Siemens partnership energises Breemes
Electrification is the order of the day in the construction sector, but also in the automotive industry and indeed in industry more widely. For suppliers of electrical components, it's all hands on deck to meet the demand for products and projects. Which prompted Siemens Belgium/Luxembourg to set up a TIP partner programme for 'Totally Integrated Power'. A new element of this programme is the 'Power Distribution Center' module, which Breemes recently joined.
Siemens and Breemes have been partners in Belgium/Luxembourg for many years. Until now, the focus was on automation, for products such as PLCs and HMIs. 'Over the years, we have evolved from a wholesaler into a partner', explains Kurt Colin, CEO of Breemes. 'Together with Siemens, we make choices about what we will and won’t do together, which areas we want to be successful in together.'
Power Distribution Center
Last year, Siemens and Breemes also decided to enter into a partnership for the 'Power Distribution Center'. 'We are proud that Siemens has chosen us as a partner', says Colin. 'The increasing electrification in the market has brought a lot of work our way on industrial energy distribution boards.' Siemens was looking for partners to further develop this growing market, adds Tom Van Renterghem, business unit manager Electrical Products at Siemens Belgium/Luxembourg. 'Partners who would take responsibility for calculating the power supply and handling the project.'
'Breemes has a lot of expertise in low-voltage'
Siemens chose Breemes because it is an 'atypical distributor', in Van Renterghem’s words. 'Above all, their approach is based on offering value through expertise. Particularly since Kurt’s arrival (some five years ago – ed.), Breemes has had a lot of expertise in low-voltage.'
Two Breemes employees have now been trained by Siemens in working with Simaris Design, the planning tool for calculating electrical installations. Breemes has also brought in expertise to cater to all Siemens’ other needs in house, notes Colin. 'When a project comes in, we first look at whether we can handle it entirely ourselves.' That involves performing a low-voltage study of the project and making cross-sectional calculations for cables and copper. The resulting proposal is worked out in Simaris Design and finally we generate a quotation for the required products. 'If that groundwork has been done to the customer’s satisfaction, we will also get to supply the products.' If they encounter difficulties, Breemes can count on Siemens’ expertise.
'Our technical people interact with theirs on complex issues in order to achieve joint solutions'
This division of labour works very well, as both partners found during the first few projects. Denny Decorte, partner manager Digital Industries at Siemens Belgium/Luxembourg: 'We see our partnerships as an extension of our own organisation, a fully-fledged internal Siemens entity to which we can pass on projects in order to consolidate our business. The partnership and the success we have enjoyed with Breemes are testimony to that.' Colin: 'It's two-way traffic, in which the technical people support each other. Together they can discuss complex issues in order to achieve solutions. We have found it advantageous to be seen in the market as a Siemens partner. When customers ask us for a solution, we choose Siemens.' The assembly of the boards designed by Breemes remains the responsibility of the customer, says Colin. 'We do give customers tips & tricks and of course there are the handy manuals from Siemens. Assembly is not our area of expertise; we leave that to the installers.'
The first low-voltage projects have been received with approval by the end customers and their installers. The recent story of Alural in Lummen is an example. 'We want to continue on that basis', says business unit manager Electrical Products at Siemens, Tom Van Renterghem. 'In our partner development plan we have set out a multi-year vision. This is definitely going to give an impulse to Breemes’ growth.' It is an ambitious plan, affirms Breemes CEO Kurt Colin. 'We are going to train even more people and look at our stock in order to optimise the availability of power distribution components. We have gone through all the relevant aspects together.' Partner manager Digital Industries at Siemens, Denny Decorte, concludes briskly: 'This partnership has strengthened us as we serve a market that is very large and growing. We want to act together in that market more and more.'