Aircraft parts distributor takes off in the Netherlands
Now the world’s leading independent aircraft parts company, California-based Proponent grew out of a partnership between Kapco Global and Avio-Diepen with 115 years of combined aerospace experience. The company, which is 100% employee-owned, has about 600 employees at nine locations around the world.
Proponent acquired Avio-Diepen, a Dutch company headquartered in Alphen a/d Rijn, in May 2016. Located in western Holland between Utrecht and Leiden, that operation now serves as Proponent’s main European hub and second largest distribution facility in the world. The bonded warehouse ships nearly 400,000 duty-free vital aviation parts for commercial, business, military, and rotary wing aircraft across the globe.
Distribution facility expanding by 50%
Based on the success of the Netherlands location, Proponent is investing in the Alphen location by acquiring their currently leased warehouse. It is envisioning an expansion of this warehouse by as much as 50% with some additional jobs, according to Jeff Nixon, Proponent’s Chief Operating Officer.
“As an employee-owned company we take a very long-term view of our business. We have more patience and work with a longer horizon than some other companies,” he commented. “We are committed to the communities we are in and want to invest in them for the future.”
Nixon also praised the workforce in Alphen, noting: “We are very fortunate to have a very talented and committed workforce in the Netherlands. People are really intelligent, hard-working and fit our company’s culture and values, which is very important to us.” He added that employee turnover is very low in the Netherlands and the quality of the talent “gives us confidence that we can continue to expand there. That drives a lot of decisions.”
Dutch government proves a valuable resource
“We have highly valued our relations with the Dutch government and local authorities, who have worked very closely with us to grow our facilities and find qualified people to work at them,” Mr. Nixon said. He explained that the California office of the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) has been particularly helpful, connecting him to local Dutch government, economic development groups and human resource organizations.
Nixon also noted that NFIA helped Proponent understand its options in the Netherlands. “We looked at other locations closer to Schiphol Airport, but when we conducted a site strategy review, we concluded that Alphen would be our hub for Europe for many, many years to come. When you have great people, a great place to operate and a friendly pro-business government, that’s hard to beat.”