Together we go for (Olympic) gold
Just like its guests, Papendal goes for gold. And with that it sets the bar high for its partners as well. Working together with Papendal asks for flexibility, versatility and commitment. How EW Facility Services puts this into practice? Jochem Schellens, director Papendal, and Bas Cornelissen, director EW Facility Services, gladly tell you more.
You say Papendal, you say top-level sport. But much more happens here. At Papendal top sport, the business world and tourism come together. For competitions, events, training sessions, conferences or a weekend away. Such a versatile organisation brings dynamics with it. So many different users, so many different wishes and expectations. At Papendal guests and visitors are number 1. And expect the same from a facilities partner like EW Facility Services. 'Versatility, that's where it starts,' says Jochem. 'We have hotel rooms, offices, training rooms, an event terrain, sports facilities and conference rooms. These have to be provided by a facilities partner who has experience in different fields and who has a feeling for hospitality and understands that things simply have to be arranged very professionally. After all, an athlete in preparation for an Olympic Games, for example, doesn't want to have to worry; he needs to have peace of mind and focus on his training.'
Short lines of communication important
EW Facility Services and Papendal have been working together for 31 years. According to both Jochem and Bas, it's a good interaction. Bas: "At Papendal we have a very diverse range of activities. It is important that you understand each other. Papendal must be able to rely on us and build on us. The various users each bring their own dynamics with them. Short lines of communication between us and Papendal are very important here. Given the versatility of the work, we therefore deploy several supervisors, divided over the various locations of Papendal, such as the hotel, conference centre, training location and the Topsportrestaurant. Object leaders and supervisors are in charge of the daily management on the work floor. A permanent EW team works at Papendal. This is pleasant, because an important part of the guests are regulars. Our employees build up a bond with the guests and give them that hospitable feeling that belongs to Papendal.
Flexibility pays off
Sense of hospitality is an important requirement for Papendal. Jochem: 'The average EW employee has a feeling with us as a location. They have the 'Papendal-feeling'. They are flexible, both in commitment and in mindset. And with that Jochem immediately points out the key to the successful cooperation: it is all about Papendal. Flexibility pays off. The people from EW are very good people who understand. It is a flexible team with on the essential positions a number of permanent persons as anchor points. That gives routine and at the same time a fresh look. And that gives us a comfortable feeling. I call it 'consistency in continuity'.
Fast switching is crucial
Being able to switch fast is a must. For both EW Facility Services and Papendal. Versatility and flexibility go hand in hand here. This became all the more clear during the corona crisis. Jochem: "As a training centre it is crucial to be able to react quickly. During the corona crisis, our hotel had to be closed. We had to draw up protocols for the athletes and their accommodations within four weeks. More organisations had to do that, but for us it was just a bit more exciting because of the Olympic Games this summer. EW has experience with protocols in healthcare. Therefore, we could rely on them to do the job properly. Since April 2020, we have in fact been one big field lab, but without any outbreaks of corona. That proves all the more that the protocols and our cooperation were good.
Cooperation further strengthened
Although the cooperation between the two parties was already strong, the corona crisis has made it even stronger. Jochem: 'When the corona crisis broke out, EW immediately switched gears. From Papendal that's highly appreciated. I see our cooperation as a partnership based on mutual trust. Exactly what you're looking for in a partner as an organisation. The corona crisis has further perpetuated and strengthened our partnership.
Looking to the future, both parties agree: flexibility and versatility will only become more important. It's important for Papendal that EW Facility Services can continuously switch to suit the capacity utilisation. To guarantee this, the facility service provider is all about transparency. Bas: 'It is important that we have a clear picture of what and how we are doing. We do that on the basis of figures. Such a transparent financial model, combined with operational expertise and manoeuvrability, makes a relationship future-proof.