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The new platform is always up and running


ECJ Automation’s Jurgen Janssens tested itsme Group’s web platform

Good feedback enhances every result. The same applies to the itsme Group’s new web platform for which customers shared their experiences during the testing phase. One of them is Jurgen Janssens of ECJ Automation from Gierle, Belgium. At the request of itsme Breemes he went through, and tested the platform before it went live. “Functionality comes first. And that has been well thought out with this platform.”
 
Technical knowledge is indispensable, that much is certain. Still, there is more than that, says Jurgen Janssens, co-manager at ECJ Automation. Customers from the very beginning are still customers now – and for a good reason. “That long-term relationship, that’s what we value highly. It ensures that we know what is going on at our customers. We know their installations and the technical situation at their locations. Sometimes even better than they themselves do.”

ECJ Automation is based in Gierle, Belgium, close to the border with the Netherlands. When the company started ten years ago, it focused exclusively on the development of PLC software. But that has changed. Electrical design, cabinet construction: ECJ Automation’s range has been expanded. And we did so deliberately, says Jurgen. “We often have to deal with last-minute adaptations. And to still be able to be as flexible as possible we prefer to have a wide range of products in-house. That way we ensure that our customers can move forward even sooner.”
 

“We have the knowledge for projects from A to Z”


The ECJ Automation team has a total of seven people. That is a relatively small number, although, according to Jurgen, this is at the same time one of the strengths of the company. “Together, we can switch quickly. And together, we have the knowledge for automation projects from A to Z.”
 

Every relationship matters

Long-term cooperation, technical support where possible: Jurgen’s words find approval from Steven Claes, technical representative at Breemes. “The way they deal with their customers at ECJ Automation is the same as we do. In that respect, visions of both companies are certainly similar. Every relationship is important, no matter how small a customer is.”

That is why ECJ Automation relies on the services that Breemes has to offer already since its inception in 2009. And that’s also why Steven approached Jurgen to participate in the testing phase of the new web platform of the itsme Group, which includes Breemes. “Jurgen helped us before with the testing of our previous site. He gave feedback that was valuable to us. And with our new platform that was no different. Jurgen has an analytical mind and gives constructive criticism. That proved very valuable.”


No more than a few minor bugs

For the testing phase Jurgen was asked to inspect fifteen to twenty aspects of the platform. What is your general impression? But also: how easy is it to find your way? All Jurgen was given were his login details – and no more than that – which made him approach the platform with a blank mind. “I focus on PLC software. So I applied that technical knowledge and tried to crash the process somewhere on purpose. I didn’t succeed. There were a few minor bugs, but that was all.”

Apart from the technique, Jurgen also looked at the user-friendliness of the platform. For example, he drew Breemes’ attention to the possibility of subscribing to an order, intended for interim status updates. Meanwhile, this function works as well. And Jurgen is satisfied from what the platform has to offer him. “This environment offers much more overview than the previous site. The platform looks good and fresh and most importantly: I can find everything very quickly.”


Always the latest information

After all, in the end that is what it is all about for customers, Jurgen emphasises. “Functionality comes first. And that has been well thought out with this platform. Customers can search and filter, see what is in stock and look for potential alternatives. It is also possible to import order lists from their own ERP packages, in the same way that customers can make direct links to their own ERP systems. In addition, they also find order follow-ups and documentation, such as that for packing slips, is centralised too. And what also works well is the ordering process performed by our employees.
I automatically receive the necessary approvals.”
“With this, the itsme Group creates a strong presence in the market”

Fair is fair, says Jurgen: with the old site Breemes lagged behind a little. “But that is quite different now. In my view the itsme Group – and with it Breemes – creates a strong presence in the market with this platform. It is equal to the platforms of other suppliers in every aspect.”
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Automation for a large market

From Gierle in Belgium, ECJ Automation serves a large market. Consider chemistry and utilities, the food industry, the energy and environmental industries and especially the pharmaceutical and water purification industries. In the beginning, Jurgen Janssens and co-manager Stijn Van der Steen solely focussed on PLC software for machine building and process installations, but in the meantime ECJ Automation’s range of products and services has expanded. Most of the time, this involves Siemens controls, says Jurgen, but with the necessary attention to our own designs and cabinet building as well. “That is inevitable for the projects our automation is linked to. In the future we shall expand our services, so much is certain.”

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