Even the American CEO is a fan of ‘boulder town’ Amersfoort.
Its founder is an American; its innovative medical products go all over the world; and its European head office is in… Amersfoort. This is the location from which Applied Medical has been operating to its full satisfaction since 2006. And so the company has recently expanded its premises on business park Wieken-Vinkenhoef for the third time. This time they built a new production location and offices totalling 8,700 square metres. Like their home base, their mission has also remained the same: to contribute to affordable healthcare.
Eleven years ago, it took Rob van der Meer little time to convince Said Hilal, the American founder of Applied Medical, that the Netherlands was the ideal business location for its European distribution centre. ‘Politically and economically stable, a highly trained workforce, excellent language skills, flexible workers who will understand the American culture and a central geographical position in Europe’, Van der Meer summarizes his words at the time. ‘It’s only a three-hour flight to the remotest European corner. There’s Schiphol, sea ports, a high-quality motorway network, and no hurricanes or earthquakes.’
Amersfoort: atmosphere and history
The next job was to select the company’s hometown. Van der Meer lives in Hilversum, but a suitable location was not to be found there. Then he was quick to spot Amersfoort, a city he still knew from his secondary school days in Baarn. He points out the window: ‘Easy access to the A28 and the A1, the railway station nearby, a central city close to anywhere. Amersfoort is a really pleasant and lovely place, also for people from other countries who come here for work purposes. They love it here. The city centre has a special atmosphere and is a fun place for dining out. Our staff often do. When they’re here for a couple of days, they usually stay at the Berghotel, where the hospitality is personal and guests are appreciated. Amersfoort is a historical city. Our CEO is from the United States, where the oldest building is perhaps 200 years old. Amersfoort history goes back more than 750 years, and the city wears its history with pride. That’s why he’s a fan of Amersfoort.’
Since its foundation in 2006, Applied Medical’s main aim has been to contribute to more affordable healthcare. It does so by developing high-quality surgical instruments and selling them at reasonable prices. Van der Meer: ‘Healthcare affects us all. We’re a private, nonlisted company, and so we’re in a position to be able to keep our prices low.’ The company develops medical instruments for urologists, gynaecologists and general surgeons. These are instruments, for instance, for performing keyhole surgery in the abdominal cavity (bowels, gallbladder, liver and kidneys). In its branch, Applied Medical is an innovative player, launching new products all the time.
Now that a strong foundation has been laid, the company’s growth is accelerating. The world of Appied Medical is a fast-moving one. With 160 staff based in Amersfoort, 360 staff work all over Europe. Meanwhile, Applied Medical has its own sales organization in 14 countries, with no. 15 (Portugal) well on its way. Its product range keeps growing and gaining a name for itself. Groups of surgeons are now flying into the Netherlands to attend product training sessions in Amersfoort.