DLL welcomes first robot employment agency

Industry: Industrial
Customer story

Photo credit: Bart van Overbeeke

‘From the moment we presented our business plan, DLL contributed ideas. That was the basis for our current cooperation’. These words spoken by Mark Menting, Managing Director and founder of Smart Robotics, were loud and clear. On 1 May, he founded the only robot employment agency in the Netherlands together with co-partner Heico Sandee. The company already has six employees and leases out six robots. This is a first for DLL: robots leased out for the very first time through a lease facility.

The idea for Smart Robotics arose in the summer of last year. ‘At our former employer, Heico and I were increasingly being asked about flexible automation, and each time we came to the conclusion that the presentation of a feasibility study or the setting up of a project was not a solution. The client wanted an end-product in the form of a flexible robotic solution. After some research, we took the plunge and officially started on 1 May. Our clients no longer have to search for an automation solution because they can lease a robot from us and afterwards return it again. Our challenge is to make the robot reusable for another client, with minimal adjustments. That is the basic idea of Smart Robotics.’

The desire to contribute ideas
In the start-up phase of the company, Mark and Heico were confronted with all kinds of challenges. ‘It is obvious that our robots do not allow us to be typically pigeonholed. That can be confusing for certain agencies. You often end up in a standardized process and that is killing in our line of business. With DLL we noticed their desire to contribute ideas to an innovative starter in a changing market. The open and cooperative attitude surprised and improved us. Their critical feedback on elements in our business plan challenged us to sharpen it further. We incorporated scalability and built up a genuine relationship. That gave us confidence.’

Smart Robotics now mainly focuses on producers in the industrial and logistics sectors.
Customer story

International ambitions
Smart Robotics now mainly focuses on producers in the industrial and logistics sectors. ‘But we are also receiving many requests from the food sector. Because our concept is technologically very easy to export, we certainly also have international ambitions. Initially, we are focusing on Western Europe because the favorable price-performance ratio per product that we offer clearly outweighs outsourcing to low-wage countries.

Confidence in the future
All in all, these are ambitious plans in which DLL, according to Mark, plays an important role. ‘On the one hand, of course, through providing a lease facility on a substantial part of our objects. This covers long-term costs and we maintain our liquidity and our existence. On the other hand, I envisage further development of our product and DLL provides added value through contributing ideas on the leasing arrangements. Once we have crossed the borders, DLL also has the network and the knowledge in house to support us. Change is the only constant and the world is changing at an extremely fast pace. Having DLL as a financial partner creates opportunities that I look forward to with confidence!’

Change is the only constant and the world is changing at an extremely fast pace. Having DLL as a financial partner creates opportunities that I look forward to with confidence! "
Customer story

A golden combination
During the first discussions with Mark and Heico, Account Manager Omero Caboni saw the potential of their idea: ‘I immediately received the feeling that these men knew exactly what they were letting themselves in for and that they were making well-considered decisions. Heico has all the technical knowledge in house and Mark knows how to introduce it to the market; they are a golden combination. Due to the complexity of their product, close cooperation was, and still is, essential. The expertise and input of Jack Wasser, Innovation Manager at DLL, was indispensable in this regard. The business and professional attitude of the two men still provides a contribution. Taking the complexity of the product into consideration, I am proud of the fact that we are offering a financial solution to these innovative starters!’