2019 marks Dutch-based Pas Reform's centennial. Today, 95% of the company's business comes from outside the Netherlands, and one of the cornerstones for its continued success is that throughout its history, it has not stopped innovating, bringing to the industry new, improved solutions, says CEO Harm Langen in an interview with eFeedLink at VIV Asia.

"We provide a total solution for hatcheries, not just incubators but also climate control and hatchery automation systems. We are the only ones in the market who offer a total package connected to one supervisory system, providing peace of mind to large companies in particular, who prefer to have one company to talk to, and don't have to worry about dealing with different suppliers," highlights Langen. It is not surprising then that big names in the poultry industry count among Pas Reform's key clientele.

"Customers like the fact that they have the reassurance that their hatcheries will run properly, and that they will have the right results with the right operations and support," Langen points out. He refers to SmartCare, a service package which includes a variety of services and products which support any of the three key 'life stages' of a hatchery project: the planning, project and lifetime stages.

Apart from having a traditional spare parts help desk, SmartCare provides customers with newer type of services including data-driven insights, delivered through regular Skype calls. For example, it is important to have the right incubation profiles to improve hatchery operations, and Pas Reform's incubation specialists regularly advise customers on how to use the correct settings, according to Langen. "By collecting and analysing data from their hatcheries, we assist customers to improve their results and keep performance at a high level. Through our SmartCenterPro system, hatchery managers can receive a message or call on their phones should an immediate reaction to an emergency be required," explains Langen.

Indeed, a strong service approach is cited by Langen to be another cornerstone for Pas Reform's continued success, where customers are "taken very good care of" by the company's "excellent service team". "We've a great team globally which is made up of good distributors and our own people in many countries," Langen says.

In 2014, Pas Reform, together with US-based NatureForm, formed NatureForm Hatchery Technologies.Commenting on the partnership, Langen says: "For the United States, we understand the importance of being a local supplier, with a local support team. For that reason, we decided to have our own office to provide products and services in the US. Since working together with NatureForm, incubators from both companies now have the controller line with the same parts. As egg tray sizes in the US are different from Europe and the rest of the world, we are now able to also provide solutions for any egg tray size. Products made in the US by NatureForm Hatchery Technologies can also be shipped to other countries."

Pas Reform extends this concept similarly to Southeast Asia, with support offices in countries including Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, particularly for services.

In terms of R&D, Pas Reform conducts most of its research in the Netherlands, US and Brazil. Besides partnering with renowned agricultural universities such as Wageningen University & Research, Pas Reform also has select business partners. And the early involvement of customers is sought. A most recent innovation introduced to Asia at VIV Asia was SmartStart (previously introduced to Europe at VIV Europe 2019), a post-hatch feeding system designed with animal welfare, antibiotics reduction, field performance and sustainability in mind. Specific requirements for pre-starter feed and lighting conditions were the rationale for Pas Reform to engage DSM and Signify (previously Philips Lighting) as respective development partners.

"With SmartStart, day-old chicks have immediate access to feed and water. This is important from an animal welfare point of view, and also enables the chicks to become more robust, reducing the need for antibiotics. So SmartStart is really designed with animal welfare, food safety and sustainability in mind. In particular, field results have shown very good improvements in terms of feed conversion and mortality," Langen elaborates.

Highlighting the opportunities he sees in the Asia region moving forward, Langen says: "We expect to grow with our existing customer base, with a large share already coming from Asia. We will continue to offer more services and more complete product assortments. We also expect to see a rising need for hatchery automation solutions, as labour requirements become increasingly tight. For Asia, we see a growing interest in SmartStart, as customers come to appreciate the importance of early feeding and that putting a stronger chick on the ground would be better for their business."

Marketing director Henry Arts had some concluding remarks: "VIV Asia was a fantastic show for Pas Reform, we had unprecedented numbers of trade visitors from all over Asia. As we celebrate our centennial this year, the show was a great opportunity for us to thank everyone who has helped us to reach this important milestone."
Visit Pas Reform at: www.pasreform.com