Winkels Techniek: a modern family business with a clear vision for the future

Enjoying work, craftsmanship, reducing waste, and ownership — these are the core values of Winkels Techniek. Over the years, the company has transformed from an installer to a full-fledged technology partner. Director Niek Leferink and HR manager Noortje Bellucci share the story of this Enschede-based family business.

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During the interview, one core value of Winkels Techniek stands out: having fun. Many amusing anecdotes are shared around the table, and Director Niek Leferink’s eyes light up as he enthusiastically recounts them. "Having fun at work is the most important thing," he says. "Of course, everyone has bad days, myself included. But for the majority of days, we want our employees to enjoy working here and to feel part of the team effort."

A crucial factor in maintaining this enjoyment is giving employees the space to grow. This is where the idea of ownership comes in. "That’s the beauty of this company; you have the freedom to do what you want," says Noortje. "What’s thought of today can be done tomorrow. We’d rather someone make a wrong decision than make no decision at all. This mindset is appreciated. People are listened to. If something needs to be improved, we do it. This also helps maintain enjoyment."

From Trainee to Director

Niek is a living example of what can happen when you’re given the space to grow. He started as a trainee at Winkels in 2008 and gradually moved up the ranks. Since 2021, he has been part of the company’s management team, along with Eddy and Henk Winkels. "I studied technical computer science and wanted to start my own business. However, my father suggested I work for someone else first. I saw a trainee vacancy at Winkels, went for an interview, and never left. After just two months, I became an engineer, six months later a project leader, and before I knew it, I was managing the entire Building Management department. It all happened very quickly." The final step was becoming a director. "When Henk decided to retire, Eddy asked if I was interested in joining the management team to help take the company to the next level."

Transition

Since joining Winkels Techniek, Niek has been partly responsible for the company’s transition. The days when Winkels focused solely on installation technology are long gone. As of 2024, the company is a technology partner for its clients. "Besides electrical engineering, we increasingly focus on mechanical engineering, security, and IT," Niek explains. "This is a unique combination. Other installers often collaborate with different parties, but we do everything in-house, covering all aspects of building-related installation."

 

Winkels Techniek operates in various markets, including hospitals and care facilities, residential and commercial construction, and industry. The company also provides service and maintenance for installations. This diversity creates a strong foundation. At the same time, Winkels keeps up with the times, working extensively with data. "We aim for continuous improvement," Niek explains. "We look for smarter ways to do things. For example, in maintenance. With our IT knowledge, we can remotely read data from installations. If a boiler has issues, we can order a replacement part in advance. When we then visit the client, we have everything we need with us. This is much more efficient than before, when installers sometimes had to make multiple trips."

 

As a member of the new generation of directors, Niek also considers Winkels’ ecological footprint. He believes in circularity—reusing materials to reduce waste. "In recent years, we’ve noticed that supply of raw materials has become an issue. So, we look at whether we can reuse things. Working efficiently is also part of reducing waste. Nothing is more wasteful than repeatedly driving back and forth. Another great example of our focus on circularity is our new building. It was used as a temporary courthouse in Amsterdam. It was dismantled there and is being reassembled at the Kennispark. It’s wonderful to give a building a second life in this way."

Personnel

These conscious choices are characteristic of Winkels. Decisions are made in daily operations as well as in the search for personnel. "No matter how tight the market is, we don’t just hire any technical specialist," says Noortje. "We focus a lot on people’s mindset. Do they fit in here or not? We give people the chance to develop their skills and train them in our Winkels Academy. If we see someone has potential, we work with them to grow together. It’s important to us that they are open to this."

 

This vision makes Winkels Techniek the company it is today: a modern family business with a clear vision for the future. "A lot is going to happen in the coming years," Niek predicts. "We have consciously chosen this path, to offer IT and installation technology under one roof. We expect this to take off in the coming years. And the great thing is, we already have it in-house."

More information

Euregioweg 255
7532 SM Enschede
088 426 20 00 info@winkelstechniek.nl https://winkelstechniek.nl

Date: 12 February 2024 |

Source of tekst: Winkels Techniek, Niek Leferink & Noortje Bellucci |

Author: Willem Korenromp

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