New Year wishes from our ceo & general manager
1. Can you briefly introduce yourselves and what your roles are within the company?
Emmanuel:" I am Emmanuel Bekaert, inmy role as CEO of Maxicon,my main responsibility is to maintain and enhance our reputation in the industry. This includes closely monitoring our recruitment process to ensure that we attract only the most highly qualified and passionate talents. Our ultimate goal is to be recognised as the undisputed benchmark in project sourcing, an ambition we constantly pursue by maintaining focus on quality in all our business activities.
Moreover, financial management plays a crucial role in my role. At Maxicon, we have an extremely thoughtful approach to financial management. Every euro is weighed and analysed with the utmost care. We follow a principle where we figuratively turn every euro five times before deciding on investments. This strategy enables us to make well-considered and smart investment decisions that not only drive our growth but also further strengthen and consolidate our position in the market. It is an approach that allows us to effectively manage our financial resources while achieving our business objectives."
Trui:"I am Trui Goderis, on today I am General Manager within Maxicon. My role within Maxicon ... which is very broad. Specifically, it is to be responsible for the general operation of the company. What does this entail? Strategic management, operational management, personnel management, customer relations, etc. At important moments, I have to dare to make decisions and set goals for the entire team and company. Also, our mission is to send quality people to our customers and I monitor this mission daily with our team. Because honestly, we don't want to be the biggest, but we do want to be the best in our business."
2. Let's start by looking back at the past year. How did you experience 2023?
Trui: "If I can be very honest, 2023 was a year of pulling and tugging. It was a difficult one for Maxicon but we managed to keep it stable. We had to deal with inflation at the beginning of the year which resulted in high wage indexations, staff turnover and heavy energy costs. We noticed this not only at Maxicon but also at many of our customers."
Emmanuel: "The year 2023 has emerged as a year of challenging scenarios for Maxicon, but also of promising opportunities. We faced the challenges of remarkable inflation, resulting in unprecedented wage indexations and significant increases in energy costs. These economic conditions left their mark and led to a striking trend in which many companies temporarily put their investment plans on hold. Nevertheless, we at Maxicon have resolutely adopted a proactive approach and a forward-looking approach by investing in sustainability. We have invested considerable capital in green energy initiatives. This is manifested, for instance, in fully equipping our roofs with high-quality solar panels and installing multiple charging points for electric vehicles in our car park. "
3. Are there any highlights that stay with you this year?
Trui: "Definitely and definitely. Because I faced some challenges last year, I bumped into myself a bit. Sometimes you make decisions and have to conclude that it wasn't always the right decision. It was quite a bumpy course but for me it was year that I got to know myself better which made me change my approach a bit and I will take this into 2024.
The main highlights for me were the summer bbq where all employees could come with their partners. We enjoyed that immensely as a team because without our employees we are nowhere and events like this create a good bond and keep us as close to our people as possible. And finally our internal servants. We had to search a bit to create a stable team again but in the autumn we took a number of decisions that I still support 300% and believe in that we will start 2024 with a very strong team."
4. Are there (technical) changes, e.g. the arrival of AI, digitalisation, automation, in the sector that have affected Maxicon and what steps have you taken to respond to them?
Emmanuel: "In today's dynamic and constantly evolving world, it is extremely important to constantly innovate and adapt to the latest technological developments. At Maxicon, we fully realise the impact of technological advances on our industry. That is why we have taken active steps in our business processes. Since September, we have focused intensively on developing our own ERP system. This customised system is designed to fully automate and digitise our workflow, with significant integration of AI technologies. The implementation of this system will not only significantly increase our operational efficiency, but will also completely eliminate repetitive tasks.
However, it is essential to stress that, despite these impressive technological advances, we will always keep the human aspect paramount. Job interviews and personal interactions will continue to play a crucial role in our recruitment process. We are convinced that the synergy between advanced technology and personal contact will allow us to maintain and guarantee both operational efficiency and the highest quality standards. It is this combination that will continue to differentiate us in the market and take us to new heights."
Trui:"Within Maxicon, we have indeed chosen to implement a system where there is effective AI involved. Digitalisation and automation is extremely important today. It allows us to unburden our internal clerks and allows them to focus on what really matters and that is our being ready for our employees, listening to them, making sure they are assigned the right projects and remain happy at Maxicon. In other words, their productivity and efficiency is thus increased."
"Our vision for the coming year includes three essential pillars: forging a stable and close-knit team, ensuring responsible and steady growth, and putting the well-being and joy of our valued employees at the heart of our business. We aim to create a working environment where our dedicated employees are not only recognised, but also fully supported in their growth and development."
- Emmanuel Bekaert, ceo
5. What are the main goals you have in mind for 2024?
Trui: " Retaining our team, both internal employees and our project sourcers. Recruitment has become a general problem and everyone experiences that finding technical and logistics candidates is very difficult today. For me, training is the new recruitment and we need to anticipate this. Listening to our employees because they are the beating heart and sharp eyes of our company.
We also want to strive for growth within our company. Today, we have 5 departments: Technix; technical workers, Xellent; technical hands-on operators, Engineering - master profiles, Retail and Logistix. This is all spread across the whole of Flanders. Our core business originates from blue-collar workers and we have a very strong pool of these. The focus this year will be on our branch in Limburg and the technical white-collar workers. We need to market these even more. In addition, we get a lot of requests for logistics workers and we are also putting a lot of effort into that.
It will not be obvious because it is a bit of a wait and see how the economy will fluctuate. Since 2019, the market has changed a lot and we have to realise that it will take some time until we will have such an economy again. But with a positive mindset, hard work and continuing to take care of our customers with quality employees, I do believe we should succeed."
Emmanuel: "Our vision for the coming year includes three essential pillars: forging a stable and cohesive team, ensuring responsible and steady growth, and focusing on the well-being and joy of our valued employees. We aim to create a working environment where our dedicated employees are not only recognised but also fully supported in their growth and development. This means investing in their professional development while building a strong corporate culture where a sense of commitment and appreciation is deeply embedded. Second, responsible and steady growth. We are aware of the risks associated with too rapid expansion.
Our priority is sustainable growth, which is in perfect harmony with our core values and long-term vision. This means attracting the right talent, carefully selecting from projects that match our expertise, and ensuring the quality of our work even as we expand our reach. Third, the well-being and joy of our employees. We believe that happy employees are the key to success. This includes not only offering competitive salaries and benefits, but also creating a working environment where everyone feels heard and respected. Our ultimate goal is to become the standard in project sourcing. This means being recognised for our deep expertise, innovative approach and ability to consistently deliver results of unparalleled quality. We want clients to think of us first when they are looking for a reliable partner."
6. How does Maxicon invest in talent development and management and w hat initiatives are in place to attract and retain high-quality professionals?
Trui: "We invest a lot in search tools to appeal to candidates, we also invest a lot in social media and we have a constant presence. Listening to the needs of candidates and employees will become a very important factor in 2024. This year we will invest in digitalisation and automation, but The Launch, our academy, is also coming up. This needs to be fully developed this year and for this our target is to implement it in 2025.
I also think we have to be flexible to our talent development strategy because the needs of an organisation but also of the market are so changing and we definitely have to take this into account and switch when it is needed. I feel that if we want to deliver lasting quality to our clients, we will also select more rigorously and our criteria will depend heavily not only on the skills of the candidates, but especially on the attitude. Is it someone who wants to grow with Maxicon, and who has the right skills, that's what we go for!"
7. Finally, a question about the future. How do you see the future of project sourcing evolving and what role do you want to play in it as a company?
Emmanuel: "The world of project sourcing has undergone an impressive evolution in recent decades, a development that has its origins in the practices of US companies that have established themselves in Belgium. These forward-thinking companies were the pioneers in bringing specialised technical talents in-house, a model introduced to our region from America about four decades ago. Since then, we have observed steady growth in this industry, not only in Belgium, but also in the rest of Europe.
At Maxicon, we are aware of this continuing upward trend and have positioned ourselves to play an active role in this dynamic and constantly evolving market. While we understand that future growth may not reach the same level as in the year 2019, we cherish an optimistic view of the continued expansion and development of the project sourcing sector.
As an organisation, our ambition is to be closely involved in this growth and contribute significantly to the further development of project sourcing. We are determined to continuously invest in our expertise and capabilities so that we can remain responsive to the changing demands of the market and best serve our valued clients. Our ultimate goal is not only to be part of this growth, but also to play a leading role in shaping the future of project sourcing, in which innovation and quality are central."
Trui: "I think project sourcing will continue to evolve. The needs within companies remain high, the flexibility that we offer remains 1 of the main reasons for using talent sourcing. Companies want to be able to respond quickly to project needs and that's where Maxicon offers the solution. Emmanuel and I are a tandem who don't like to sit still so if we are opportunities and follow the market closely, then I'm sure things will come about to continue to deliver and unburden our clients."
In 2024, these ambitious goals will guide and inspire us as we continue on our path to success. We enthusiastically look forward to what the future holds for us and embrace with determination the opportunities and challenges that await us!