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Van Looy Group

Noordersingel 19 2140 Antwerp Belgium
+32 323 53508 +32 323 56469

Van Looy Group

Interview with Chris Dorval, business development consultant

Van Looy Group

When and by whom was the company founded?

Van Looy Group was established in 1979 as a logistic design company

What have been the greatest milestones until today?

The moment that Van Looy Group expanded its services to the design of laboratories and R&D-centers at the end of the last century, and later on in 2008 with its expansion to design data centers.

What products make up your core business?

Van Looy Group offers consultancy, the design for your new building or the renovation of a logistic center, laboratory, R&D-center or data center. We are also supporting the customer with the tendering process and the project management for these projects.

What distinguishes your products from those of the competition? What are the unique selling points/special features or characteristics?

Van Looy Group is a company with all expertise under one roof. Our engineering consultants have many years` experience in designing and constructing industrial buildings. They are supported by a varied team of specialists: from architects to technical designers and draftsmen, from safety advisers to constructors and engineers.

What problems do you solve for your customers?

We think things through with the customer, make suggestions, provide advice, in order to create the most suitable building for him/her and the users. We create these buildings to be sustainable and we make them flexible enough to cope with operational changes.

What target groups (e.g. industries) do you address with your products, and what is your core target group? What percentage of the company`s turnover does it account for?

We have a wide range of target groups, each depending on the selected division. For Logistics our target groups are manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, logistics companies, postal services. For laboratories these are mainly manufacturers, research centers, hospitals, universities. For data centers we find them back in the group of ICT, telecom and financial companies and manufacturers. Contacts with other partners as there are architects, contractors, etc. have even the same priority.

How do you reach your target group(s)?

Reference projects and customer testimonials present in our business the best opportunity to reach new customers out of the target groups. Besides this channel, a big part of our effort goes into digital communication: our website, social media, newsletters and advertising.

In your opinion, what was the biggest change in your industry in the last ten years? How did you react to it? How did you take advantage of it? How did it affect your company?

In our business, the biggest change is, mainly for the bigger projects, that the customer needs help to control and process the big information streams. Some of our employees are trained and are experienced to have a multidisciplinary knowledge and can assist them as a central person through the various phases of the project. Additionally, we can offer different formulas to guide customers and other parties through the complete project, e.g. document management, change management and extended supervision on the site.

How is the company structured today? How is the company organized?

Our company is based on three key areas: logistics, laboratories and data centers. Each of these three divisions has its own engineering consultants. They work out the conceptual phase with the customer and get support from our technical engineers construction, utilities and electricity. In the latter phases, the technical engineers work out the project under the supervision of a project manager.

How much turnover did your company generate in the last fiscal year? What turnover targets have you set for the current fiscal year?

For the year 2013 the turnover was 6.234 million EUR. For this year we would like to increase it to seven million EUR.

Has the digital world changed the way your company communicates?

Of course, not only has the digital world changed our marketing strategies as mentioned before, but also the internal communication between team members, partners and customers occurs digitally. We recommend for each of the third parties to use our online communication platform. Easy communication, easy access and getting real time information from everywhere are the big advantages of this kind of communication.

Do you strive for innovations, and if so, in what areas (products, technology, logistics, sales, marketing)?

We strive for innovation in different domains: in the case of technical innovation we say yes if it brings at the end the right result for our customer. In case of new work methods, procedures in order to get a higher efficiency into our company.

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