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Reliability of supply: service providers always ready to assist

1st December 2022
Kiera Sowery

Shortage of skilled workers and bottlenecks in materials procurement are causing problems for many of our service providers.

But thanks to the consciously applied loyalty of our purveyors, we can be sure of quick help in the event of an emergency," said Ralf Schwartz, looking back on difficult months in this respect. This is particularly true for a manufacturer of the chemical industry with about 160 employees. "The more severe the consequences, the more pleased we were to find that we can fully rely on our external service companies such as electricians, roofers or plant mechanics for sanitary and heating systems," said the CEO.

“They really have done an outstanding job," Ralf Georg also emphasised. The Peters maintenance manager cooperates with more than 20 trades. The craftsmen, technicians and experts ensure that everything runs smoothly on the 40,000 square metre factory premises at Hooghe Weg 13 in the Kempen business park "Am Selder". For the global player and full-range supplier of coating materials for high-tech electronics and its factories and associated laboratories, a trouble-free production is essential.

"As banal as it may sound: When rain is coming through the roof, the fun is over, and all alarms go off," said the 43-year-old industrial mechanic, who has been in charge of machines and buildings maintenance at Peters since 2017.

Storm damage calls for roofers Such an event came about in autumn 2021: A storm swept across the Lower Rhine at the weekend and literally tore off the roof of production hall 2 in a turbulent night from Sunday to Monday. "The roofers arrived quickly on Monday morning and repaired everything at record speed," reported Ralf Georg. This way, the assigned shift was able to work through, so that Peters did not suffer any damage, and customers could be served in time.

Founded 114 years ago in Kempen and now run by the third family generation, this company is probably the most important trade division for a broad-based company like Peters, along with electrical and plumbing services. At Hooghe Weg 10, van Straelen and his 15 employees make sure that 20,000 square metres of roof are and will be in good condition. The business relationship with van Straelen was established by Peters founder Werner Peters around half a century ago.

Hendrik, also a master roofer, still vividly remembers the storm that threatened production hall 2 in 2021. "The roof was lifted off, the sealing flew off - no easy repair job under severe conditions and time pressure," said the Junior Manager. "Luckily we have short distances, as our company is diagonally opposite," said the 25-year-old.

Maintenance and advice are part of it The support to Peters not only includes such emergencies, but also regular maintenance work and advice.

"In production hall 3, for example, we recently installed a new foil for reasons of safety," Jakob van Straelen reported. Advice is indispensable these days, he said, because the legislator attaches great importance to climate-friendliness, environmentally friendly materials and a sustainable energy portfolio, especially when it comes to roofs.

Thanks to the trusting cooperation with van Straelen and other trades, Peters is well advised on all these factors. Compared to other sectors, this roofer is relatively well positioned in terms of material supply. At other construction sites in the factory, Ralf Georg sometimes has to wait months until the desired part is delivered and the craftsmen can finish their job. For example, a forklift could not be used for weeks because a crucial component was stuck somewhere between the Suez Canal and the Lower Rhine Area. Despite their goodwill, Peters’ service providers are clueless in such cases.

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