From the US to the Amsterdam Area

Hair Direct is a US manufacturer of custom hair systems and hair maintenance products based in Pennsylvania. Below, Bill Biesecker, President of Hair Direct, talks about establishing an office in Almere in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. With amsterdam inbusiness, the NFIA and NDL/HIDC assisted Hair Direct in gathering information for their cost modelling benchmark, introducing the company to the right contacts in the field of real estate, logistics, recruitment and tax for putting the European operation in place. “NDL/HIDC has been instrumental in gathering the information we needed to solidify our strategy for the European market,” says Biesecker. “Without their network of contacts, establishing our business in Almere would have been extremely difficult and time consuming.” 

Hair Direct Q&A

Why did Hair Direct choose to serve the market from a (remote) location in Europe instead of from the US?

Our focus has always been to provide the very best customer experience. In order to achieve that in the EU, we came right to our customers doorsteps. Being here gives our customers access to a wider selection of products, provides for faster delivery of their orders, and shipping costs are a fraction of what they would be if shipped from the US. We can also process product returns much more quickly than before.

Why did Hair Direct choose an own operation and why Almere?

Again, it’s all about making our customers happy. We wanted to be responsible for every step of the fulfilment process and not just turn it over to a third party logistics company. In Almere we were able to put together a fantastic team of talented and multilingual people who are committed to providing the exceptional level of service that our customers have grown to expect.

We chose the Netherlands for many reasons. Known as the gateway to Europe, it’s right in the heart of the EU. There’s just no better staging area for moving goods around Europe quickly and efficiently. Other important considerations were IT infrastructure and access to a pool of talented, friendly and multilingual people. The Netherlands was an easy choice.

How did the services of Amsterdam in Business, the NFIA and NDL/HIDC help Hair Direct?

Amsterdam inbusiness, the NFIA and NDL/HIDC saved our company an enormous amount of time and money by putting the project on the fast-track. It would have taken us several months and thousands of dollars to pull together the contacts and resources that these organisations had ready and waiting for us. These folks are serious about introducing new business to the Netherlands.

Source: NDL/HIDC, February 2013.