‘Our innovation programmes inspire and generate customer value’
I am responsible for BAM Belgium’s innovation programmes, with which we aim to improve margins and enhance both client and employee satisfaction. The ‘Future Forward’ programme focuses on new markets, while our ‘Lean’ and ‘Data’ programmes revolve around doing the right things and doing them better.
For Future Forward we organised a three-day event in which around 100 colleagues shared ideas to take advantage of new market opportunities. Out of no less than 1,000 ideas the Innovation Board selected seven for further development. One excellent example is ‘dynamic infrastructure in school areas’, a logistic concept to improve safety around schools by controlling the flow of traffic. Within Lean we have developed a method of continuous improvement that we are rolling out across the organisation. It has already been applied in the training of several project teams and their managers.
I take pride in the concrete results of the Data programme, where we fast tracked the development of a data warehouse app, performance indicators and all. Within six weeks we built an app that in real time shows things such as asphalt production data or safety results, without the need for manual intervention. After this demonstration of our ability to develop ready-to-use applications in a short time and on a modest budget we are now confidently looking to take more such initiatives.
What energises me most is building good teams and then challenging and inspiring them – enabling them to act proactively and creatively. After all, rather than limiting ourselves to solving problems as they arise, it’s better (and more fun) to create customer value proactively. This is one area in which the competence of our people will help us do things better and faster. If we can utilise the right knowledge and working methods and learn to build on those in a scalable manner, then we have struck gold.
It is my personal ambition to better utilise our potential to come up with innovative and profitable solutions for crucial societal issues such as mobility and energy.