I look for the twinkle in the eyes of customers

News | 25 January 2016

Constant change is now the only constant in the high tech industry. Theun Prins, general manager and owner of YP Your Partner, is responding to this with the CARS community. ,,What we rolled out ten years ago, we can still fill in with today's demand''.  

By Berend Henk Huizing

Modern high tech is never finished. That is why Prins' products and services are in line with the demands of tomorrow, but remain in line with the past. ,,An example. My building is full of sensors from manufacturer X. When I write new software, all sensors have to be replaced. That's an expensive joke and not necessary. So we look at the current situation and include it in the new product. We call this sustainable development. So we need to be flexible to bring what we rolled out ten years ago with modern demand. This is how we answer tomorrow's question today."

Five years ago, Prins replaced the metering of energy management at the University Medical Center Groningen with the most advanced equipment available at the time. “This made it possible to measure and monitor all important energy parameters at the highest quality. Now, five years later, there is much better equipment with which you can not only monitor more parameters, but also have an overview of the business-critical parts. With all the LED lighting of today and switched power supplies of computers, many interference signals arise on the electricity network. This causes current differences beyond the view of conventional measuring equipment. These current differences can be so high that they cause a breakdown or even fire. Without having to adapt more than 700 distribution systems, we manage to leave the existing technology and add new ones. In this way, the energy technology of the hospital again meets the highest quality, without having to make large investments again." 

To collaborate

Prins explains that he and his colleagues are sometimes so absorbed in their work that they unintentionally and unintentionally take too little time to see whether they are still on the right course. That is why he finds the collaboration within the Innovatiecluster Drachten so valuable. ,,Innovatiecluster Drachten is cooperation at a high level and has already brought us a lot. My R&D people share their experiences with the professionals at the other companies. Everyone has experience with something or does something special that the others can learn from. In this way we share knowledge and move forward together. This network yields so much that the men now know how to find each other."

"The energy technology of the University Medical Center Groningen again meets the highest quality, without having to make large investments again."

Prins mentions the recruitment of suitable personnel as another important reason for cooperation. He wrestled with the question, why would someone come to Drachten to work for us? ,,I can't give hands and feet to this myself, but I can do that in the collective. I make sure that our company is interesting to work for and together with the other partners we can offer new employees a career in the high tech industry. I therefore do not see a struggle in the joint recruitment of personnel that we lose personnel to each other, it is rather the other way around.” Prins also notices this in the attention that is paid to training and knowledge institutions. ,,The roles have been reversed. Before I had to do my very best to keep in touch with them, now schools keep a close eye on us. We can submit research questions to them and, through the students, keep in touch with what are important themes today and tomorrow.”

Co creation

For Prins, innovation is more than just a product and service, it is mainly co-creation. “So we work together as a shared facility. This has led to us marketing an existing product in a different way, not as a product but as a participation program with knowledge institutions, government and industry. An example of this is the Pumping Station of the Future. This concept hits like a bomb. We will roll this out nationally in the coming years and call it a platform for innovation.”

Prince has the urge to innovate and make everything more beautiful and better from his father. ,,Just like me, he had the drive to work on new things. That is also in the DNA of our company. We work on socially relevant themes and are looking for the twinkle in the eyes of our customers. That's a fantastic thing to do! We are passionate about the human side of our work, such as the energy supply of a hospital. Then we feel we can contribute something. In addition, the image of our company has been boosted by the Innovatiecluster Drachten. We are not an elite club, but we are a special group. I am proud of that.”