Business magazine De Vlaamse Ondernemer talks about the growth of BOONS FIS

25 Mar
  • Wednesday 25 March 2020
  • Category: New building

Business magazine De Vlaamse Ondernemer has published a nice article on the growth of BOONS FIS and our planned expansion. You can read the full article below! 

BOONS FIS, specialising in cleaning systems for industry, is experiencing unprecedented growth. The decision taken some five years ago to switch from being a trading company to concentrating on its own engineering and production of cleaning solutions resulted in gained momentum and new ambitions. The family business planned the construction of a new establishment in the Groot-Prijkels enterprise zone in Deinze. This immediately resulted in the quadrupling of the company’s floor space. The SME will also be housing a test department on this site.

Freddy Boons started his career as a technician at the company DIBO FIS that was operating in Deinze in the industrial equipment sector. FIS stands for Food & Industrial Supplies. He was set to remain there for thirty years, and in the meantime became a member of the sales management team. When the owners decided to cease their activity in Deinze in 2013, Freddy Boons and his family looked at the possibility of a management buy-out. They took the company over with the intention of concentrating on the niche area of cleaning systems, a constituent activity involved in the take-over. That was in 2013. BOONS FIS was born. Today the company works on the design, production and installation of cleaning systems, pressure-booster pumps and disinfection equipment. The company also supplies a wide range of industrial washing installations (for washing crates, standard trolleys, parts) as well as mechanical handling equipment (such as tipping devices and lifts for standard trolleys) and personal hygiene equipment.

The majority of these systems and installations are produced on a series basis before being adapted prior to installation in line with the needs of the customer and the available space. When necessary the company also manufactures integrated custom-made systems. The internal R&D department with two engineers takes care of the design of specific solutions.

100% family business

BOONS FIS is a true family business.  All shares are owned by the Boons family made up of Freddy Boons, general director, Mrs Boons, responsible for general administration, son Simon, in charge of sales and sales support and daughter Liesbeth who is responsible for purchasing, personnel affairs and warehouse management.

Freddy Boons:  “I’m fortunate in that we all agree on all levels. Besides our day-to-day communication we regularly sit down together to think about the future of our company. BOONS FIS is our shared project. Five years ago we unanimously decided to make the change to  become a manufacturer. We took on this new challenge because of my years of experience that we can always call upon, and particularly having the right people making up our team. We succeed in producing high quality products and installations, while offering competitive prices and working as a problem-solver for the customer”.  There is a total of 15 people in the team.

Ambition, but with both feet on the ground

“Since 2015 we have noted growth of 15 to 20% each year”, says Freddy Boons. “In the first year we achieved a turnover of 3 million euros. Now we are up to 7.5 million. We want to double this result in the coming seven years while increasing our number of employees to 30. The Benelux is still a growth market for us. But with our ambition to drive up exports, we could only conclude that we had a lack of space. We are going to manufacture more and more ourselves. If you have too little space, this has repercussions on efficiency. To work more efficiently we want to provide separate zones for each department, for example”.

The recent expansion of the “De Prijkels” enterprise zone in Deinze, that is now called “Groot Prijkels”, was a gift in giving shape to this project.  The plans are ready. The new infrastructure being built on the enterprise zone extension is four times larger than the current establishment.

The work should be completed in the spring of 2021.
Freddy Boons: “Little changes for customers and our people. We are moving a mere few hundreds metres. Besides intelligent demarcation by activity, dynamic interaction options and a tangible comfort upgrade, can we now also enlarge both the surface area and height of our warehouse. Our test department will also be a new facility, being a sort of laboratory where the equipment can checked for effectively meeting the needs of the customer.”

The expansion of exports that the company is aiming for will be looked at step by step and determined strategically. The possibilities are being investigated. The risks are calculated. They are examined calmly and in great detail as is needed to arrive at the right decision.

“Everything must be 100% right before we actually proceed with further export activities”, adds Freddy Boons.

More challenges

Just like practically all business sectors, the industrial cleaning world will also have to take account of technological progress and digital applications that are constantly emerging. And without even mentioning artificial intelligence (AI), very many applications will be offered numerous new possibilities by computerisation. Freddy Boons does not deny this conclusion: “We are working on it. An example is how we want to ensure that our installations give feedback. While we may now still call them “dumb” machines from which you can extract little or no data, we are now working on the integration of applications that automatically collect data. That is a first step in the further development of the digitisation of our systems”.