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A brand new apartment complex, Waterside II, is being built directly next to the famous Van Brienenoord Bridge in the south of Rotterdam. One hundred and thirteen appartments and eleven ground level houses are being built by general contractor Staton Bouw. Boels and Staton Bouw have already worked together in the past. In this project, Boels Rental is the one stop solution who thinks along with the customer and works to complete the project by the end of 2023. We spoke to those involved at Staton and Boels during a work meeting at the construction site…
As you drive towards Rotterdam from the Van Brienenoord Bridge, you can already see the complex under construction. In the meantime, four floors are already under scaffolding. Two cranes are busy lifting load after load to the top floor. Alongside the grey concrete of the building, the orange of Boels also instantly catches your eye. In one of the eleven units, we met with Staton Work Site Supervisor Peter Moree, Staton Project Manager Michel van Veluw, and Eddy Vedder, Project Manager on behalf of Boels Site Preparation.
Construction at Waterside II is progressing at a steady pace. “As it looks now, we’ll be delivering this project in December,” says Peter Moree, who has worked with Boels in the past. “Yes, back then it was mostly about fencing and electricity. But this project involves a bit more than that. It’s not your standard box of bricks. This complex construction requires craftsmanship on our part as well as that of the subcontractors. It’s a nice challenging job for us as a company.”
Initially, the requirements consisted mainly of drawing up and constructing an electricity and water plan, and placing the units. During the discussions that followed, a lot more was added, including edge protection, stair towers, walkie-talkies and turnstiles, Eddy Vedder recalls. “Over the past several years, our product range has grown enormously. We carry so many specialist products. It’s only logical that customers don’t generally know about everything we offer. All the more important for us to communicate well and be proactive. That saves time and, ultimately, money.”
The one stop sollution
Eddy is the point of contact from Boels for the people at Staton. If they need anything, Eddy is the one who arranges it at Boels. Here, the right pace is critical. “Yes, we’re able to stay on schedule because we can rely on partners who understand that we can’t wait around for them. We ask, and they jump. If they don’t have something or not enough of it in stock, they procure it. We like that,” said Peter. Eddy added, “Yes, you’re talking about the edge protection. That’s right – it’s coming directly from the factory in Sweden specifically for this contract.” Collaboration between the companies is going well.
It’s not companies that are working together but people who are doing business with each other, and that’s very positive!
What advantages does the collaboration offer? “Yes, it’s definitely the personal contact, but also the way they proactively contribute as well as the scope of their product range. It’s taken the pressure off us completely. Staton is also a growing modern construction company. We intentionally have very little equipment of our own, which makes us ‘agile’. That’s why we look for partners who offer professionalism and who can support us with the right equipment,” explained Project Manager Michel van Veluw.
And which is more important, price or quality of service? “Yeah, that’s a tricky one. Without a good price, you’ve got no enquiries, but without good service, you’ve got no future,” Peter said decisively. “But we often consciously choose partners who are not necessarily the cheapest, but who we can count on to take the pressure off during projects.” Nothing is more frustrating than if my people have a bunch of extra work because of poor service, or worse, if we fall behind schedule,” Michel added.
At the end of our conversation, Boels Account Manager Maurice Brons managed to join us. “Sorry guys, I was busy with the chippy van that’s about to fry up some nice chips for everyone at the construction site.” Maurice can often be found at the site. “Yes, I like to stay in good contact. I’m happy to hear that the customer is satisfied, that everything is being properly installed by our technicians and that we’re delivering what we promised on time. At the end of the day, that’s the essence of the service we stand for as a company.”