If you want to get ahead, you have to reflect

We are celebrating ten years of MeeMaken. How? By letting one of the thirteen MeeMaken companies speak up every month. This month, we’re talking to Henk van den IJssel, Managing Director of Blue Offshore, about the term ‘Reflection’. “It’s energizing to see what we can achieve with a small team.” 

Why does the term ‘reflection’ fit well with Blue Offshore?

“Blue Offshore provides services in the offshore installation sector,” Henk begins. “Our focus lies in the transportation and laying of flexible cables and pipes. We accomplish this with two carousels with a diameter of 23 meters. Each carousel can hold 5,000 tons of cable, equivalent to 40 to 60 kilometers. We transport the carousels with cables on a vessel. We offer complete service, including the rental and transportation of the carousel, along with supporting equipment such as loading towers, tensioners, and control units. We also provide assistance with the loading and unloading of the product through our crew, as well as all engineering and project management, including project-specific modifications.”

The company is doing well now, but that wasn’t always the case. Henk explains, “Blue Offshore was founded in 2010, and the carousels and loading towers were delivered in 2012 and 2014. It’s an interesting sector we operate in. We have gone through various developments and adapted accordingly, which has led to our current success. However, it definitely required some moments of reflection.”

“It’s energizing to see what we can achieve with a small team.”

What has reflection brought to your company now?

Henk explains: “I was hired a year ago to transform Blue Offshore into a healthy and profitable enterprise and to determine our future direction as a company. If you want to move forward, you need to reflect; carefully examine what works and what doesn’t. And more importantly, discover your strengths and build upon them. We realized our position was strong. We were in a good market, with excellent equipment, solid references and a great team. It became evident that our way of working needed to change. We have now made these changes. The dynamics within the company have been restored based on common sense. By empowering people, giving them ownership and accountability for their tasks, they became willing to take more responsibility for their work. This resulted in improved motivation and performance. It’s something that was always there!”

“The role of MeeMaken as co-owner has also changed,” Henk says. “When Blue Offshore became part of MeeMaken in 2018, MeeMaken initially held a 70% ownership stake, while the founder retained the remaining 30%. However, this division created too much turmoil. Eventually, MeeMaken became the sole owner. took 100% ownership. Reflecting on it, this has been a good decision.”

Henk van den IJssel

Do you also reflect on the collaboration with other MeeMaken companies?

“Not so much,” Henk responds. “Our company doesn’t have many direct connections with the other companies. Of course, we do interact with them to some extent: we rent part of our office space to LiftWerx, and if we need equipment, MeeMaken companies like KenzFigee or Eager.one have an advantage. However, we also maintain a business-oriented approach. Being part of MeeMaken does not mean you’re obligated to collaborate with the other companies, of course. Within the group, efforts are made to achieve synergy. I always approach it from a business perspective; it has to add value to Blue Offshore. That’s also my responsibility here. But that doesn’t mean I’m not open to collaborations!

Reflecting on your developments, what are your future plans?

”We currently have several projects underway at Blue Offshore, so we can start looking ahead again. “Together with MeeMaken, I am considering our future plans,” says Henk. “Looking at where we’ve come from, we have a bright future ahead. The sectors we work in are constantly evolving, and so is our work. The direction we take could involve expanding our current operations by designing and building more equipment or acquiring existing equipment. Adding specialization in storage or repair systems is also an option for further diversification.

In all cases, we anticipate growth for our current team. We may invest in a similar company through acquisition or merger, or we may embark on an entirely different path. Each option has its own advantages. The timing for growth is excellent now; the company is in an upward flow and the market is favorable. Additionally, it’s important for MeeMaken as the owner to be involved in the strategy to make the right moves at the right time. We will continue on the upward path we have taken, and then look back at where we started. It’s energizing to reflect on the past years; observing quickly changes happen both internally and externally, and realizing what we can achieve with a small team.”

“If you want to move forward, you need to reflect; carefully examine what works and what doesn’t.”