EDITOR INTERVIEW In conversation with... Harald Oosting, CEO at Olyslager and Vice-President, UKLA

Olyslager has a fascinating history – what are its origins?

In 1948, Piet Olyslager noticed there was little or no information on how to service vehicles left by the Allied Forces. So he taught himself to draw, sketching and taking notes whilst working on cars; he also started collecting technical data. Very soon his drawings had attracted the attention of the European Automotive Industry.

In 1950, Olyslager created the Olyslager Organisation. Within a few years he began publishing the iconic Motor Manuals and associated FAQ handbook. His drawing skills were such that he became part of the Bugatti and Talbot design team. His passion for technical information continued; he hired like-minded people and Olyslager quickly became the standard for technical information in Europe, producing the first lube charts for oil companies in the 60’s.

Business growth continued and in 1999, Olyslager introduced their own lubricant data software, the Lubricant Information System (LIS), followed by the first Online Lubricant Advisor in 2002. Today we are the leading lubricant data provider with several hundred online oil advisors, with affiliates in Europe, the USA and very soon, Asia.

What attracted you to the company? Olyslager crossed my path in 2005. I started as Sales Director and was quickly ‘infected’ by the company’s passion. Five years later, I had the amazing opportunity to step up as CEO.

Olyslager was already a recognised name in the industry when I joined; its employees have unmatched passion for data and immediately made me part of the family. Early on, my team and I started to work out ideas to develop the company in different directions. Since then the business has grown tenfold by expanding to new regions, introducing new technologies and data solutions.


I strive to innovate our products and organisation continuously. In the last 2 years I have set up a new organisation structure to manage our expanding business and hired new employees with new expertise and skills. With the right staff and passion, we will keep developing great products for many years.

How is digitalization affecting Olyslager? Digitalizing has different stages and is becoming more complex in the oil industry. As a data and service provider this offers Olyslager great opportunities. We have evolved our products to meet the latest standards; we are investing in our knowledge on ‘big data’ - whether this is recommending the correct lubricant for every vehicle, making aftermarket data sets, or region- specific market analysis, we always think ahead and explore ideas with our clients.

Is the industry over-regulated? Regulatory changes reflect the demands of the marketplace and present an opportunity for innovation and collaboration. The oil industry needs to be sensitive – non-renewable resources like oil and climate change are having a significant impact on how we all do business. Our present decisions will affect future generations.

What is the industry’s biggest challenge and how might this affect Olyslager? It’s a false assumption to think with the uprising of E-cars, oil requirements will be simpler; environmental regulations and new technologies are increasing the number of lubricants - downsized turbocharged engines, new drivetrain components and the increasing need for lubricants that do not conduct electricity, whilst oil companies have to make decisions on what OEM approvals they need for their products, how to approach markets, and get integrated in digital services. Clearly, reliable, tailormade and fast data has never been more relevant.


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