Meet Jos Nijhuis and Bashar Awawdeh - Key Account Managers in Europe and the Middle East
"A big part of my job is listening closely to existing and potential customers, identifying their challenges and questions and offering innovative solutions," says Jos Nijhuis, Key Account Manager for the Netherlands and Germany. He's uniquely qualified to do this. After growing up in his parent's small feed mill, Jos pioneered the use of residual flows of the food chain at a large animal feed company and then worked in farm and feed mill finance at Rabobank before joining Koudijs. "It's an ambitious company with an entrepreneurial approach," he continues. "Here you have the freedom to work in your own way, but also the responsibility to deliver the best results for customers."
While Jos's experience is very practical and hands-on, Bashar Awawdeh, Export Sales Manager for the Middle East and the Gulf, has a more scientific background. "I have a degree in veterinary medicine and a master's in immunology and microbiology," he explains. Bashar also enjoys the freedom and development opportunities offered by Koudijs. "I like working closely with farmers and feed mills. Animal nutrition is a huge industry and there's no limit to the solutions we can develop for farmers."
More than just high-quality feed
Jos and Bashar may share the same enterprising spirit and customer focus, but their markets are different. "The Netherlands and Germany are mature professional markets with high-quality feed mills selling complementary feed, compound feed, and special feeds," says Jos. "At the same time, farmers are becoming bigger and increasingly more professional, so they're asking more and more from their suppliers." Jos and his colleagues work with customers to produce competitively priced feed that delivers the best animal performance, but they also go beyond that. "We offer feed processing advice, animal management advice, and sales training," he adds. "It's about more than providing excellent feed, it's about explaining the best use of feed to achieve consistent results."
A comprehensive approach to animal production
In contrast to Northern Europe, the Middle East and the Gulf is a fast growing market. Here, Bashar and his team sell directly to integrations, big farms, distributors, and an expanding number of feed mills. "It's an expanding market so there are a lot of animal feed companies," he says. To stand out from the competition, Koudijs takes a comprehensive approach to animal production. "We not only focus on feed but also on disease control and animal management so farmers get the best results and increase their profitability," adds Bashar. A major challenge for farmers and feed mills in the region is the high cost of raw materials which have to be imported due to a lack of arable land to grow them locally. "As a result, margins are small," explains Bashar. "So we focus on achieving high body weight and milk production to offset production costs. We do this by providing analytical services to optimise feed and animal management advice to produce the best results."
In addition to sharing their technical knowledge, both Bashar and Jos provide commercial advice. "I have monthly meetings with customers to discuss market developments," says Jos. "We often give well-reasoned advice on business matters like purchasing particular ingredients." Similarly, Bashar keeps customers informed about the future price of raw materials so they can buy them strategically and reduce production costs. "It's about helping customers make the right decisions," he says.
A big part of my job is listening closely to existing and potential customers, identifying their challenges and questions and offering innovative solutions
From high-level developments to practical solutions
This combination of high-quality feed and solid technical and commercial advice is backed up by state-of-the-art Koudijs facilities. "When we design our factories, we do it from the point of view of both our customers and farm animals so we deliver the best solutions," says Jos. "For example, at our premix factory in Veghel, the Netherlands, we've invested in optimising bulk loading to meet growing demand for high volumes of bulk premix. In another example, the process at our piglet feed mill in Andel is designed through the eyes of the piglet. Our choices here must support optimal results for the piglet." This demonstrates the strength of Koudijs: taking high-level scientific and commercial developments and translating them into practical solutions that improve results for customers.