The start of Maxicon Engineering



Under the leadership of Tom Mannaert, a new division is starting up within Maxicon. In addition to blue-collar and white-collar workers, you can now count on engineers in various fields. Discover the mission and what the division stands for in a personal interview.
Bye Tom, briefly introduce yourself.


Tom: "I am Tom Mannaert, 28 years old and have just started with Maxicon Engineering. I have a Bachelor's degree in Industrial International Business Management and about six years of work experience in recruitment. During my studies, I never thought I would end up in this sector. However, the international character, the challenging sales and networking opportunities really appealed to me, and so I fell in love with the sector straight away. I then started up in Ghent and set up everything for niche construction.


After about a year and a half, I made the choice to move to the Antwerp office. Simply because there were growth opportunities for team-lead positions there. In Antwerp, I continued to build my team until the beginning of this year. Initially I expanded the construction niche, but later switched to production & maintenance. In these niches, many complex material issues arise, which also excite me enormously. As a manager of a team of eight, I have seen different facets of leadership and have been able to manage my team successfully. Until one day I was presented with the opportunity of Maxicon Engineering and could not refuse it."



What professional experiences led to your current position as Business Unit Manager?


Tom: "Mainly sales and negotiating in general. I always find it interesting to talk to people from the HR sector to see how they do business and the path they have taken. I can draw knowledge from this and convert it into my own experience and development. HR is much more than just recruitment, networking is also a huge strength.


I have no concrete experience with outsourcing, but I do have experience with freelance collaborations which is similar. To me, outsourcing is particularly fascinating because you control everything yourself. It goes beyond mauling someone with a job and done. You take care of your team and act more as a career coach/architect. You So you establish a long-term relationship with those people and are actively involved in each other's lives."


What attracted you to AM Group / Maxicon?


Tom: "On the one hand, the new aspect of outsourcing., iI like to keep learning. Iken I also needed something new.,, iI wanted to get rid of that automatic pilot. I also want to be able to develop myself further and I found this in this opportunity. I met several people who intrigued me with their experience and expertise. I would like to learn fromFrom those people I would like to learn and build something successful together. In addition, the family character of the group also appealed to me. Everyone wants to grow together and supports each other to take steps. Here really 1+ 1 = 3."


What does Maxicon Engineering do?


Tom: "At Maxicon Engineering, companies can call on consulting engineers. We specify ourselves in four pillars: R&D, energy, manufacturing and maintenance. Why those four? Production and maintenance because these are the environments where engineers will always be needed. On the one hand for machine maintenance, on the other for study research and efficiency in the production process. By continuing to do research on a daily basis, small adjustments arise that allow more sales to be generated. R&D is more focused on researching new avenues. This is broader than just maintenance, also for sectors such as chemistry and pharmabiotech. A lot of aspects in this contribute to the general growth of society. Finally, energy, especially energy transition, which is unthinkable these days. Especially in that, it is important to work with the right methodologies and implementations of new technologies. These processes bring general, societal improvements. If it were easy, this would have been realised long ago because everything keeps evolving every day. Instead, these fields offer complex issues that provide an intellectual trigger for engineers.


Engineering is active throughout Flanders, but the focus is currently on East Flanders, West Flanders and Antwerp. In the first two, Maxicon is already known, so we can reap the benefits. Today, we still operate from Roeselare, but soon I will move to Antwerp. The port there offers a lot of opportunities. There is also a high employment rate, which is why we chose Antwerp. That doesn't change anything about the service area. This remains Flanders, but we don't want to get ahead of ourselves. It is important that we focus first and then expand further."

What makes you different in the market?


Tom: "For me, transparency is at the heart of the Engineering story. I want to be completely transparent both along the consultants' side and that of the client partners. Everyone only benefits from communicating as clearly as possible and not creating false promises."


What are the first goals?

Tom: "The first goal is to generate brand awareness and put Maxicon Engineering on the map. It is also important to put together a strong team of consultants. We want to provide good representatives who are proud to carry our name and build on it. Our engineers are therefore our calling card with customers."


How do you sense the market today?


Tom: "The need in the market is definitely there, it is important to be able to fill certain positions without having to stop production. Standing still is always going backwards, especially in those certain segments. There is a huge amount of competition, but that keeps us on our toes. It is important to establish long-term customer relationships and be able to invest. That way, we can become preferred partners and work from our own strength as we grow.


On the other hand, there are candidate consultants. For people just starting out or in mid-career and not knowing exactly what they are interested in, consultancy is an ideal solution. They have a fixed contract and we provide them with tailor-made projects. If, after some time, they notice that a project is not up to expectations, we can provide something else to adjust and really look at what suits them personally. We can also make proactive suggestions from our experience. In this way, we create the opportunity to get a taste of new niches and/or sectors without risk.


For someone who is an expert in a certain field, it can also be interesting to implement this in different companies instead of If someone is an expert in a certain field, it can also be interesting to implement this in different companies instead of being stuck in the same chair for years. Training is also an asset. You work together with fellow engineers where we can learn from each other by organising internal and external training courses. That way, you don't get stuck and consultants can continue to develop and grow to where you want to be. Finally, we are also our consultants' advocates. We make sure all the paperwork is in order so that everything is ready when they start. We are available 24/7 to answer their questions."


What does the future hold for Maxicon Engineering?


Tom: "If I could choose a fifth pillar I would say automotive. That's where great strides are being made today. From standard combustion engines to hybrid or even electric. Everything around that are new technologies that didn't exist 100 years ago. That involves a lot of testing. As a second choice, I would go for biotech, the specific combination. That's where it goes further from pharma to biotech. of technology and the pharmaceutical industry offers huge new respects.


In the very long term, beyond 5 years, I wish to be a reference in the engineering world. Such that we can even provide added value to society and complete assignments for public companies in and outside Belgium. Belgium's borders should not limit us. If we look at our neighbouring countries, especially the Netherlands and Germany, there are huge players active in our field. Also Iinternationally, such as in the United States and Asia, there are huge markets there too, certainly in terms of R&D. The sky is the limit. The sky is the limit, but we first have to make sure that the foundations are laid down concretely and correctly. That way, we can grow from a strong foundation into a European or even international consultancy."

Roeselare HQ

Onledebeekstraat 15
8800 Roeselare

051 79 20 20


Proeftuinstraat 48
9000 Ghent

09 230 08 80


Industrieweg-Noord 1195A
3660 Oudsbergen

089 82 10 10


Frankrijklei 5
2000 Antwerp

0474 835 775

BE 0642.741.301
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