1 april 2011

TCS has been again elected Trends Gazellen Ambassador of medium-sized companies in the province of Limburg.

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TCS sees business gradually getting back on track

Upstream advice: a leverage against the crisis

TCS Trends

Over the past few years, TCS has undeniably felt the effects of the global financial and economic crisis. But business is gradually getting back on track. “This is thanks to our well-adapted strategy with a strong focus on upstream advice,” says General Manager Bert Zimmermann. “But prudence is in order because the global business climate is still not stable.”

The crisis hit everyone hard, but especially in the industry, and TCS has certainly felt its effect. “We’ve undoubtedly received fewer orders for new infrastructure over the past few years,” observes Zimmermann. “Nevertheless, we’ve managed to maintain our profit levels and we haven’t had to lay people off work. For the second time, we won the notorious Trends Gazellen award, reflecting the amount of good business we have generated. One reason for that is that we have convinced companies to carry out renovations - small projects with a quick return on investment.”

More upstream advice to support investment decisions

TCS has also adjusted its long-term strategy. “We have made a great effort to increase the amount of upstream advice we give,” says Zimmermann. “We noticed that many companies lack a clear vision of the risks and returns of an investment. For this reason, we are increasingly offering sound technical advice at an early stage, to support the customer’s business plan.


'We are increasingly offering sound technical advice at an early stage to give companies a clear vision of the risks and returns of an investment.'


We are conducting feasibility analyses, giving advice on priorities, and making realistic project plans.” In line with this strategy, the Timmers Group – the international holding company of TCS – has recently taken a majority share in the well-known engineering office Lievens & Partner from Aachen (see ‘German engineering office adds to TCS’s expertise’).

An order book full of fresh investments

The strategy has paid off, as TCS’s order book for 2011 shows. Zimmermann: “By March 2011, we had orders for about 25 million euro, which is a quarter more than last year’s turnover. And these are fresh investments for new infrastructure. Among them are a production unit for glass fibre insulation and a pharmaceutical plant for biological and generic medicines, both in Belgium. We are also designing, manufacturing and installing new production and maintenance cranes for steel companies and power plants, here and abroad.”

Notes on an unstable situation

While many companies may be increasing investment, the global market is still not stable. “We have to be careful,” says Zimmermann. “As we speak, the political situation in North Africa and the Middle East is problematic and potentially dangerous for the world economy. Prices of energy and raw materials are soaring. Many people thought that this would stimulate new investments in nuclear power production, but the Fukushima disaster will probably put the brake on this. It looks like the bio-ethanol and bio-diesel producers will finally experience their long-awaited breakthrough. I am curious to see what other types of investments and innovations the future will bring.”

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