Alfen is in the middle of a perfect storm. Since 2018, the turnover of the company that supplies charging stations, transformer stations and energy storage systems has quadrupled. Despite the challenges in the supply chain, the company is performing well. René Hooijsma, supply chain director: “That is precisely why we invest in systems such as Tradecloud. This way we ensure a smoothly operating chain.”
The perfect storm for Alfen takes place in no less than three sectors. The company has grown with the development of transformer stations, but now sees the charging stations and energy storage business booming.
‘Strong growth requires a grip on the chain’
The company positions itself as a specialist in turnkey solutions for EV chargers, energy storage and smart grid solutions. Alfen designs, assembles, maintains and manages the transport.
‘It is up to us to provide chain transparency’
Having a grip on the chain is therefore what it is all about for the company.
From customization to standardized Tradecloud
Standardization, automation and insight are central to the steps that Alfen is taking and to which Hooijsma is referring.
Alfen has seen the added value of a purchasing portal for some time, and even developed it in the past, but has now said goodbye to this customized portal.
Removing surprises from the supply chain
Alfen is busy linking the stock forecast to Tradecloud, so that both the stock forecast/prognosis and the specifications/drawings for both Alfen and suppliers no longer have any surprises.
Data automatically flows through the system
A large proportion of all suppliers have now switched to working with the Tradecloud purchasing platform.
“It’s all about adding value and reducing failure costs”
According to Hooijsma, Alfen is transforming into a ‘network’, a company that works with standards and provides transparency in the chain.
The supply chain director states that these advantages also mean that the business case of an investment should be less focused on numbers. “As long as it ultimately yields benefits, a smooth interaction with chain partners.”
“Put a goal on the horizon, don’t wait”
Although not every company is growing as fast as Alfen, Hooijsma would like to emphasize the importance of standardization for any company that wants to accelerate and better integrate a chain.