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KOKS Group has developed into one of the market’s top players

The specialist that always goes the extra mile

KOKS Group has developed into one of the market’s top players in the space of thirty years. The Dutch producer and supplier of cleaning equipment has an exceptionally successful global operation thanks to a smart corporate philosophy and an unprecedented drive for innovation. Key words are quality, safety and ergonomics. “We always go the extra mile.” A broadly-based specialist. This is how the chief executive officer and (co-)owner Rick Koks (second generation) likes to describe the company. Concise, no nonsense. And successful. KOKS Group, which produces and supplies advanced cleaning and transport equipment for the industrial and sewerage market segments, saw the light of day a quarter of a century ago and grew exponentially in a relatively short period of time. The foundation was laid in the early years for the successful multinational it has now become.
 

Initially, KOKS Group focussed on high-pressure pumps and then on vacuum units (vehicles) on behalf of the industrial and government sectors. More and more activities were gradually added. In order to be able to continue growing, the company chose to change course and take the business back to its core activity: production. In so doing, the focus in recent years has been specifically on industry. In 2018, KOKS Group is a group of companies with about 300 employees. The head office is still in Alkmaar, The Netherlands. There is also an office in Barneveld,  The Netherlands focussing on sewage treatment, and a production facility (structural work) in the Czech Republic and branches in Saudi Arabia and the USA.

Worldwide present

The markets in which KOKS Group operates with three specialist companies globally are: Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and South America. After the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia with its thriving oil industry is the largest sales area. The top 10 also include Germany, Poland, South Africa and Kazakhstan, followed by Australia, the UK, Singapore and Russia. KOKS Group works with its own sales staff, dealers and service partners in regions with high potential.

Quality standards

The high-quality standards adopted by KOKS Group globally are important in supplies and services. Design, production and assembly of the (mobile) cleaning equipment are carried out according to a strict regime. This applies to the product lines as well as to aftersales and the maintenance of the valuable equipment. Cleaning tanks and pipes as well as transporting materials form vital links in the industry, from Botlek in the Netherlands to the deserts of Saudi Arabia.

Quality and safety

“Quality and safety are inextricably linked”, says Rick Koks. “That’s why good guidelines are essential, as is sticking to them.”KOKS Group is linked as an active partner to the Stichting Industriële Reiniging, or SIR (Dutch Industrial Cleaning Association), which promotes safe working practices in the industrial cleaning sector in the fields of methods, tools and human resources. Oil companies, cleaning companies and builders work together in the SIR. Safe techniques, reliable equipment and high-quality staff training are just some of the most important areas of expertise.

KOKS Academy industrial cleaning academy

KOKS Academy

KOKS Academy is the world’s largest training institute in the industrial cleaning sector, and focuses on supervisors and operators. KOKS believes in the power of educating and training people in the areas of safety and the efficient use of industrial cleaning equipment.  KOKS knows and understands the industry and sees the importance of trained personnel for the safety, productivity and growth of organisations. KOKS Academy is the ultimate place to launch or develop a career in the industrial cleaning industry.

Total Care Together

“We help industries and markets continually improve their productivity, safety and ergonomics”. Within their own ranks, the same elements of KOKS Group are the next item under the heading Total Care Together. Rick Koks: “Take the petrochemical industry, one of our most important markets. Cleaning facilities and pipes involves a high degree of responsibility for people and the environment. Safety is therefore a priority at all times. We actively support our clients in this. Not only in the operational phase, but also with maintenance, stops and shutdowns. With good equipment, as well as with inspected, certified processes and cleaning methods. The knowledge we have acquired over 30 years is of great value to our clients.”

Productivity partner

KOKS Group therefore presents itself as much more than a producer and supplier. ‘Productivity partner’ is the term the company uses. Rick Koks: “We help industries and markets continually improve their productivity, safety and ergonomics”. We play an active part in helping clients meet and even surpass their targets. As partners.”

One of the examples of this approach is the highly streamlined way of working that is standard in KOKS Group and is improving continuously. By tightly scheduling and organising regular machine maintenance, inspections and repairs, for example, the time that clients have to do without their equipment falls from a few weeks to just six days. The official inspection documents are made available on-line via a secure environment, fixed and transparent pricing is used and the annual schedules are checked well in advance with the client. In industries where time is money and stoppages mean losses, this signifies huge added value.

People are the determining factor

Smart and efficient working practices are characteristic of the approach taken by KOKS Group in the market’s top regions and these enable the company to continue climbing the productivity ladder with the same number of people. Heavy pressure has been placed on the company with the astonishing growth spurt it has witnessed, mainly over the last three to four years. But the team spirit is excellent. This is important because people are the decisive factor in the company, Rick Koks says. “We were originally a family business set up in 1989 by my father. The second generation are now at the helm with me as managing director and my brother Gerard as financial director, but we continue to keep its flag flying high as a family business. Short lines of communication, low thresholds and a lot of flexibility towards the client - that’s what it’s all about. Everyone in the company obviously has his or her own tasks and responsibilities, but beyond that, it’s a very flat organisation with extremely enthusiastic people. That level of involvement and job satisfaction I still think is one of the best compliments you can be given.”

 

Traditional family business

A traditional family business. But one where innovation is a major issue. In the technological field, for example. One significant innovation with which KOKS Group is expected to score is cleaning using ultrasound technology. Manual cleaning of (oil) pipes and elements is not just time-consuming, but is also a burden on people and the environment. KOKS Group has developed a system where the elements to be cleaned are placed in a large tank. High-frequency sound waves vibrate dirt and debris away and the result is amazing. “With ever tougher regulations throughout the world, this is a great solution.”

Faster, higher and better!

The applications the company has had developed in-house by ICT experts are another example of innovation. The ‘apps’ enable clients to reach a wide range of information via the smartphone: it is possible to control stock and place orders, but the applications also provide all the current specifications of systems and parts, plus video tutorials, manuals and tips. It is also possible to contact the back office directly. An on-line web shop ensures that orders can be placed 24/7. Seamless planning, tight processes, strict quality requirements and smart ergonomics: this is how KOKS Group is entering its second quarter century. Faster, higher and better. Standardisation, working quickly and smoothly and therefore operating more economically, that’s how you make sure you stand out”, Rick Koks says. “And that’s an ongoing process for us. We shall keep on developing, always going the extra mile".

KOKS Group is an international manufacturer and supplier of vacuum trucks and heavy industrial cleaning equipment, built in accordance with the latest PED, ADR (Ceoc), DOT 407/412 standards. Founded in 1989 and has since grown into a dynamic company that operates globally and consists of seven specialised subsidiaries in the USA, The Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Saudi Arabia and participations in rental organizations that operate in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. As a growing, innovative, healthy and reliable company, KOKS Group has gained an excellent reputation in the (petro)chemical sector and other industries as a vacuum truck builder.

Vacuum truck factory KOKS Group in Alkmaar, The Netherlands

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