July’s Member spotlight: Fokker Aerostructures Inc
What is your business industry category or specialty?
Our business is designing and manufacturing structural parts for the civil and military Aerospace industry. Our specialty is manufacturing integrated parts, ready for fitting directly on a Final Assembly Line for any Aeronautics customer, making use of Fokker composite technology within our designs and manufacturing facilities around the globe.
How do you describe your job to people outside the industry?
The Aerospace industry is dynamic, always changing and very challenging due to price pressure because every individual is looking for a cheap flight. Technology and innovations are key if you would like to be successful and respected by the customers.
Who are your main competitors and what differentiates you from the competition?
What makes you unique?
We believe that Fokker is making the difference because of their former OEM knowledge since we designed and built Aircrafts from 1910 until 1996 in the US and The Netherlands. Also Fokker is leading with our composite technology especially on thermoplastics. Since 1996 we are designing and building integrated structural parts.
How was the business started?
In ATL we started a new manufacturing facility in July 2015 timeframe where the grand opening has been supported by the Dutch MP. Also we integrated the existing Supply Chain office in the same building. The reason why we started manufacturing in ATL is because our US customer agreed with Fokker to design and run first products in The Netherlands and manufacture volumes in ATL.
How many employees does the business have?
In total we have around 6000 employees around the Globe. In ATL we recruited currently 25 people which will increase to 40 or 50 in the next years.
How did you end up in Atlanta?
Since we already had an Supply Chain office in ATL we remained in this area. Also the Supply Chain people are servicing 6 manufacturing facilities in Europe and 1 in Mexico. Time differences are important in this case and Atlanta is reasonably central from that perspective. Also ATL is a quick growing area for business where qualified employees can be recruited easily.
What is your number one business goal over the next year?
Our number one business goal is to run excellent performance from our ATL plant servicing the connected manufacturing plants supporting organic growth. We are foreseeing 2 more significant product lines as well to come into our facility in ATL in the next 2 years and in our MX facility. This is mainly driven by Fokker Technology and strong performance.
What is the best advice you have received regarding doing business with the Dutch?
It is not difficult to run a business in the US for Dutch people but we have to respect certain domestic rules and while living in the US, that is quickly understood. In the Aerospace business a personal relation is very important and required to be successful.
Any other personal information you would like to share, e.g. hobbies, special interests, family etc...
My wife and I both arrived in Atlanta June 2015 and we really appreciate living in here. We like being active on our mountain bikes as well as trying to visit all of the most important and interesting places in US in the next years.