Arnout de Hair, CEO De Boer Group, about worldwide working and the impact of the digitization.

Digitization in Dutch - our interview with the CEO De BOER Group

Arnout de Hair, CEO De Boer Group, about worldwide working and the impact of the digitization.

Q Studieninstitut: “Nearly everybody is speaking about the mega-trend growing digitization, the impact concerning our lives, the future of the companies, etc..
It’s also the main theme at the fair. De Boer is well-known for its fast growing business. How much does the digitization run the company - with regard to the peoples work and with regard to the accounts, the clients you are working for?”
A Arnout de Hair, CEO De Boer Group: “With regard to digitization of formerly analog processes, we have for instance switched to invoice scanning to handle invoices digitally, and our logistics operations now makes extensive use of hand scanners during material pinking to book materials out of and into SAP. Our R&D and CAD department have upgraded software and machines which now allows for full 3D modelling and visualisations. Designs that were formerly provided as drawings on paper can now be rendered into various types of digital media, with effects that near reality, and even in movies, as augmented reality and even virtual reality.
The latest is the transformation from paper project documentation and folders to a secure central digitized online project environment called It is aimed at our clients and our employees, both in the office and in operations in the field. The centralized system provides secure access to a central database of project administration.”

Q: “Do you think the ongoing digitization will boost your profits?”
A. “Yes. Firstly it helps to reduce errors. Also we have reduced print costs significantly. But it has also opened up parts of the world that were otherwise unreachable in traditional media. Our website is reachable and visited by the entire world, bringing in request and projects far away from our offices. Communication tools such as a chat function on the site allow us to cheaply get in touch in a very early phase of orientation.”

Q: “Would you agree to the following Quote: 'The Internet usage will also change our business and our companies radically in the next coming years. How far is this already part of your reality'?”
A: “The internet already increased our reach geographically, being able to communicate easily with the entire world. The effect of 3D printing, which we expect will come into wide spread use in a couple of years from now, will be big. We already use 3D printing during the design phase of our newest models. It is only a matter of time before we can use this technology widely for our clients. We could transfer the designs of parts to other parts of the world and print locally instead of having to ship them, will reduce costs and increase the level of personalization we can offer clients. However, it can also prove a threat to event locations, with for instance virtual reality coming in as a substitute for real event locations for certain functions, especially congresses.”

Q. “Where do you have to invest most while facing this process of digitization for your own company?”
A. “Big investments have already been made in software and moving our IT to the cloud, and most recently in a new website and project management portal, a custom built digital tool that streamlines our internal processes and reduces the pain of project administration for clients. We have also invested heavily in visualization techniques such as Revid, and expect to invest much more to improve both the visualization with augmented and virtual reality tools, but also link these procedures to our logistics systems and planning tools, so all people are working efficiently using that same data. Bringing these separate pools of software and data together and using them to create added value both internally and externally will be a big challenge, both operationally and financially, but one that cannot be avoided. It is only one step to invest financially, but another to invest in your people and clients, to train them, to change their working procedures, their behavior. That will take time and focus, because there are so many developments that you need to be able to pick out the ones that are key to your business.”

Q: “250 employees are working for De Boer. Which qualifications do you need most?”
A: “We need people who are extremely customer oriented, flexible and open to new tools, techniques and digital solutions. Not only in the office where computers have been around for years, but now also the operational side, where in the old days muscles and team management skills were key prerequisites but now also the good use of digital platforms such as our new project tool will be playing a central part in their roles.”

“Thank you very much, Mr. de Hair.”

De Boer, Laanenderweg 11, 1812 PW, Alkmaar, The Netherlands
Postbus 446, 1800 AK, Alkmaar, The Netherlands
t: +31 72 5400 444, f: +31 72 5475 293, e:

You can talk with Arnout de Hair at the fair, for example during or after our CAREER HUB and the roundtable “Stress out - the education agenda 2020 digital”. We show how and above all what companies should make to get their employees fit for the next coming future.

from 14:00 to 14:45 
Further guests are: 
Prof. Cornelia Zanger, Univ. Professorin, TU Chemnitz//
Klaus Grimmer, Geschäftsführer, Unternehmensberatung GmbH kg-u//
Andreas Weber, Geschäftsführer, expopartner GmbH//
Michael Hosang, Geschäftsführer, Studieninstitut für Kommunikation GmbH

Following: AWARD AWARD INA & BEA AWARD starting at 6

Image source: De BOER

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