to place a complex multi-component Epoxy or PU bonded floor. Both earn their money on their knees, but their expertise has virtually no connection.

On balance, you do need some companies to successfully develop and built  a Controlled Environment project. A client actually does not want 10 discussion partners, but prefers to maintain contact with one company in order to get the project cleared. So it seemed to me a clear improvement if a number of specialized companies in this field would work together! That would have to be professionals with the necessary experience!

Take a look at the list of partners on our website and everyone immediately sees what I mean by professionals…

Who will do what, at what time and what will it cost. Who then ensures that the whole runs in a coordinated way and is ready within the specified time? The client wants to have that clear.

Meanwhile, we have made it clear that it is precisely our partnership PP4C (E) that makes it possible to answer the above-mentioned questions satisfactorily and we have a list of references, in different market segments, where we have successfully implemented our turnkey concept.

Have we learned anything from all those assignments?

“Try to understand the project from the customer’s perspective and be aware of his vision of possible risks and resulting challenges.

 Analyse the way you deal with these challenges and communicate this in a clear and open way. Only with honest and healthy cooperation can we meet the expectations of the customer “.

That is what we keep in mind over and over again, and where in the start-up phase of our cooperation we certainly also made some mistakes had to pay some lesson money for. However, if you have learned to understand this, you can often achieve the highest possible satisfaction with your clients. And it is true that we try to make a reference of each work, which in turn can lead to new assignments.

Sure enough, I will also start a blog! Without making any firm promises, I want to promise to share knowledge or news with the reader every few weeks. This will mainly concern Controlled Environment developments, but I will not fail to pick up a topic that might be current in my area at the time.

I hope for many readers, or is that called ‘followers’?

Just like the lessons we have learned in our PP4C (E) activities, I am aware that I have to understand from what perspective my readers are interested in Controlled Environment. So at least I hope to be challenged by you, ask questions or give critical feedback.

Not only for challenges you are never too old, but certainly not for learning, so I take your advice absolutely seriously ……

Greeting Geerd