Early this year, Control C and MTSL Surveys officially merged under the name Quality Studio. With this, the Belgian company is eager to establish a name in the world of quality inspections. "We want to be considered the reference in quality control of temperature-controlled goods," begins Jeroen Den Haerynck.
"Both companies have been part of that landscape for a while, so we've known each other for a long time," says Bart Cornelissen. He started his own quality control business, Control C, five years ago. A short time ago, he got talking to Jeroen, who has been in the quality inspection business for about 30 years.
Two years ago, Jereon, too, began his own company MTSL Surveys. "We did a year-long trial to see if we'd enjoy continuing together. And, so far, we're not at each other's throats, so in January, we decided to officially go live with Quality Studio."
"It actually went great from the get-go," adds Jeroen. "Both companies run well within their areas of expertise. MTSL, for example, mainly does small fruit, focusing less on fruits like bananas or pineapples. Products Control C works with a lot. We noticed we could use each other's knowledge and could scale up and diversify without hiring additional people. We now have 14 employees, consisting of a strong back office and inspectors who travel throughout the Netherlands and Belgium."
Targeting exporters too
The company strives to be a partner for its clients. Bart: "We've extended our inspection system by, for instance, letting all our inspectors do real-time inspections."
"That means we quickly communicate with our customers and respond to problems. It's a way to stand out, especially now that our team is larger. The goal here is always quality over quantity. No quick orders, but long-lasting relationships with people who can always count on us to deliver objective, complete inspection reports," explains Bart.
Quality Studio wants to focus increasingly more on the export market from South and Central America. "There's still a world to be gained there. Small and medium-sized exporters rarely do any checks of their own on arrival. But, in the context of further growth and improvement measures among exporters, they need inspection companies to inspect their goods when they arrive. You can avoid discussions and misunderstandings by doing these checks quasi-independently."
"We want to work with South and Central American, and gradually African exporters," explains Jereon. "We want to ensure they're well-represented. Then, what the market looks like doesn't matter; the fruit quality is all that's important."
Importance of data
Over the years, data has become increasingly important in the quality assessment world, says Bart: "We're both very experienced in the business, and the days of Excel and paper are now completely over. Everything's digitized. That goes for inspection equipment, but, obviously, software, which allows for real-time, always available data. However, all that information is now also stored and used in, say, company negotiations with suppliers and growers."
"That data adds true value, and we want to see how we can expand that into an easy-to-use system for our clients. We want to use that to help customers easily see when something went well or less so with their goods. And if it didn't go well, why? We want to put that into a simple format and offer that to our clients. You can then get a full picture of the situation and make informed choices," Bart continues.
Service is our business
Looking ahead, the men are adamant. Jeroen: "With our young team, we want to establish a future-proof company that will grow steadily in the coming years. We should achieve that through sustainable client relationships, responding to their wishes and challenges wherever possible. I think a good foundation is vital. We're, therefore, also committed to a good back office."
"It should be a collaboration between the inspector and the office, where everything is well followed up and taken care of. Then, if there are sudden changes or delays, we can respond flexibly. That's good for us and the customer. Service is our business. We absolutely don't have to become the biggest, but perhaps one of the best in what we do," Jeroen concludes.