Edibo exists for a little over 40 years. Of those 4 decades, exactly 3 of those have been in cooperation with car dealership and family-owned business Valckenier from Aalst. Proof that maybe the construction industry is changing but that there’s no expiration date on proper partnership. Co-owner Koen Valckenier talks about those 30 years of cooperation and about his own challenges in the car sales industry.
“The first design was right on the dot”
The first introduction between family-owned business Valckenier and edibo took place in the year 1991. That was the year Koen and his brother took over their father’s business.
“There was only talk of one dealership back then; however, there were construction plans for a second garage. My father had met project leader Stanny – now retired but back then, still hard at work at edibo – at a reception a while back.”
“We invited Stanny to see what edibo could do for us. He took out his pen and started drawing. Well, that sketch was right on the money and fulfilled all our expectations. The communication human-to-human was also something we liked from the start. So, we decided to give edibo a chance in constructing our first garage.”
“10 minutes of silence”
30 years later and both parties can look back at a series of cooperations. “Today, there are 13 establishments under our management, distributed over the Brussels, East and West Flanders regions. For 6 new constructions and 4 renovation projects, we relied on edibo.”
“It was simple: there should be the least possible amount of stress for construction or renovation. The factors that have the largest impact on that are time and budget. Things we never had to worry about with edibo. Tender documents and final offers always correspond, and the planned schedules are super tight. I remember 6 or 7 projects where the windows got installed on the arranged date exactly.”
“The big advantage for us as a car workshop is that edibo has tons of experience in the field of garage construction. They are able to empathise with these types of projects. Even to that extent that they are able to take on the role of the architect. Where do we need to locate the offices? What challenges will we face when constructing basements, pits and lifts for a body repair shop? They come prepared for everything.”
“Or almost everything. During one of our renovation projects, I remember it suddenly becoming very quiet when I presented my plans (laughs). The idea was to rebuild a garage from the 60s, about 8.000 m² big. From a one-brand showroom to a showroom for multiple car makes, including new workshop. Without our employees having to move location during the works. Oh, and the two upstairs apartments had to be demolished as well.”
“No laughing matter. But once again, after those first few minutes of silence, we deliberated for hours and even came up with a first action plan. This characterises our cooperation perfectly.”
“Didn’t even request a price comparison”
“Ever since the year 2000, things have picked up fast. The times of one garage for one make were behind us. Centralising and expanding our ideas were the message. This led to takeovers and an extension of our services. Body repairs, car rental and in the last couple of years, car sharing has come into play as well.”
“Throughout the years, edibo has grown along with us effortlessly, as has our mutual trust. For the final project we did together, we didn’t even request a price comparison anymore. We stepped into this new cooperation purely on trust. When mutual respect is there, then this shows between the people of both parties and eventually, in the realisation of the project.”
“Taking edibo along in our future plans”
Just like we live for the constructive challenges at edibo, there are a number of new challenges ahead of the family-owned business Valckenier.
“We keep investing. One of our new projects is building a central site where we can prepare all new vehicles for technical inspection and sale. We sell about 10.000 cars a year in total, so that requires capacity. The plan is to also build a parking tower there. We’ve already had the first discussions about this project with edibo.”
“The marvellous thing about this yearslong cooperation is that we can now closely involve edibo in our future expansion plans. Their knowhow extends way beyond the pure contractorship, which is exactly what we need.”
Do you like to look beyond the project too?
At edibo, your project is sacred to us but the long-term relationship we build is equally as important. Garage company Valckenier is one of the many partners we have been working with for years, with lots of dedication and enjoyment.
What construction plans of yours can we assist you in? From the most complex renovation projects to a new construction that starts from scratch: tell us all about it during a non-binding meeting. Feel free to contact us and check out our realisations in the meantime.