Recently we produced Aalberts Industries’ annual report on 2011. Our Anke Dijkstra was responsible for this challenging project and we interviewed her to inform you about what it takes to produce a good annual report. This interview is translated from the original version in Dutch. If you have any questions or remarks after reading this interview we would love to hear from you!
Who are you?
My name is Anke Dijkstra and at De Merkelijkheid I’m responsible for project management. This means that I make sure that we execute on certain ideas or concepts we developed and translate them to tools of communication. Examples of this are annual reports, brochures, trade show exhibitions and websites. Because I select teams to match each client and individual assignment, I have to be very versatile and it allows me to find challenges in any project. This diversity is why I love my job.
What is Aalberts Industries?
Aalberts Industries is a listed holding company for some 140 group companies. Aalberts Industries is an internationally active specialist in industrial products, systems and processes with high-quality technical knowledge. The company develops solutions for diverse customer needs, divided into the group activities Industrial Services and Flow Control.
Industrial Services supplies specialised products, processes and systems to specific market segments like for example the semiconductor and automotive industry. Flow Control in turn concentrates on the development, production and assembly of products and systems for the distribution and regulation of liquids and gases. Industrial Services and Flow Control serve diverse markets, each with its own dynamic, which leads to a well-balanced portfolio of markets.
What makes Aalberts Industries unique?
Aalberts Industries focuses on cross-selling of group products (especially in the Flow Control division), in which local sales and distribution networks in the various countries and market segments sell each other’s products. Another crucial pillar is innovation. Every year the company introduces new products, systems, processes and technologies that are always based on specific requirements of customers and markets, which also profit from the increasing technology and knowledge sharing between Industrial Services and Flow Control.
The enterprising culture of Aalberts Industries makes it a company with great product innovation and an active market approach. This culture fits well with De Merkelijkheid’s approach, which enables an open cooperation that fosters quality and results.
What did the Merkelijkheid do for Aalberts Industries?
Like any listed company, Aalberts Industries is obligated to publish their annual report by a certain time each year. Besides being an obligation it is a great opportunity to reflect on the previous year and inform all stakeholders about positioning, strategy and the results. Because the annual report represents all aspects of an organization it should combine all elements into a balanced representation of the company.
The story, design, photography and the eventual printing of the report should strengthen each other and form an important calling card for the organization. De Merkelijkheid selects the team, guards the planning and process and makes sure that all processes come together to form a beautiful annual report.
What are the challenges in these projects?
The challenge is to make sure that the document we deliver surpasses the client´s expectations, allow the client to recognize themselves in the result and feel that their wishes and demands have been heard. The most important challenge of all is that the client is proud of the eventual document he is presenting to his stakeholders.
What would you say is the ‘right team´?
The right team consists of the people that can translate the questions to excellent communication tools like text or photography. This requires members of the team to empathize with what the kind of organization Aalberts Industries is and understands the markets in which they’re active. Of course, there needs to be an personal “connection” between the team and the client.
How do you approach this?
In these complex processes it’s of the utmost importance that a general project and its planning are crystal clear and has an extensive description of all individual assignments the project consists of. A good atmosphere and solid and consistent communication are essential for a project’s success. This makes me the axel that allows the wheel to turn easily. I connect all team members and assignments and I’m constantly in touch with the client, keeping them up to date on the progress made.
What’s the result?
A beautiful annual report that delivers on a client’s expectations. See for yourself on their website: www.aalberts.nl!