Operation Sluisjesdijk: how do you renovate a running factory?
How do you prepare a renovation of a running factory in the heart of Rotterdam? Then you call Marijn Spruit, Associate Partner at Boer & Croon. He is the right person to map out how you can prepare an organisation for such a drastic change.
The start in 2020
'After an initial meeting with Richard and a member of the management, I started talking to as many people as possible,' Marijn continues. I asked Richard who the most important players were on the operational, maintenance, management and safety side. Of course, I also went to the site. Because of my background as an operational manager in factories, I was able to get a quick picture of what exactly was going on. That was necessary, because I was hired as a consultant, not as an interim manager. So it was a consultancy assignment to find out, within a limited number of hours, how best to tackle this complex renovation.'
'It was really about how we were going to carry out the renovation,' says Richard. There is a lot involved in moving from an existing situation to a new organisation. You have to deal with matters such as culture, behaviour and a different way of working together.'
Openness within the organisation
Working in a process-oriented way
'You also have to arrange governance', says Marijn. 'In such a larger organisation, it is very important that the management and the board are kept well informed by means of appropriate reports. On the other hand, the project team must be self-managing, at some distance from the management, with the management only being called in case of escalation or major budgetary issues. Of course, this requires a certain responsibility on the part of the team members and the realisation that you are working on a common task. And not like before, when one team member was responsible for operations, another for maintenance and yet another for projects and there was no intention of looking outside one's own kitchen.'
The flexible cooperation
'Yes, and that was successful because of everyone's openness. I always had in mind that I am a temporary advisor and that Richard should be allowed to present the plan to the board and the management, and give the water board the confidence that this is the right way.'
'Because in the end I had to ask the board for money for a sort of interim year. But we managed to convince them that we would soon be able to earn back that investment in more than one way. But in hindsight, we had to steer for a long time on uncertain factors, so this was quite an exciting phase.'