For over a decade now, bouwens& has been leading the way in the field of hospitality and facility services. This April however, the company decided to readjust its course. The objective? Expand and refine services, without loosing sight of the values that the Bouwens name has been representing for almost a century. Founder and CEO Michael Bouwens and COO Tessa De Grijff explain.
People and technology
Last year Bouwens and De Grijff carefully re-evaluated both the facility market as a whole and their own services. How do you make services even more compatible with your client’s requests and a rapidly changing industry?
De Grijff: “COVID-19 permanently changed the way we work, bringing a shift towards more remote working. In this new reality, offices become meeting places for employees and visitors. Facility suppliers need to find an answer to this change in demand, and this is where our speciality comes in. We meet new and ever changing clients’ requests and demands with the best people and the smartest technology in the business. We strongly believe that this combination of people and technology offers our clients a unique advantage.”
“Last year’s developments showed once and again how important technology is in our line of work,” says Bouwens. “Offering innovating (digital) solutions is essential for success, now and in the future.” A leading role is played by ARRIVED@, the new platform that bouwens& developed together with a number of clients. Bouwens: "ARRIVED@'s technology helps facility managers create truly data driven facility services, something that makes and keeps these companies successful. The platform has a dashboard that gives facility managers a full oversight of all services. Clear graphs and stats show trends, developments, and demands, making the facility manager a true director. ARRIVED@ finally made a real control model possible.”
“One of our new services is the Multifunctional Desk”, De Grijff continues. “It’s the reception of the future. You can turn to this desk for meeting room reservations, fleet management, or to report complaints or disruptions. But it’s just as easy to request secretary or office support such as scheduling, travel management, delivery, and phone services. The desk itself can be an actual coffee bar and become a true meeting place.”
People are key
Bouwens: “Although technology becomes increasingly important, we always keep the human factor in mind. We want to know what triggers our clients and their clients; the end users. How can we keep meeting their requests and demands? This means that our all-round professionals approach every single person with a personal touch.” De Grijff adds: “This focus on a personal approach can also be found in our teams. All our people pass a thorough selection procedure, including a behavioural test. This works both ways: we achieve an excellent level of service, and our people enjoy their daily work. This mutual beneficially relationship is something we hold dearly.”
The best, not the biggest
To stay on this newly set course, bouwens& wants to grow the organisation, but not necessarily in size. Bouwens: “We prefer being the best, rather than becoming the biggest. In the end, it’s our clients who determine our success, but this choice for quality over quantity clearly shows who we are. We learn every day and we want to keep improving!”