Expanding globally: building on a European presence

To build the overseas presence of Federal Equipment Company and solidify our status as a global provider of equipment solutions, we have opened an office in the Netherlands, reports Paul Sombekke, European Business Development Manager

(Left to Right): Paul Sombekke, European Business, Development Manager; Kamila Grabowska, European Sales; and Erdinc Celebi, European Business, Development Manager

The office is located just 90 minutes from the international centres of Amsterdam and Dusseldorf, Germany. We are looking forward to providing the same quality and level of service that has come to be expected of us — and is synonymous with our name in North America — abroad.

Above all, we are confident that establishing a location in Europe will allow European-based pharmaceutical companies to partner with us for their equipment-related needs more easily.

Solidifying our global presence

The opening of our European office is a natural next step for us as we continue to expand our operations. We have already formed strong partnerships with an extensive array of pharmaceutical and chemical companies spanning the continent, and building an office in the centre of Europe is another way for us to remain close to our partners at these companies.

This is a critical time for expansion into the European market as there has been considerable recent growth and activity in this area.

We have received many requests from companies looking for solutions to their problems across Europe, and our reputation as experts in equipment liquidation and trusted suppliers of used — yet quality — machinery has preceded us. We are excited by the tremendous opportunity to serve this market as we have already done in North America.

We understand that the services we provide in the United States are valued in Europe and elsewhere overseas, which is why we are eager to introduce ourselves internationally.

A parallel market with tremendous potential

There are many similarities between the US and European markets, especially regarding the machines used. European equipment brands are often the first choice for US companies equipping facilities. Our knowledge and relationships with these European original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) gives us the unique ability to seamlessly sell their equipment to our customers on the continent.

Ultimately, the most significant difference between these two geographic markets is their experience with used equipment. Few competitors can match our knowledge base and geographic reach — expanding into the European market presents tremendous potential for our company as we enhance our global expansion.

This new European centre provides more opportunities for Federal Equipment Company to engage in outreach to possible customers in Europe and to demonstrate the quality of our machinery. Our team of specialists is well-versed in all the equipment in our inventory, including how to operate them and how well they work.

Establishing an international presence has many benefits, particularly regarding our partnerships with pharma companies and CDMOs that are based internationally. In addition to our operations in North America and now in Europe, we also have an office in India.

Establishing trust in Europe

The biggest hurdle to working with a used equipment dealer and supplier such as Federal Equipment Company is the imagined risk involved in not purchasing from an OEM. However, we are eager to show our European customers that OEMs will still service the equipment for the buyer after the sale and — although this is case-specific — the warranty may still also be viable.

We are eager to show our new customers that our machines work well in application and can be depended on for years to come.

Tackling the whole continent

The Federal Equipment Company office in the Netherlands is positioned to serve the entire European continent. Taking the scale of this task into consideration, we are approaching this challenge with a dual focus. We are equally present in Western and Eastern Europe, with both markets presenting their own unique attributes.

Notably, Western Europe is home to many large pharmaceutical companies, whereas Eastern Europe houses many generic manufacturers.

Our plans for expansion include stocking up and placing more equipment at our warehouses in the Netherlands, as well as the United Kingdom. When our in-house stock increases (during the next few months), we will be able to offer customers even more of what they have become familiar with through our Ohio showroom.

One of the main advantages of working with a used equipment supplier with a brick-and-mortar warehouse is a shorter turnaround time on equipment procurement; this is possible because we already have the machinery in stock.

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This stock will increase our business in general, especially as we already work with customers in Europe routinely. We have customers throughout Europe that have their machines shipped from the United States daily. Our European outpost will drive more of this activity and make equipment procurement even more straightforward from a process standpoint, including dealing with everything from paperwork to shipment.

The more equipment that we have in stock in Europe, the more options our customers have — and the more customers we can support. We plan to grow our stock and our client base in tandem.

The next 24 months

During the next two years, we will seek to expand our strategic partnerships in Europe. The majority of our relationships with customers are strategic partnerships, as opposed to merely transactional relationships or one-off deals. As in the United States, we are seeking to provide more value-added services, including equipment removal.

Federal Equipment Company routinely assists its partners with equipment liquidation and we’ve already begun doing so for the European market.

We are excited by the prospect of expansion and working on our warehouse inventory, with a particular focus on Eastern Europe. Europe presents a mosaic of diverse markets, with individual countries often having their own rules and practices.

This means that there is more management involved overall, but we are more than up to meeting this challenge. We are moving at a strong and steady pace and have already begun to enjoy positive feedback from what we have built so far.

Opportunities for equipment removal and increased inventory

The European market has also provided us with the ability to acquire more equipment. Many companies in Europe are missing an opportunity for profit by holding on to machines that are no longer operational. Federal Equipment Company is willing to work with companies to divest equipment assets and put capital in their hands for expansion projects, hiring, the repayment of debt and more.

As Federal Equipment Company’s strategy of international expansion matures, we are eager to build up our overseas presence. With the opening of our Netherlands office, we have become both more approachable and more accessible to our current customer base in Europe, while also strengthening our potential to establish and build new relationships with prospective clients.

By solidifying our presence with a physical location, we are now able to view equipment earmarked for liquidation with much more ease or visit a customer facility in hours rather than days.

This expansion of Federal Equipment Company in Europe is a major step in realising our broader strategy for expansion. We plan to work with more countries in time and, ultimately, grow our international presence to match our standing in North America. We aim to be the go-to partner for used equipment globally.

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