The driving force behind 75 years of Hendor
"The company is really part of our life and our family," Marja says. "Our family life used to revolve largely around Hendor because our father had taken it over from grandfather. I've been coming here for as long as I can remember. I can still picture the old building with the two pointed roofs."
The beginning of Hendor
It was a tough time for Henk junior to make Hendor successful on his own. Both product development and sales were his responsibility, while he actually wanted to focus purely on the technical side. In the 1980s, the turnaround came with new designs of pumps and filters. Marja: "Before, the old pumps still had perspex housings and filter chambers." Hessel: "Hendor switched to PP and started injection molding in-house. New submersible pumps, filter pumps and magnetic pumps were developed, and then some great collaborations were done with CDR in Italy, among others." Meanwhile, Henk junior hired sales director Rinie Voets in 1984. Together they traveled all over Europe by car to visit customers and agents. "That's when business took off."
The third generation steps into the family business
"My elementary school was next to the Hendor headquarter premises so I always parked my bike here," Hessel says. "After school and during vacations you could regularly find me here in the building. Once I finished high school, I went to DAF business school and worked there for three years. Then I started working here at Hendor, because I knew I wanted to work here eventually. I started downstairs operating the machining centers and then advanced to production manager."
On December 30, 1997, Marja and Hessel took over Hendor from their father. Henk junior asked his children if they would take over the business from him so that he could retire at the age of 62. At least with the day-to-day management, because he still wanted to come by for a few days to do what he loved: injection molding. Marja: "It was always in the back of my mind that I wanted to take over the business. But never on my own, because I simply don't have the technical knowledge." For Hessel idem: "I am more a man of practice. I rather occupy myself with developing pumps and filters than with administration."
Professionalism, automation and extra attention to personnel
Sales manager Rinie bids farewell in 2012 and makes way for commercial director and co-owner Paul van Ham. Paul: "I previously worked at Hendor in the sales department and then went elsewhere in the industry. The bond with Hessel and Marja has always remained. In 2012 they approached me for a lunch appointment. They had the idea of asking me back, not only to lead the commercial devision within Hendor but also as co-owner, and wanted to see if it clicked. I have always considered Hendor a great company with great products and great people. I did think that the focus could be shifted from the products to the customers and the market. In the past ten years we have succeeded in doing that. We have entered new markets, such as scrubbers and powder coating pretreatment, and developed new products. I think it's amazing that I get to be part of a business that gets to pass on to the next generation."
Ready for the fourth generation
The vision for the future is clear: hand over a healthy company to the fourth generation. Hessel: "The ambitions and capacities are there, so I hope to also be able to witness the 100th anniversary." For this next generation Marja, Hessel and Paul have a clear advice: stay financially independent and always try to get the best out of your staff. They are essential to the success of Hendor.
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