Laurens Veer (pictured far left) celebrating with a customer and the CBI team at a trade show in 2018.
The first time Laurens Veer saw a CBI machine, he was fascinated by the superior quality and simplicity of the design. He admired the perfect welding and how every bolt and nut was justified. Veer believed so deeply in the CBI brand that he became involved with the company and founded CBI Europe 16 years ago. To no surprise, he found enormous success sharing his passion for CBI equipment with so many throughout Europe and Scandinavia.
That special prestige about CBI that originally caught Veer’s attention is exactly what he’s used to attract more business and grow what he refers to as the “CBI family.”
But it was more than just the equipment.
“If you cut my arm, it will bleed yellow,” Veer says. “CBI is part of who I am. It’s more than just a machine, it’s a way of life. We’re not in a suit and tie. We’re in jeans and we care about customers like they’re friends. I see CBI as a special group of suppliers, support people, and customers all together. Customers know other customers and they all want to be part of that CBI family because our machines are in a different league. Once you’re a CBI customer, you will always be a CBI customer.”
CBI Europe’s customer service is so personalized that it’s become a competitive advantage. Potential customers only have to meet Veer’s former customers to know they’ll be taken care of long after they buy the equipment. He’ll introduce new clients to friends that have 12,000 hours on a CBI machine that’s still performing at a high level.
That simple and quality design Veer initially became obsessed with is what has allowed him to share so much value with his network.
“Even after five years there are minimal parts to replace,” Veer explains. “The design and quality give our equipment extremely high resale value.”
Veer has announced his intention to retire at the end of 2018 and the organization he’s built is far exceeding expectations. Alongside Richard Kogelman, who has been with CBI Europe for more than 13 years and assumed the role of General Manager in 2018, he's seen the organization through an excellent final year and offered extremely personalized support.
CBI Europe recently sold a 484 ChipMax Industrial Wood Chipper to a customer in Ireland and custom installed a crane and the 484 on the customer’s truck. The team went through all the procedures to ensure it was road legal and exactly what was needed. CBI Europe even made special accommodations for the customer’s toolboxes.
Over the years, CBI Europe’s approach has built a loyal following. Veer is confident that many of his friends who run CBI equipment will never buy another brand—the ones who did already came back.