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Stefan Roeters, Syboned:

“Quality and consistency make for satisfied clients”

"We get fridge/freezer cell assembly orders from just about all of the supermarkets in the Netherlands," says Stefan Roeters, who owns Syboned. His father founded this family business in 1995. This year this Dutch company turns 25. The COVID-19 rules in the Netherlands have been relaxed. This milestone could, thus, fortunately, be celebrated. The company has shown steady, sustained growth since day one.

That continues to this day. Not only size-wise. An appreciation for Syboned's work has gained it a lot of ground locally and internationally. "There's a simple reason for that. We have years of experience. Not only as a family. Most of our employees have been with us for many years. The first person Dad ever hired is still with the company. Our staff remains enthusiastically committed to the business. Also, we use only quality products, so our customers generally remain satisfied as well." 

Most of the orders come from the food industry. Every week Syboned delivers to at least one supermarket. Dutch chain stores like Jumbo, Hoogvliet, and Hema regularly place orders. 

Stefan's father, Hans Roeters, founded Syboned a quarter of a century ago. He rented a building from a local contractor and started installing sandwich panels at mostly food industry companies. At first, he ran the office from home, but the business grew quickly. Employees and vans were added, and the company moved to an office with storage space. Two years ago, that building had also become too small. And Syboned had an entirely new building constructed.

It is a true family business: Hans' wife does the administration, and their son and daughter also work in the company. Hans is slowly phasing out his work and works less each year. Son Stefan took over part of the company in 2016. He then started taking on some of Hans' management duties. This year, Stefan and his sister Carola are taking over the last part of the company. They will also be fully in charge of its management. 

Carola, Stefan en Hans Roeters

Refrigerating fruit and vegetables
"We get a constant stream of work from the fruit and vegetable sector. That remains at a stable 25%," says Stefan. Of these, most projects aim to preserve apples, pears, and blueberries. Vegetable processing companies, too, place orders for the construction of conditioned product processing rooms.

Fruit is a delicate product with a limited shelf life. ULO is used to extend that as much as possible. In this process, temperature and oxygen changes and movement are kept to a minimum. "Then it's essential that we assemble the refrigeration units extremely precisely. You have to use good quality panels and the correct type of door."

"In an infallible refrigeration unit, the temperature and oxygen levels hardly fluctuate. So, you can store top fruit for up to ten months. If a cooling system leaks, the oxygen level in the cell rises. That accelerates ripening. By the time the grower opens the cell to sell the fruit, it can no longer be sold. Then the grower might have to dump 200 tons of apples," Stefan explains. 

Why is there more demand from Germany? 
"When it comes to fruit storage, we're well-regarded, especially with German top fruit growers." Syboned receives the most ULO cell assembly orders from that country. Why? Several German refrigeration consultants regularly refer clients to Syboned. "And once there are satisfied customers, the ball starts rolling, and the orders keep coming." 

Acquiring clients 
Stefan says he does nothing to gain clients. "There's plenty of work. We're flexible and versatile but also aim for quality. Refrigeration consultants, therefore, often refer people to us. We don't often turn people away. And we always visit customers to see what we could mean for them. But if we're not able to help, we don't take on the task."

"It's wiser to focus on what you can do. It isn't easy to find good technicians, and we use freelancers to get the work done. It seems fewer and fewer young people have an appetite for hard work. I'm definitely confident about the future. Though, it would be great if our company could gain a few talented installers," he concludes. (MP) 

Stefan Roeters
Binnenkamp 3
5321 KA Hedel 

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