Koninklijke Metaalunie’s official magazine Metaal & Techniek published an interview with Yena Engineering in the January 2020 issue. The magazine introduced Yena as “The Turkish Connection”. The successful deliveries and price-quality competitiveness of Yena Engineering were emphasized in the interview by Mr. Sag.
You can download the original Dutch article from here https://metaalunie.nl/Actueel/Publicaties/Metaal-Techniek
or you can check out the English translation below.
The Turkish connection
Flexible production hub for machined steel
In a very short period of time, YENA Engineering has completed 12 projects, delivered 2000 tones of welded and machined steel, and produced around three million euros. The company focuses primarily on Dutch steel construction companies and machine producers who want to increase their capacity for labor-intensive metal processing, from a highly qualified subcontractor. YENA carries that work in Turkey; which has high quality labor at low costs for metal processing.
At the moment that MetaalUnie entered YENA office in Rotterdam, and speak with Turkish entrepreneur Yetkin Sag, there were five trucks with steel products on the route from Turkey to the Netherlands. Sag shows the location of each truck in real time on his laptop (some in Trieste, a few still in Turkey, and one close to Antwerp), all are according to schedule. “This information is available to the customer in real time,” says the owner of YENA Engineering.
YENA’s customers are Dutch steel construction companies and machine builders such as Agrifac and Bentstaal. For Agrifac, YENA made spray arms and spreader bars, among other things, for agricultural vehicles. Benstaal was commissioned to make facade cladding for the new RIVM building and outsource the most labor-intensive part of that job to YENA. Sag has recently started focusing on the Oil & Gas industries and, for example, YENA received orders for well-known tank terminal builders such as Chemi-Tech. The market proposition is relatively simple. YENA offers a flexible production hub from Rotterdam for highly qualified and/or labor-intensive machined steel. “Any company who has more work than they can handle can come to YENA to outsource that work. We produce it in Turkey and deliver on time according to agreed specifications, at a competitive price, “explains Jan van Benthem. He has been doing sales and marketing for YENA Engineering for a year, he contacts Dutch clients in their own language.
Since being on board, YENA has completed 12 projects, delivered 2000 tones of steel, and converted three million euros. YENA only employs ten people, except Sag and Van Benthem are highly qualified engineers and metallurgists who supervise the assignments for the Dutch steel companies on-site based on all the desired ISO and/or EN standards. YENA hires factories and factory workers in Turkey that work exclusively for YENA during the assignment, but are not directly employed by YENA. And all projects are been followed full time by YENA engineers in the related factories.
“One of our customers, which we, unfortunately, cannot mention, has additionally stationed its own inspector/supervisor in Turkey who is present continuously during production,” says Van Benthem. There are fascinating jobs in between, such as the construction of huge, 23-meter-long steel trusses (a total of 880 tonnes) that came to the Netherlands in two shiploads, not by truck. ( One ship is delivered to Delfzijl, other delivered to Antwerp port.)
The biggest challenge is to convince the Dutch metal companies that the quality of the work in Turkey is not inferior to the level that people are used to in the Netherlands. “It is easier to lose someone’s confidence than to gain it “says Van Benthem. “But once we have done an initial assignment, we always get follow-up jobs. That proves something. “Yetkin Sag explains that Turkish metalworkers are highly trained and that Turkish steel constructors have well-equipped factories.
“Any company who has more work than they can handle can come to YENA”
“But the Turkish economy is not in a very good condition. There is not enough work. Many factories are partly empty and the staff is used insufficiently deployed” he says. So people are cheering if YENA can place Dutch assignments in Turkey. Every month Sag spends at least a week in Turkey visiting all the factories that work for him, inspecting the work, maintaining contact with his engineers whilst also discovering new sources. The rest of the time he is in the Netherlands, where meanwhile his family lives.
The business model of YENA Engineering was more or less born from the inspiration that Sag got from one of his first Turkish employers that worked for companies like GE, Mitsubishi, and Siemens, stationed him for ten years at a steel construction company in China.
Low costs. High Quality. That was the most important selling point then and is now again in his own company. YENA currently has exclusive production facilities in Turkey, but according to Sag, other countries will be added in the longer term. “we just started,” he says. “Next year we want to grow to a turnover of 15 to 20 million euros with a corresponding increase in the tonnages of welded and machined steel to be delivered.” He will continue to focus on the Netherlands and Belgium for the time being, however in the long run this may also change.
There are no external investors in YENA Engineering. Sag does it all himself. He offers bank guarantees to customers if they ask for it, arranges transport, import and all related administration and logistics. He can do that because after his Chinese period in Turkey he earned his money with YENA Global Piping Solutions, a Turkish steel company that specializes in pipe constructions for the oil and gas industry in particular. That company is still his property. But he has withdrawn from daily management to set up and expand this new initiative in the Netherlands. “YENA Engineering is a Dutch company,” he emphasizes. “For example, we are members of Koninklijke Metaalunie and therefore we operate according to Dutch rules and regulations.”
“Of course this business model is partly sensitive to economic cycles,” Van Benthem agrees. He notes that due to the nitrogen crisis and the PEAS standard, Dutch steel constructors and machine companies are acquiring fewer orders and are therefore less inclined to purchase part of the capacity externally, even if that is up to ten percent cheaper, as YENA Engineering claims. “But for example, we do labor-intensive welding for Dutch companies in Turkey. With such assignments, we are also competitive in terms of price and quality in the current economic climate.
Moreover, YENA is also very competitive in delivery terms. He points to a recent emergency job for Chemi-Tech. It concerned structural parts for several tank terminals in the Botlek area that had to be delivered within 60 days. Sag: “We were able to make and deliver it within 30 days including Tekla design, manufacturing, galvanizing, and delivery.”