BART DIRVEN | COO INFRA

'Continuous learning'

Bart Dirven has been working at A.Hak since March 2018 and in this interview he looks back on his first year as Chief Operational Officer Infra. Ordinary general manager is also allowed', he jokes. That's a lot better for my people anyway. That says something about A.Hak. We are a company in which you meet many sober approachers. I think the slogan "Getting the job done" suits us very well. We always make sure that the job is done and do everything we can to satisfy the customer.
This mentality gives us a good reputation. And rightly so, because our employees are skilled and committed. The other day I was at our anniversary party, where colleagues were honoured after 25 or even 40 years of service. A jubilarian had brought his father with him. He had worked at A.Hak for 52 years. The love for A.Hak was passed on from generation to generation within that family. We want to maintain that family feeling while continuing to work on our internal professionalisation.

Continuing to professionalize

It's very good to focus on the outside world, on the customer, but we shouldn't forget our work inside either. The relationship with our clients is becoming increasingly businesslike and professional. That is why we must continue to work on improving our processes and our preparation. Just getting the job done is no longer enough. The client gives us more responsibility when it comes to planning, engineering, communication with residents and applying for permits, for example. If we leave it there, the work outside will come to a standstill. We must avoid the associated failure costs.

Administrative handling also plays an important role. Writing production quickly and submitting the invoice is good for our cash flow. Starting a conversation in advance about extra work avoids a lot of hassle afterwards. If you don't, you will have to deal with the downside of "Getting the job done". Then the job is finished, but the reward is not in order.

Knowledge in the organisation

Bart is proud of the steps his organization has taken in the past year when it comes to learning from each other within the company. We have a very decentralised organisation. That's logical, because we work from different locations throughout the country. What you have to ensure is that people see each other regularly, otherwise you can't share experiences and learn from each other. That's what we've done with the monthly meetings of the company managers.
I also found the first Hakathon, in which we talked for 12 hours with a varied group of colleagues about improvement actions, to be very successful. I want to focus even more on this in the coming year. There is so much knowledge in the organisation, it's a shame not to make use of it anymore'.