IT director Van der Linden about the results of the BusinessITScan

Van der Linden reflects on processes, organization and ICT

Van der Linden group: a modern and specialized logistics service provider

The Van der Linden group in Waalwijk specializes in the storage and transport of furniture, length goods, shipping containers, and groupage in the Benelux and Germany. Van der Linden is a reliable family business established in 1941, led by the third generation: Sander, Nicola and John van der Linden. 90 employees work enthusiastically on quality, and they are proud of that. John van der Linden is responsible in the management for efficient business processes, ICT, information management and finance.

Versatile and sustainable

John van der Linden: ‘We have grown considerably this decade. We were raised with a "just do it mentality", but of course all employees of our company can be very proud of our work and our customers. In 2016, we celebrated our 75th anniversary this year. '

'In order to enable further growth, we opened a new logistics center for furniture logistics. The building has been designed for the future: it is equipped with LED lighting and solar panels. With our container terminal and express services, we are not only a versatile but also a sustainable logistics service provider. '

Why did you choose the BusinessITScan®

John van der Linden: 'After our rapid growth, we thought it would be wise to take a critical look at our processes, organization and ICT. But we did not want months of analysis, we wanted to take clear steps. I heard about the BusinessITScan, and then used the free sneak preview with the management. That gave a good first insight into where we are, and to start a conversation together'.

'We then used the full BusinessITScan with 10 colleagues. They automatically received an invitation out of the tool, to answer role-dependent questions on the internet. This gave us a quick insight into the satisfaction of our Management and our users with IT, the importance of IT for our organization, many facts and opinions, and areas for improvement in our processes and information systems. With the real time dashboard and advisory report, we directly had an overview of our priorities and clear recommendations. This resulted in a better mutual understanding of the relevant themes.’

First organize, then automate

'The dashboard and the advisory report with the Six IT success factors showed us where we could improve. In an interactive workshop we discussed this with a core group of colleagues. We are a transportion company, so we are practical people. It was very useful to answer the simple question after the workshop: "What do you do?". We have thus been able to improve the main process, the sub-processes and the tasks within them, step-by-step '. John continues: ‘We work for different customers, and we noticed that we could make our processes more customer-oriented and a lot easier. By organizing this first, we also have a better basis to automate more. That's a big plus.’

Where do you stand, in early 2019?

John explains: ‘In the meantime we have had the following consultations with the core group. We shared insights, discussed changes, and the new starting points for the future. It was useful to look back and to look forward with the managers of our organization’.

'Our process has been clarified, we have developed a clear organization and meeting structure, and we have determined which improvements we will implement in processes and IT. We have also discussed our new core values with each other’. John grins: ‘That may sound somewhat chic for a logistics service provider, but we agreed with the consultant of IT’s Teamwork, that it is good to make clear what we want to be.'

Core values: KOERS

'We also started thinking about a clear and meaningful word to connect all colleagues. That was a very nice process, because we also got an idea of the mindsets of our colleagues. For one colleague, operations is important, while financials are important for another. Each time we drew the same conclusion: our customers really are key. Our services are often truly customized.’

The result of thinking about the core values is great. John: ‘The new core values of our company are: Customer-oriented, Open, Honest, Cost-Effective and Social. [In Dutch: Klantgericht, Open, Eerlijk, Rendabel and Sociaal]. Every time we talk to each other, we notice that KOERS has become an anchor for us in a short time. It was nice and useful to notice this with the core group, and to promote it within our company!'