The first time I had heard of the E-Factory was when I received an email in my inbox congratulating me on being selected as a participant. What is it all about I hear you ask? As ARCADIS presented its strategy 2014-2016, the company expressed the ambition to ‘be truly collaborative’. The E-Factory is endorsed by the ARCADIS European Leadership Team and was organized by young Arcadians for young Arcadians to release this vision.
Together with 25 other young European Arcadians from France, Germany, Belgium, United Kingdom and the Netherlands I had the opportunity to work on a case study called the Climate Tool. This took place in the ARCADIS Brussels office over four days during October 2014.
The goals for the E-Factory were:
- To cooperate with European colleagues, in order to get to know each other’s cultures and to build an international network;
- To demonstrate our added value to international colleagues and clients and generate business for ARCADIS;
- To exchange ideas and market opportunities that enriches us and ARCADIS.
Climate change is a growing concern as it has extensive implications for urban areas with ‘People’, ‘Planet’ and ‘Profit’ as its centre. The Climate Tool, used to assess the climate resistance of areas is currently being developed by ARCADIS and was tested on five European cities: Leon, Berlin, Brussels, Bristol and Tilburg. Data was collated, analysed and solutions developed into value propositions to stimulate dialogue with clients, focusing on consequent solutions.
We witnessed a climate change seminar from one of Europe’s leading climate change experts as well as receiving training from ARCADIS marketing experts. The event culminated in final presentations being given to a board which included an advisor on climate change to the European Commission, Mr Zickler and CEO of ARCADIS Belgium, Luc Hellemans.
The event was intense yet rewarding with early starts, jogging in the local park, back to back workshops and case sessions during the day. The evenings were spent undertaking activities including a walking tour of the city, sampling the local cuisine and a project visit to the Hard Rock Café whilst getting to know our fellow colleagues.
All involved enjoyed the benefits of the event including collaboration, networking and understanding different cultures. For me personally, the most interesting part was testing the propositions to drive growth for ARCADIS drawing on expertise across different service lines and OpCos. A learning point was that collaboration isn’t so hard once you know the right people in the right places, you really can expand your network and create a ripple effect.
Everyone was excited about the identified opportunities, value propositions and how clearly these can result in added value. Overall it was an amazing experience, to learn about ARCADIS, meet and work with other young Arcadians from across Europe and to share our passion and enthusiasm for the business.
I would encourage others to collaborate and create value where possible too!
Neelam Dhupar, EC Harris