What’s it like to work at Bulsink? Who better to answer that question than our own people. In our employee stories we give you a behind-the-scenes look at our corporate culture. For this edition we spoke with Project Manager Ramon Hendriks.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
‘My name is Ramon Hendriks, I’m 50 years old and I’m from Helmond. When I was 23 I moved to Eindhoven for a relationship and to study business administration at the technical college. I quickly switched to the architecture programme in Den Bosch. After graduation, I got my first job at the architectural firm where I had done an internship. I started out as an architectural draftsman, and eventually progressed to project manager and then construction supervisor.’
‘I’m a huge fan of live music, especially rock and heavy metal; I love going to festivals and concerts. When I’m abroad for work and time permits, I usually try to catch a concert. My second big interest is motorcycling. And five years ago I found a new partner, who has two children. We still live apart, but we’re looking for a home together.’
The international aspect attracted me, along with the prospects for career growth.
How did you end up working at Bulsink? And why did you choose Bulsink at the time?
‘During the financial crisis, the bottom fell out of the architectural market. The company I worked for eventually went bankrupt. I knew Bulsink from my previous position, but from the other side of the table. Via via, I got in touch again. They were looking for a project engineer for Rituals’ international projects. The international aspect made it an attractive opportunity for me. That combined with the prospect of eventually growing into the role of project manager.’
‘As a project engineer, I worked on the design of around a hundred shops in Germany. Then I indicated that I would like to do more on-location work, as a project manager. In that capacity, I managed the construction of some sixty Rituals locations in Switzerland. In around 2015 we started in France, where we have now built close to a hundred shops. In between, I have also been on projects for other clients, but the main focus is still Rituals.’
What does your job as project manager entail?
‘It starts with a request to visit a location. It could be a street location or a location in a shopping centre, an occupied shop, a shell building or new construction… During such an inspection visit we determine whether the location is suitable for a Rituals shop – in terms of construction, the technical installations and cost. If the verdict is positive, we will receive a design. Based on that, we prepare an estimate and preliminary timeline, and then we get the planning permission process rolling.’
‘Once we receive approval, we move on to the execution phase. That involves creating a detailed execution schedule, purchasing materials, planning the work, instructing suppliers, submitting documents to local authorities… We manage the project all the way to completion, which includes resolving any final acceptance punch list items. As project manager, I’m responsible for overseeing all these things, timewise, technically and financially.’
‘The best thing about my job? Surely, the moment we deliver a beautiful shop that everyone is happy with. That is the reward for a job well done. But also the exciting challenges you face when working abroad. You have to deal with different regulations, navigate the way things are done there and overcome the challenges of communicating in different languages.’
‘Procedures often make it difficult to accomplish things within the stipulated timeframe. Nevertheless, we actually always get it done.’
Bulsink uses B.U.I.L.D. as its core values: Brand-conscious, Ultra-fast, Inspiring, Leading and Determined. Can you pick out one or two core values and explain what they mean to you?
‘Then I choose ultra-fast. We are bound by certain procedures, and that often makes it difficult to accomplish things within the stipulated timeframe. For example, the desire to open a shop before Christmas, while you ask yourself whether that is achievable. Nevertheless, we actually always get it done.’
‘And then there’s determined – our determination to make a project run smoothly on all fronts. In France the requirements for submitting certificates, reports and other official documents are quite stringent. That must be done to the letter, otherwise the shop will not be allowed to open. For that, you need a good project team, with smooth cooperation between people on site and at the office.’