Kramp is one of the hidden gems of the Dutch business world. Due to their B2B focus, consumers are often unfamiliar with Kramp and their incredible success. The decisiveness and entrepreneurship of this family business has ensured their position as market leader in Europe. And because of early digitalization, Kramp is running away from their competitors a little more every day. The winner takes all.
Kramp is the national supplier for the agricultural sector. Based in Varsseveld in the east of the Netherlands, active throughout Europe.
The company offers an impressive range of 500,000 parts. If something breaks down on the tractor itself or on the front or rear of it, Kramp delivers the right replacement parts the next morning before 8 AM. This ensures the agricultural mechanization business and its customers, the farmers, can always continue their work. Nearly the whole of Europe is covered from 11 distribution centres.
With 3,300 employees, Kramp generated a turnover of 822 million Euros in 2018. Kramp started the process of digitizing a large part of their operation at an early stage. Their leading position online now means that the company is accelerating its growth.
In E-commerce, the old adage rings true: the winner takes all. A larger assortment means more customers. Higher volume leads to more competitive pricing. Higher turnover means more room for investment. Which in turn leads to a technological edge that is difficult for other players to overcome.
Based on an international buy & build strategy, Kramp’s position as market leader in Europe is becoming stronger every day.
Success through commitment
Leadership through connection
Originally, Kramp is a family business. As a result, the power of control lies with a relatively small number of people. That provides the business with a more streamlined level of decisiveness. This level of decisiveness is converted into effectiveness when combined with commitment and connection.
Kramp is adept at creating a high level of commitment. A (recently partly renewed) board has been put together that operates as a very close-knit team, under the leadership of a CEO with a strong connecting style of leadership. Loyalty is high, the atmosphere is familial: when problems arise, the first move is to help one another in finding a solution instead of looking where to place the blame.
Commitment pays dividends
The level of commitment from the management team to its employees is rewarded with an equally high level of commitment from the employees to the company. Kramp’s employees take ownership and feel involved with their company, and it shows.
It’s up to the management team to both reward and focus all that loyalty. There are plenty of opportunities. Kramp finds itself in the midst of a transformation caused by a change in the market.
Through strong strategic insight, Kramp was the first to act on and invest in the importance of e-commerce. This strength gave the company a commercial advantage – now it’s time to take the organisation to the next level.
What does it take?
Due to its enormous commercial success, Kramp is bursting at the seams of its organisational structure. The company grows across all axes simultaneously. The combination of organic growth and acquisitions throughout Europe places high demands on all organisational qualities.
There is room for qualitative growth in all areas of HR. In the development of the organizational vision, its translation into organizational design, people development and of course HR operations. The further development and explanation of the Kramp culture and its values is essential. The HR team currently consists of 40 FTEs.
Kramp’s board is a team that shares information and solutions. The lines of communication are short, and people work closely together. A daily presence at the head office in Varsseveld is therefore a requirement in addition to a willingness to travel 20% internationally.
The CHRO operates as a General Manager and is involved across the board: from strategy to execution. This gives a broad level of responsibility and demands a high degree of quality.
What comes first in the selection process is personality and therefore authenticity. Kramp is a company where authentic behaviour is stimulated, where modesty is expected, and level-headedness forms the basis for the presentation of new ideas.
However, don’t mistake level-headedness for stiffness. The collegial interaction and the freedom to say what you feel gives room for humour and individuality.
The CHRO has an important exemplary role when it comes to people management. He/she sets the standard and raises the bar when it comes to motivating and inspiring colleagues in a committed and connecting way.
Candidates for this position logically have experience in HR, but the scope of the HR experience can be limited compared to general management experience. The generic design of the board requires a general manager and a different background may be appropriate for this position.
Candidates will typically have experience at or just below board level at a multinational. Strong in management, hands-on in behaviour.