Stronger together

We won’t just let MeeMaken’s 10th anniversary pass us by. This should be celebrated in a spectacular way. How? Each month, we let one of the 13 companies share their experiences. After all, we do it together. So in one year, ten years of development of the companies is told. Maikel Takken (CEO of KenzFigee) and Martin Meijer (VP Services of KenzFigee) kick off this month’s edition with the key term: together.

What has changed for you since the start of the collaboration with MeeMaken?

“Before my appointment as CEO at KenzFigee last year, I worked for two of our sister companies. There I experienced the transition up close. First at as Head of Projects. And later at Alltec Lifting Systems as Managing Director. MeeMaken is very focused on collaboration, commitment and progress. What I mainly see is a personal, connected and driven way of working. It is great to see that this indirectly affects the subsidiaries,” says Maikel.

Martin, on the other hand, has been with the company for 40 years and has seen a lot of change at KenzFigee: “I remember the old KenzFigee, where we had a clear division between departments. What we experience at MeeMaken now is quite different. We work more closely together and make use of our sister companies where possible. Of course you are still accountable for your own deliverables, but this is very different from before. That has also been a turning point for us.”

What challenges has KenzFigee overcome in the last few years?

Maikel: “We have a lot of challenges behind us, but there are still some ahead of us. Like many other companies we have faced the challenge of adapting into this rapidly changing market where a shift towards renewable energy sources is taking place. The internal workings of the company have changed a lot. On the outside, a crane still looks like a crane, but the customers and the demands have changed. This has a significant impact on the organization and its design.”

Martin: “In our services we are noticing the energy transition as well. Especially with the wind industry emerging strongly. To take part in it you have to innovate yourself and dare to set a new course.”

Maikel further adds: “We are committed to transform the company and make the future more sustainable. MeeMaken really contributes to that goal as well.”

What are the challenges that you still need to overcome?

Maikel: “At the moment the supply chain poses a major challenge. Electrical components in particular are difficult to source. This is partly due to the aftermath of COVID-19, but also the current turbulence in the economy, and the terrible situation in the Ukraine. Because components are hard to come by, one of the things you need to do is increase your inventory. Many companies are forced to do the same while the supply of components is decreasing. This makes the problem even worse.”

Martin adds: “In addition, like for many companies, finding new employees is quite a challenge for us.”

“We are committed to transform the company and make the future more sustainable”

Where do you notice the strengthening of MeeMaken?

Maikel: “Mainly in our collaboration. The great thing about MeeMaken is that it now consists of multiple companies, who have a strategic common ground between them. It is noticeable that each member strengthens the others.”

Martin: “We regularly complement each other, which brings us synergy. For example, recently a project leader from Selmers and helped us out with several projects.”

Maikel: “Furthermore, we work a lot with LiftWerx, where our experience and ambition combined with LiftWerx’s vision results in a win-win. In the area of engineering, and KenzFigee work together regularly and Topshore helps us recruit new employees.”

KenzFigee has also been able to return the favor: “Equipment for is built at KenzFigee and we also build the cranes for LiftWerx. It’s great when you can do this with each other.” Maikel says proudly.

Maikel continues: “In addition to the strategic overlap, you really are stronger together. MeeMaken is a good sparring partner, which also applies to our sister companies. If we are working on complex issues, we look within our group to see who has the right knowledge on that specific subject and meet with them.”

Are there any opportunities or possible improvements you’d like to see within your collaboration with MeeMaken?

Maikel: “The nice thing about MeeMaken is that the sister companies are free to seek each other out and work together. In this way the cooperation is encouraged and promoted, but certainly not mandatory. Personally, I think that if MeeMaken would promote this a bit more, even more would be possible.”

He continues: “Each company should be able to support itself. You shouldn’t be dependent too much on each other, but there are even more opportunities within MeeMaken if you intensify the cooperation. In addition, acquisition of new companies with strategic overlaps would obviously also be a positive contribution for us.”

Finally, what does collaboration actually mean for KenzFigee?

Martin: “If I look at my own department for a moment, we are a team that has worked together for a long time, and we are working like a well-oiled machine now. We are very open and care about each other and help where possible. This also prevents a lot of mistakes because everyone is aware of each other. Personally, I really like the fact that we complement each other, both solicited and unsolicited.”

Maikel: “Together is just more fun and it drives you forward. In the end, we all go to work in the morning and we want to enjoy our day. If you can learn and grow by working together, you can see that reflected not only in your personal development but also in the company and product. I find that very fascinating to see.”

Martin concludes with: “You also see that employees are getting more motivated. They help you where they can, and you only get that when there is a good atmosphere within the company.”

“MeeMaken is a good sparring partner, which also applies to our sister companies”