The economy of the Netherlands is one of the strongest in Europe. Attributes such as competitiveness, innovation, highly skilled workforce, and technological development have helped to position the Netherlands among the most attractive countries for companies that want to invest and establish manufacturing operations. Next, we will explain the positives, negatives, opportunities, and challenges of manufacturing in the Netherlands.
What are the main industries in the Netherlands?
Thanks to advances in manufacturing processes – which are closely linked with advances in technology, digitization, smart logistics, transportation, and infrastructure – several industries can be considered important to the economy of the Netherlands. Furthermore, it is interesting to see how each of these industries refers to highly complex products. The main industries in the Netherlands are metallurgy, oil and energy, electronics, agriculture, and chemicals.
Among the most exported products from the Netherlands are refined petroleum oils, processed foods (plants, dairy products, meat, fruits, and vegetables), electronic telephone devices, packaged medicines, surgical devices, computers, and tractors, among others. The main trading partners and export destinations of the Netherlands are Germany, Belgium, France, and the United Kingdom.
The economic and business context of the Netherlands is ideal for companies that want to relocate their manufacturing operations to Europe.
What are the advantages of manufacturing in the Netherlands?
As we have mentioned, the Netherlands has numerous advantages on an industrial level. Not only are they among the most competitive countries in Europe, but they also lead the ranking worldwide. The competitiveness that characterizes the Netherlands is a consequence of the favorable conditions that the country offers to companies, investors, and the workforce.
Although there are many advantages for manufacturing in the Netherlands, we can highlight the following:
- Business climate – providing guarantees and incentives to buyers, suppliers, and investors
- Infrastructure – allowing easy and fast connection with other important markets such as Germany, France, and the United Kingdom
- Highly skilled workforce – constantly nurtured by highly educated, multi-lingual, highly productive people with higher than average technological skills.
It is worth mentioning that skilled labor is also incentivized to stay in the country thanks to the country’s good quality of life. The same is true of foreign labor, which increasingly strengthens the country’s labor force. Other advantages are excellent logistics, technological advances, and sustainability standards. All these attributes certify the Netherlands as a suitable country to manufacture products.
What are the challenges of sourcing in the Netherlands?
The Netherlands is an advanced economy relying on new technology, automation, and process optimization. However, like in any country, buyers can still encounter challenges. Even though the advantages outweigh the challenges, any company interested in manufacturing in the Netherlands should take into consideration the usual difficulties and shortcomings of manufacturing. Here are a few related to suppliers:
- Lack of reliability or production capacity
- Compliance shortcomings which can jeopardize the quality of manufacturing
- Poor-quality management system standards leading to inconsistent production quality
It’s highly recommended for buyers to make sure their potential suppliers have the right production capacity and are also capable of meeting the industry standards and quality requirements. Vetting suppliers properly will ensure manufacturing consistency and higher of the products. We discuss this further in the next section.
How to ensure product quality and compliance in the Netherlands?
For any company considering to manufacture its products in the Netherlands, it is important to assess the quality of the suppliers. However, it is also important to bear in mind that to do so – especially during this pandemic and COVID-19 – support may be required ground.
A third-party quality control company checks that suppliers deliver quality products and comply with national and international standards. A local quality partner should fulfill the following functions:
- Determine if suppliers are trustworthy through a Supplier Quality Audit and Supplier Verification Process;
- Identify and eliminate quality defects in products before shipment through Quality Control Inspections;
- Improve vendor performance through Supplier Management Solutions
- Evaluate that suppliers meet the requirements and standards through Quality Management System Audits, Manufacturing Process Audits, and Environmental Audits.
Pro QC International offers all the services necessary for your organization to have access to the best quality suppliers in the Netherlands. Pro QC assists organizations identify suppliers that meet high national and international standards, and that will ensure the manufacturing of high-quality products. Through services like Product Inspections, Factory & Supplier Audits, Manufacturing Process Audits, Supplier Quality Audits, Vendor Compliance, and more, your organization can be sure that the next supplier you hire won’t waste your time or increase your cost of poor quality. If you need production process support in the Netherlands, Pro QC is a third-party quality assurance provider that will support you with inspection and factory audit services through our comprehensive network in the Netherlands.