A&C Solutions celebrates 15th anniversary in full expansion and with ambitious goals ahead
It was early 2008, just before the financial crisis, that Franky Vanlerberghe, an electronics man in heart in soul, saw a market for a niche player in the distribution of connectors and cable harnesses. He decided to take his chances from an attic in a small village in Belgium. First on his own and then a year later his former colleague and brother-in-law Maarten Voermans joined and the birth of the private company A&C Solutions was a fact.
“The first few years we had to establish our name and gain trust from both suppliers and customers in the Benelux”, remembers Franky Vanlerberghe. “It wasn’t until 2012 when the global player in lithography technology, ASML, became a customer that things really started to roll for A&C Solutions. We became more firmly rooted in the industrial automation industry and later on also in the LED lighting market.”
Entering the e-bike market with Higo
In 2014 A&C Solutions decided to step into the e-bike market with leading e-bike connector brand Higo. Two specialists with a passion for connectors, who both started their business in 2008, found out they shared the same philosophy: offering quality, innovative connectors tailored to the needs of each customer. A&C Solutions became the exclusive B2B partner for Higo connectors in Europe.
At that time, many manufacturers in the bike business were still trying to get their heads around the successful integration of e-bike connectors into their new, sleek bike designs. “It was a totally different business for many of them and it happened to be our expertise”, comments Kristof Van Wetering, product manager at A&C Solutions. “The focus of Higo on continuous innovation of signal, battery and motor connectors for the complete e-bike system together with our team of connector specialists in Europe was a hit in no time.”
The way to success
This year A&C Solutions celebrates its 15th anniversary and looks back on the path it has taken to become today’s international player in connectors and power supplies. “Of course, the connector expertise of our team was the start of our success. But along the years I have also learned that our trusted partnership with customers, being close to their needs and being able to develop customized solutions with direct availability from stock have really made the difference”, comments Franky Vanlerberghe, CEO of A&C Solutions.
For the future A&C Solutions wants to further build on these trusted partnerships and foresees an even bigger role for the company as a stock manager. That’s why it recently almost doubled its warehouse facilities to a 1000m2. “Being able to respond quickly to demand in the market from our customers is key for us. More room for hard runners and customer specific stock will allow us to increase our direct shipments within 24 hours after order receipt”, explains Claire Schepens, customer service manager at A&C Solutions.
These expansion plans go hand in hand with A&C Solutions’ ambitions to support a better future environment and to make the supply chain more transparent. Besides the sustainably built premises, A&C Solutions has also implemented the ISO 14001 EMS and has an action plan in place for the SDG goals of the UN. Franky: “We feel that if we work together on this topic throughout the supply chain, we really can make a difference. Being part of digital supply chain platform Sustainabill helps us and our customers to have clear insights and triggers us every time to look for ways to step up our sustainable initiatives towards the future.”
Digitalisation is our future
Digitalisation is the next big thing on A&C Solutions’ agenda. Jan Van Dijck, Sales Manager at A&C Solutions: “We are convinced that the way to serve our customers even better in the future is to allow them to have instant and real time insights in orders, statuses and available stock. That’s why we plan to create a digital platform with integrated webshop and customer portal in the near future.”
In this way A&C Solutions aims to be the partner that not only customizes Higo e-bike connectors to every customer’s needs but is also fully aligned with their day-to-day business. “That’s what we will be going for the coming 15 years”, concludes Jan with a smile.