Orange Planet in the picture
An overview of all the articles featuring Orange Planet:
Brabant Business Media
Orange Planet and Valeres join forces to realize new business premises
Next year a new business premises will be built at industrial area Tichelrijt II in Dongen. Wholesaler Orange Planet is expanding its current premises on the adjacent lot. The construction is being carried out by Valeres Industriebouw B.V.
Orange Planet is bringing new, innovative consumer products onto the market for over already 12 years. The products vary from fitness devices to beauty products and from household appliances to trendy gadgets. Customers are, among others, Coolblue, Wehkamp and Bol.com. Orange Planet has experienced a strong growth in the past few years, so expanding the premises is a logical step for the company.
The recent premises at Tichelrijt II was built in 2010. This construction was also realized by Valeres. “Valeres stands for reliability and flexibility. We guide our customers from the start to the entry into service of their premises. And that works: it gives our customers confidence to work with us again on a next project”, says Bas
van Lith, managing director of Valeres Industriebouw B.V.
The expansion of the premises is realized on the adjacent lot. The company’s office as well as their warehouse are being expanded. The new office will cover an area of over 300 m² and the new warehouse will have a size of over 600 m² and a height of 10 meters. Ralf Witlox, CEO and founder of Orange Planet: “This expansion means that we can double our pallet locations. Because of our strong growth, nationally as well as international, de expansion of our premises is really desirable. With the expansion of the office ánd warehouse we can be of even more service to our customers.”
The construction will start early 2019. Delivery will be in May 2019.
IT Support Groep
Orange Planet’s ‘as seen on TV’ products: the latest innovative products available in a new and innovative IT environment!
Orange Planet started out as a home business run from the garden shed and has grown to become a leading player in the home-shopping sector. Who hasn’t heard of the Magic Bullit, Wraptastic or Rock Gym? Orange Planet’s assortment consists of all sorts of items in the fields of health, beauty, fitness and household items. Orange Planet sells these unique products to companies such as Wehkamp, Bol.com and Coolblue. “We want to make life a little easier for people with our ‘as seen on TV’ products,” says Ralf Witlox, Director of Orange Planet. “And as a progressive company, we want to continue doing that in the future. And that includes our B2B portal, YelloWWeb.nl. Growth requires professionalisation and Orange Planet certainly works extremely efficiently within a modern IT environment.”
“We serve around 25 countries worldwide from our warehouse in Dongen. So we simply cannot allow our systems to fail. It wasn’t so long ago that Orange Planet was a traditional organisation,” Ralf recalls. “This meant that I had no real-time overview of our stocks and our delivery times left something to be desired. With our fast growth and aging hardware, I made the conscious decision to go for digital transformation. Everything in the cloud with modern, secure workplaces. At the same time, I looked for an It organisation that suited our type of company: modern, fast, personal and capable. I also recognised and felt these qualities in IT Support Group. Marc Franken, team leader Sales & Cloud has drawn up and presented a
complete advice plan for this.”
The team, led by Jeroen Seuntjens, system administrator at IT Support Group, realised the implementation on location. “The implementation was carried out professionally and quickly. Right from the start, Jeroen shared useful tips and tricks that we could use to get down to work. I now feel like I can let go of things. It’s nice to feel the certainty that everything is organised securely and well. My colleagues can now work quickly and efficiently just about anywhere. This is extremely useful, because we regularly travel abroad for trade fairs and to visit clients and suppliers. We’re already noticing that using
Office 365 and SharePoint saves us a considerable amount of time. Orange Planet is now absolutely ready for the future!” Ralf concludes.
FIRST SCHOOL IN NORTH BRABANT WITH ITS OWN WEBSHOP
Group 7 of primary school J.J. Anspach launches own webshop
Months of preparation have gone into it and now it has finally happened: Group 7’s webshop is open for business! Various items can be purchased from the webshop and they will be continually refreshed. According to teacher Matthieu Verlinde, there is always work to be done!
One of Matthieu Verlinde’s friends is an entrepreneur and sent him some information about the ‘Primary School Webshop’ project. Matthieu was immediately enthusiastic and took a detailed plan to school director Herman Straver. Director Straver immediately gave the plan the green light. “This is contemporary education, it is bold and will undoubtedly stimulate the children. They are engaged and very ambitious, and that’s exactly what we want at the Anspach school,” according to Straver.
Sponsors, loans and a good cause
Starting up a business costs money and if you don’t have it, you need to be creative. This was Group 7’s first challenge. They searched for sponsors and secured interest-free loans from friends and family. Within a few weeks they had raised the money needed to make a start on the construction of the webshop and the associated project. Fortunately, the school also supported the enthusiastic Group 7 in this. Any profits the shop makes when it is up and running will be shared: 50% will go to the Roparun charity foundation and the other 50% to the class.
The children must first clear their debts to friends and family and then they can decide what to do with the profits. The bookkeeping will be kept neatly in a file.
To see how a business (with a webshop) works, the children visited Orange Planet in Dongen. Director Ralf Witlox explained to the children what they need to keep in mind when running a business. Witlox made a spontaneous offer to allow the webshop to sell certain items from Orange Planet’s warehouse. This gave the children an immediate lesson in purchasing and sales. In the immediate future, the group will look for other businesses whose products they can sell in their webshop.
At the start of the project, a lot of children thought that they would get rich quick but those expectations have since been adjusted. Nevertheless, there are plenty of plans for the webshop. Accounts on social media will be set up and will include advertisements. There will be a YouTube channel on which vloggers
from the class will post reports, there will be product presentations (created and presented entirely by the children) and the children will look for other ways to bring their shop to people’s attention. Teacher Matthieu has plenty of other plans and ideas, but he’s keeping them to himself for the time being: “We first need to work on what we have now and the rest will take care of itself. There’s always work to be done on the shop! Would you like to take a look for yourself and perhaps buy something? Then surf to: www.shoptotdetop.nl
Rabobank Tilburg and region
LOOSENING THE PURSE STRINGS
Sometimes stories take on their own life. Like banks today keeping much too tight a hold on the purse strings, for example. If a message like that is repeated often enough, people start believing it and before long it’s assumed to be a fact. But is it actually true? A discussion with Kurt Heier and Adriaan van Dortmont from Rabobank Tilburg and region and their client Ralf Witlox.
“I am living proof that if you, as a businessman, state your case, believe in your product and can present a clear vision/well-founded plan, Rabobank is more than happy to work with you on financing issues… Even in today’s challenging economic circumstances. Doing business against the flow pays off, I have discovered,” says the Dongen-based businessman Ralf Witlox.
Step up in quality
The enthusiasm with which Ralf Witlox speaks is noticeable. “I have every reason
to be enthusiastic. Less than a year ago, Orange Planet – a company that develops and distributes innovative products – operated out of a rented warehouse, but we gradually outgrew that proverbial jacket. A new building was essential to make the next important step up in quality.”
“I’m still amazed at how quickly we achieved this. Not only the actual construction – the building went up in not time and we were able to move in as early as September – but especially the start-up phase with the Rabobank, in which the financing was arranged. That was quickly settled.” Kurt Heier, senior account manager for Businesses: “What more could you want than to have a young, ambitious businessman sitting opposite you, who knows what he’s talking about, has clear long-term objectives, is cautious financially and has a track record of achieving excellent results?”
Most visible bank
“For my part, I didn’t have to hesitate long before
committing to this bank,” Witlox resumes. “Rabobank is known for being the bank that is ‘close at hand’. Its lines of communication are short and decisions can be taken locally. In addition, they know what’s going on in the region and play a proactive role in market developments. The Dongen office has all the necessary knowledge and expertise in-house to serve both my business and private banking needs through a fixed team of professionals.”
Close at hand, engaged and trend-setting
“In this respect, our service provision can always be traced back to our DNA: ‘Close at hand’, ‘Engaged’ and ‘Trend-setting’ concludes Dongen and Rijen manager, Adriaan van Dortmont. “And something that should not fail to be mentioned is the banks reliable character,” adds Witlox. “Rabobank has emerged from the current crisis as the strongest bank. It’s important to know, as a businessman, that your money is safe in their hands. Perhaps that’s also why they didn’t have to tighten up their financing policy and are prepared to loosen the purse strings for businesses with a good story!”
From Spacebag to Robomop
Fun, innovative and a little bit different. That’s how Ralf Witlox (37) from Dongen describes the products he sells through Orange Planet. Witlox started up his wholesale business in a warehouse loft eight years ago. In the meantime, the company has grown and moved to De Els on the Tichelrijt business park in Dongen.
Why did you start this company?
“I always wanted to work for myself. After my education in Small Business and Retail Management in Rotterdam, it seemed a good idea to first get an inside look at how other businesses work. I did this for a while at various home-shopping companies, until I got the chance to take over the rights to a few products in 2005. That’s how Orange Planet came to be.”
What kinds of thing do you sell?
“All kinds of products in the fields of health, beauty, fitness and household items. I find these at trade fairs or through my contacts abroad. If I believe in a product, I purchase the rights and bring it to the Netherlands. I then sell the goods on to companies like Wehkamp, Kijkshop and Coolblue. We also develop products ourselves under the label Orange Care, such as Baba de Caracol nourishing snail creams.”
How does your company differentiate itself?
“Most wholesalers try to differentiate themselves by bringing existing products to the market at a lower price. With Orange Planet, I want to sell only unique products, which are not yet available in the Netherlands. Or items that are a little bit different, such as our Pedrini-brand brightly coloured ceramic pans.”
What is it like to do business in the crisis?
“You have to push harder. Fortunately, we have a number of bestselling products in our assortment, including the Space Bag vacuum storage bags and the Robomop: a cordless floor cleaner. But, of course, not everything sells so well. Then you try to come up with something new as quickly as possible. If you don’t keep trying, you know for certain that you’ll never find that gap in the market.”
Fun, innovative and slightly different
With a broad smile, Ralf Witlox replies that he actually sleeps without a pillow himself. The owner of Orange Planet has just been talking enthusiastically about the Konbanwa Pillow. It is one of the many products that he has developed and/or distributes.
Orange Planet’s assortment consists of all sorts of items in the fields of health, beauty, fitness and household items. “Fun, innovative and a little bit different,” as he puts it himself.
The wholesale business started out in a rented warehouse loft, moved to the Tichelrijt business park in 2010 and now, less than five years later, is planning to expand once again. “Our warehouse currently has 650 pallet places of stock with which to supply our clients in the Netherlands and abroad, but the demand is far greater.”
Ralf finds the products at trade fairs or through his contacts abroad.
“If I believe in a product, I purchase the rights and bring it to the Netherlands,” he says. “I am always on the lookout for unique items that are not yet available in the Netherlands or are a little bit different. I then sell the goods on to companies like Wehkamp and Bol.com. In addition, we develop health products ourselves, under the Orange Care label, as well as innovative Orange Crown kitchen appliances and Orange Donkey gadgets.
“This year, we are sponsoring the Orange Park Festival; a festival held in Dongen. It is absolutely worth a visit. As a Dongen-based business, it’s nice to make a contribution through sponsoring,” says Ralf.
Young Business Clubblad
CAN BE SEEN EVERYWHERE
Whether you want to get more exercise, cook more professionally or have a beaming white smile, Orange Planet has the product you need!
Orange Planet makes life a little bit easier for people. It supplies the latest, high-quality products direct to consumer’s homes. Its warehouse in Dongen also supplies many different retailers.
A fast-growing organisation
Ralf Witlox started trading as Orange Planet in 2005. The company’s first big breakthrough took place in 2006. Orange Planet soon grew into a wholesaler of ‘as seen on TV’ products. Its suppliers started to broadcast and still broadcast more than eight hours of programming daily on various commercial channels. The company soon made a name for itself as a supplier to the best-known catalogues in the Netherlands. At the moment, the company is building up strong brands, such as Orange Care, Konbanwa Pillow, Space Bag, Pedrini, Robomop and Iron Gym, and Orange Donkey will be added to these in 2013.
Orange Planet has set itself an important goal. “We are only truly satisfied when we are able to supply a nice, innovative and quality product to the consumer at a fair price. I want the
consumer to be just as satisfied with a product as we are,” says the organisation’s founder Ralf Witlox. Before the purchasing process begins for a product, we visit the manufacturers in Asia and try the products out for ourselves. In this way, we can be certain of their quality.”
A new platform
Orange Planet also has far-reaching plans for the New Year. It wants to launch the www.eurotv.nl platform. This platform brings Orange Planet into direct contact with consumers, enabling the company to supply them directly!
The Young Business Club
It is no coincidence that Orange Planet has joined the Young Business Club. Ralf Witlox has been a loyal supporter of Willem II football club since he was a small boy. The combination of football and informal networking aroused Ralf’s interest.
“Through necessity, our network is mainly located abroad. Whatever we do to network in the Netherlands and whatever networking environment we choose must be enjoyable. The pleasantness and the young, informal character of the Young Business Club suits our company well,” he says.
HOW ORANGE PLANET IS TRANSFORMING
ITS ONLINE SERVICE PROVISION
Orange Planet trades in unique products in the fields of health, fitness, cosmetics and household items. Large online retailers, such as Coolblue, Wehkamp, Groupdeal and Telsell, also sell Orange Planet products. Orange Planet’s warehouse in the Brabant town of Dongen serves 25 countries worldwide. It handles almost half a million products annually. How does the company achieve such super-fast delivery times?
Impulse items. This is the best way to describe Orange Planet’s merchandise. According to founder and director Ralf Witlox, the products are unique because they cannot be found in other large warehouses. In addition, each product has a video, a detailed product description and the service is well organised.
Since 2005, Ralf Witlox has been interested in home-shopping programmes on TV. He sees value in the products and sells them on to retailers. Smart purchasing, a nose for what people want and his smooth talk have brought success to the man from Brabant. First in the Netherlands but soon in other countries, thanks to the contacts he makes at trade fairs. Apart from selling products from mainly American suppliers, the company also has its own range of fitness, health, lifestyle and cosmetic product brands. Around 90% of purchasers in the Netherlands are familiar with Orange Planet, says Witlox.
Until two years ago, Orange Planet (9 FTEs and 6 part-timers) was a traditional trading company. Considering digital developments and the advent of international e-commerce platforms, Witlox decided that his business needed to switch to digital trading to take advantage. Although the company had already sold 350,000 items, stock administration was still being carried out on spreadsheets. This was proving to be problematic. There was no overview of current availability, which meant that the sales team was sometimes unable to deliver what was promised.
Only very good service
Witlox was convinced that only by providing very good service would he be in a position to further expand the company. This meant giving clients a real-time overview of the availability and delivery times of the 500 items kept permanently in stock by the company. “We wanted to be able to promise to our clients in the Netherlands and Belgium that if they placed an order by 14.00, it would be delivered the following day; to the client or the client’s own customer via drop shipment,” says Witlox. “That’s why we decided to set up a B2B portal and a digital stock management system.”
Real-time data exchange
The e-commerce portal www.yellowweb.nl runs on Magento. For stock management, Orange Planet makes use of Exact Online for Premium Trade. These solutions are connected, making real-time data exchange possible. Clients that log in see the complete assortment, with prices and current availability information. This information comes directly from Exact. Orange Planet provides current availability, product information and pictures as a service, via an XML feed, to clients’ webshops which, in turn, offer the goods
on large e-commerce platforms, such as Bol.com or Amazon.
No non-existent stock at Orange Planet
“If a product is sold out, it disappears from the webshop, which means that we don’t sell our clients non-existent stock,” Witlox explains. “This is important because many products that are not part of our own labels or for which we do not own the exclusive distribution rights are also on sale elsewhere. With Exact, we can produce good sales analyses and that helps us to maintain stock levels and provide the best possible service to our clients.”
The warehouse in Dongen has more than 5,000 order picking locations. These are all installed in Exact. This enables employees to do their work quickly and well, and the chance of errors is very small. “The nicest thing is that I have the Exact app on my smartphone,” says Witlox. “I can view the assortment, stock availability levels and all (financial) information on my clients. This helps in closing better deals. I was in Puerto Rico recently and foreign clients, in particular, look with amazement when I show them the app.”
Focus on quality
Ralf Witlox anticipates that his wholesale business will work even more closely with manufacturers in the future, so he remains focused on quality and the brand experience. He does this to maintain added value in comparison with cheaper Chinese webshops. The B2B portal is becoming increasingly important in the automation of activities. “Due to automation and political developments in the European Union, which are blurring borders, we are becoming even more focused on international expansion. Our computer systems are ready for it.”