Ronald Boers, CEO and majority shareholder of BOAL Group, had worked in Italy, the UK and Germany before returning to the Netherlands. Educated at international universities and having worked for global multinational corporations, Ronald was strongly motivated by the opportunity to work on something of his own. In 2007 he purchased BOAL Group, a company consisting of three subsidiaries in the Netherlands, one in Belgium and one in the UK. Together with about 550 employees, Ronald started transforming the business.
BOAL Group has almost always been a family-run business. Buying the organisation was a big move for Ronald because although the company had a well-established position in the market, it also required serious updating. It was, at the time, a classic production-focused organisation; you produce wonderful products, you have the best engineering possible, and therefore the outcome must be wonderful products that the market wants to buy from you. It was that kind of attitude. In itself, theres nothing wrong with that because the company had already existed for almost 40 years, so who was I to say thats no good? The big thing that I noted was that in todays market and especially tomorrows market, this attitude might become outdated quickly.
I believed that there was a great opportunity if we could change the culture of the organisation, towards more market focus and truly understanding how we add value for our customers. What I saw was that most of the commercial discussions are about two parameters, volume and cost; whereas I learned over time that the real customer needs are actually much more complex and interesting than that. The focus on volume and cost was not just in the company, but for a good part of the whole industry too.