Building a Local Team for a Global Client

The Client
An innovative supplier of industrial machinery that automates labor-intensive tasks in the international horticulture industry. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company develops, supplies and services technically advanced machines fitted with robotics to help automate some of the most difficult processes for protected horticulture, ensuring high efficiency and more uniform quality of product.

The client needed to establish its first American assembly and distribution facility, ultimately selecting Chesterfield County in Central Virginia.

“The AdvantaStaff team took the time to understand exactly what we needed, and their expertise made an incredibly complex undertaking feel seamless. We have every confidence in the team they’ve helped us build, and we look forward to servicing our U.S. and Canadian customers while growing our business with the support of AdvantaStaff.”

The Challenge 

The Netherlands-based company had many customers in the U.S. and Canada—and spent a great deal of resources servicing them from abroad. Ideally, they would expand their footprint with a North American operation. But how? Company leadership had no familiarity with the U.S. workforce, pay ranges, benefits, or labor laws and practices—and had no one on the ground in North America to help.

Additionally, the company’s operations were complex. They not only developed, manufactured and sold equipment, but they also installed it, and took pride in supporting their customers for the long term with top-line service. A successful U.S. launch point would require a team of highly trained employees with expertise in installing and maintaining their technically advanced machinery at customer sites throughout North America. The company had not identified a site manager, and none of their more experienced employees were willing to relocate from the Netherlands.

The company’s leadership expressed these concerns as they toured the Central Virginia region with an eye toward opening a new operation. During this time, they also consulted with the team at AdvantaStaff to discuss the ins and outs of the local workforce. Soon after, they chose Chesterfield County for their first operation outside of the Netherlands—with AdvantaStaff as a proven partner on the ground to see them through. 

The Solution

Over several meetings with the client, AdvantaStaff developed a detailed staffing plan that would bring rapid but reliable results. AdvantaStaff analyzed the staffing needs, looking closely at individual positions to understand the ideal candidate’s skills, background, education, and availability, including willingness to travel internationally and within the U.S. and Canada. The AdvantaStaff team stayed in constant communication to ensure their staffing plan was hitting the mark.

In short order, AdvantaStaff presented the client with several qualified candidates, and provided them with private office space to conduct in-person interviews of top candidates. Within four weeks of the initial interviews, two highly qualified candidates were identified, screened, and offered positions to begin training in the Netherlands.

Before even starting, qualified employees received extensive training including Safety and OSHA Compliance, Harassment Training, Customer Service and Client Relations, and Reporting. AdvantaStaff provided full benefits including health/dental/life insurance, 401k, long and short-term disability, and paid vacations and holidays. AdvantaStaff also facilitated the new employees’ travel to the Netherlands for three weeks of specialized training where they learned about the equipment and shadowed employees in similar roles. The AdvantaStaff team covered every detail, even supplying the new employees with credit cards to cover business expenses incurred while they traveled.

Once the client had strong site managers on the ground in Virginia, AdvantaStaff supported them in recruiting, rigorously screening, and training employees for both long- and short-term positions. AdvantaStaff’s support meant the new company leadership could focus on building a strong operation that reflected the client’s foundational values and commitment to customers, while AdvantaStaff put in place the trained and talented personnel who would ensure the young operation’s long-term success.

The Results

Within seven months of their initial contact with AdvantaStaff, the client began servicing North American customers from their first operation outside of the Netherlands. Along with handling all personnel-related administrative issues, AdvantaStaff provided an assortment of valuable resources that went beyond staffing, such as recommendations of suppliers and resources to facilitate the new operation’s speed-to-market.

And, of course, AdvantaStaff was ready to identify additional talent as the thriving new operation’s employee needs continued to grow. With AdvantaStaff leveraging both a keen understanding of the clients’ requirements and a strong familiarity with the local talent base, the company could quickly identify the right employees to support the operation’s development.

The resounding success has the client considering bringing other functions, like manufacturing and assembly, from the Netherlands to the new site. They have confidence in the strengths of their new team, and they know they have the expertise of AdvantaStaff behind them.

AdvantaStaff is the region’s premier resource for qualified short and long-term staffing – and direct hire recruitment – for distribution, manufacturing and light industrial businesses throughout central Virginia. We service the cities of Richmond, Petersburg and Colonial Heights as well as Hanover, Henrico, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie and Prince George counties.