IES Asset Management

2012 – IES Asset Management delivers services on asset management with 22 employees. The workplace innovation they implemented is the introduction of an innovative culture and an internal training. 

Jan Mens explains: “Asset management is about optimizing the performance of assets, whether it’s a plane, a belt, a road or a packaging line."
When he together with Frank van Vugt made the transition from Schiphol to IES they found a family culture: cozy, informal and with few  rules or structure. Actually it was a kind of a start-up that did not want to grow bigger. “I wanted a more open culture, more innovative and more commercial; a little more structure, but no bureaucracy. And more initiative of the workers themselves."
He realized that he could not make this alone, and decided to organize a meeting for all employees. “That was a great success. We have jointly created a business plan, we have made the structure transparent and drawn job profiles and we have made an action list of things that we would like to change or want to do. For example, on the list  there was the idea for a customer survey. We formed work groups to address those ideas. In advance we thought we should not put too much ambition in that, since then we just would be disappointed again. But almost everything has been realized; our people are very excited.”
Despite the crisis the company has a lot of orders and Mens would like to grow from the current 22 employees to about 30. “But it is very difficult to find good employees. There are very few good maintenance people with experience in asset management, in the Netherlands. We also ask a lot of our people. They not only must understand asset management, they should be able to sell themselves as well. We have no commercial department, so we expect  them to see opportunities and that they know how to exploit them. This requires certain commercial skills which many technicians often find disturbing. And they need to know how to achieve change in organisations. Imagine that you come as youngster of thirty at a public transport company with all employees +55 who are used to work in a certain way for thirty years.”

Because IES cannot compete with the big agencies in the battle for scarce talent, it has embraced a similar philosophy as the Dutch soccer: it educates its own people. This does IES together with its clients, in such a way that a pool of young professional asset managers is created with experience in various fields.  “We enjoy working with teams at the customer, where we make a mix of trainees, mediors and seniors." That also requires a lot of the people and of the organisation. “For example, we expect our seniors to coach our trainees and to support them in their growth, but at the same time to give them the room to grow."
It also requires a lot of the organisation. “We are not here in the office the whole day to make things align; we are mainly at the clients place. Then you have to have clear what you stand for and what your mission is. If you have a clear vision, it is also easier to manage young people.

The company is growing and the staff have trained themselves.

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