MOL makes true what they promise, and that’s very nice
A multi-layer film, developed in the course of the years, enabled that more and more properties could be added to the material. For example, noise reduction and UV filtering. The latest development is the wedge film, which enables projection of navigation instructions on the slanted windshield. More innovations will follow in the near future. Besides delivery to the automotive branch, S-Lec supplies the foil to construction, who use this in windows of airports, train stations or skyscrapers.
S-Lec Roermond: within 20 years to top position
In 1997 the board of the Japanese headquarters decided to expand the production of the S-Lec film with a factory in Europe. This enabled shorter delivery times for the European automotive market. They choose Roermond as location for the new factory. In the past two decennia, they grew from 1 to 2 production lines, and shortly a 3rd line will be operational. The company works 24/7 and is only closed during Christmas and ….. Carnaval. The Roermond location became an important pillar within the group, also in the area of knowledge and expertise. And they are quite proud of that at S-Lec in Middle-Limburg.
René Vesser is assistant logistic manager and responsible for all import and export as well as the transport. Through the “transport academy” in Venlo he did his graduation internship in 2005 at Sekisui and has never left. René made a nice career in the company. When he became responsible for the transport in 2010, he took a different course. MOL became the logistics service provider and so the foundation was there for a long lasting cooperation, which is still beneficial for both parties.
Other transport approach saves costs
“We used to only work with dedicated truckers, because our high value foil has to be carefully transported at a controlled temperature of 7°. We did not trust just anybody to do this. Once we had just 1 pallet to Southern Italy, because out sourcing to a 3pl was not done. That was extremely expensive, which put pressure on our margins. I am very rational, and wanted to switch to charter transport. In that period, Chris Goeverneur of MOL Logistics visited us. They offered conditioned transport, and I was willing to take the risk to switch and give MOL Logistics the control tower. We have never regretted it, because they always deliver what they promise. That is why we still work closely with MOL Logistics.” Rene Venner - Assistent logistics managerRene Venner - Assistant logistics manager
A part from the conditioned trucking of foil over the whole of Europe, MOL Logistics also takes care of the container transport and airfreight for S-Lec. According to René, the strength of MOL mainly lies in their employees.
“We have fixed contacts, who know what is important to S-Lec, who are proactive and keep their appointments. This is very nice. We have worked together with other large logistic providers, who promise all sorts during the quarterly meetings. However, when there is no practical improvement, I will soon stop the cooperation. With MOL, this is truly different. That is why mostly they are the first we approach in case of a logistic challenge, or when something needs to be done quickly. Then you call that nice dude who you know and trust, and of which you know he will do his utmost to help you. This is how they work, and that the strength of MOL in Tilburg.” That's just how it works in practice. That's really the strength of MOL in Tilburg."
Logistical challenges: from fire to production shortages
Because of a fire in Japan, it happened that the softener (a component for producing the foil) was temporarily not available there. Together with the Dutch supplier and MOL, S-Lec Roermond managed to ship large quantities of the softener to Japan, so they could continue with the production.
MOL also played a big part in 2008 when, for the first time in the history of Sekisui, a whole cargo plane was chartered for the transport of soundproof foil to the S-Lec factory in China.
“They could not yet produce that there,” René says. “Here in Europe the automotive branch was in a crisis, but in China the economy flourished. Because of these intercompany deliveries, they could meet demands. It is always difficult to arrange this correct and swiftly. But when through a good cooperation of all parties, it is successful, it gives a kick!””
Thinking and solving
Now the 3rd production line is built, the supply of machines and spare parts from Japan increased.
“We do not have the space available to store large crates here. But before it becomes a problem, MOL suggested to store the containers after unloading in Roterdam, and we can have them delivered when we need them. They are very capable and have good business sense. And because I know they will handle our expensive spare parts correctly (they also take care of the transport of spare parts for maintenance in Japan) it is easy for us to do it this way.”
Special bond through Japanese roots
The fact that both companies have their roots in Japan and exist for about the same time (Sekisui had their 100 year anniversary in 2018, MOL in 2019) creates a special bond.
“Our head offices are opposite each other in Tokyo. They converse on high level and know and trust each other. If the trust is not damaged, it guarantees a long-term relationship. MOL proved time and time again that they make true what they promise. They are a trustworthy partner for Seksui, we can always rely on them.””