The partnership between Carglass® and Montea is founded on a comparable "cultural set", according to Tim Berx, Supply Chain Director at Belron® / Carglass®. "Resolving thinking, short communication lines and quick decisions are good examples of this. We are both always looking for a win-win situation for both organizations. That shared starting point ensures that we were able to work together on this project in a good and open way. "
The first pile of the new Carglass® European distribution center was driven in, in May 2017. The building is recently completed. The preliminary phase of the tender has been carefully prepared and the Carglass® team has taken various proposals into consideration. "There were a number of points that were very important to us. Montea recognized those points and clearly responded to them. We noticed that they were ‘eager’ in their approach," Berx indicates.
The location was one of those important aspects. The Carglass® team had different locations in mind. Berx indicates that Montea made valuable contributions to the thought process and were consequently able to provide Carglass® with the ideal location. "After considering the proposals, the choice was finally made for a concession with De Vlaamse Waterweg. We are using the site in Genk, but the land is not owned. So this does not concern a traditional cooperation. Nevertheless with this set-up Montea has offered us the most suitable solution," explains Berx.
Thinking in solutions
Another similarity between Carglass® and Montea is the joint pursuit of quality. Montea deliberately does not opt for buildings that are depreciated after 15 years. They opt for qualitative and sustainable materials so that buildings can be kept in the portfolio during their entire life cycle. The Carglass® team focussed on a high quality for the building as well as the finish, so employees can work comfortably. Montea's choice for quality is therefore a good match. "Several things are standing out: the walls and ceiling in the warehouse are painted white, the outside space is attractively arranged for the employees, light catchers are installed", explains Berx. "Montea has proposed this light catcher technology with which more natural light can penetrate into the warehouse. All these elements make the difference."
Meanwhile, economic reality has never been out of sight, Berx believes. "The Montea team thought along well during the project, both technically and commercially. For example, we wanted to install solar panels at a later time. When Montea was able to recuperate solar panels from another project, we decided to add this immediately. This solution works well for both parties."
At the start of the project, Carglass® envisaged a new European distribution center of 33,000 m², with room for a possible extension after a certain number of years. Ultimately, it was jointly decided to build a larger building immediately, taking into account the complexity of the market segment and the logistical future. In addition, there is still room for further growth on site, without the need for a relocation immediately. "We have made various calculations together with Montea. Various financial models have been developed and several business cases have been tested. The common starting points were anticipating the long term and working together with partners who believe in it", Berx states.
For the follow-up of the construction project, Carglass® has temporarily expanded the project team. "We have strengthened our project team with a few experts. The project management of Montea has a good drive and demonstrable experience, they know how to deal with the situation. With our additional experts, we all speak the same language", says Berx.
"The win-win situation for all parties is key in this partnership, while always taking into account the economic reality", concludes Berx. Today, this is the result of the partnership between Carglass® and Montea: a high-quality distribution center, equipped with the most recent sustainable elements and with exceptional attention to the well-being of the employees. That is the profit of partnership.