“Yes, our goal is to become the number-one player in the Netherlands in the next five years,” confirms CEO and co-owner Ben C. Smits. “Once we have reached this goal, we are going to expand our activities even further and enter our neighbouring markets in Belgium and Germany. In both countries, we already have some good customer contacts. Of course, this is an ambitious goal, but we believe in our know-how and in our excellent service. We are able to take care of complete conveyor belt systems – most of the competitors focus exclusively on the belt.”
Originally the company was set up as a production company focusing on the manufacture of leather drive belts for machines and plants. Today, Noten is a specialist in the maintenance and repair of conveyor belts of all types and manufacturers.
The company’s service spectrum is huge and ranges from technical controls through to the exchange of components. Noten takes care of rubber conveyor belts, PVC and PU transport belts, VOL polyurethane belts, driving belts, elevator belts and cups and transport rolls.
“In our business, time is a crucial factor,” says Mr. Smits. “Whenever conveyer belts stand still, this means economic losses for our clients. Therefore, we react quickly and flexibly to all incoming orders.”
Today, Noten services customers from different industries, such as chemistry, food, print and packaging, agriculture, building and ceramics, sand and gravel mining, steel, and recycling. Most of the customers come from the Netherlands; around 15% of the annual turnover is generated through export activities, mainly to the neighbouring countries, the Czech Republic and the Middle East.
Noten was founded in 1925 by the family. In 2002, the company was sold to a group of investors. Mr. Smits, who has been with the company since 2003, acquired company shares in 2011. Today, he is one of several private shareholders. With facilities in Venlo (head office), Breda and Lochem near Hengelo, the company has around 44 people on the payroll.
When Mr. Smits took on the company shares in 2011, he made it his challenge to implement a sustainable growth strategy. “Before 2011, Noten did hardly any marketing,” he says. “We designed a completely new CI with a new logo, a new website and have our own sales team now regularly visiting our clients. Since 2011, our degree of popularity has increased by around 60% – an excellent result. I strongly believe that there is much more growth potential for us. Firstly, we are going to open up two new locations with the support of private investors to enhance our national presence. The expansion of our export activities will be the next step then.”