The initial objective was to bring Accezz in to restructure operational management; the merger was added as a result of the abolition of the Exceptional Medical Expenses Act (AWBZ). "The Accezz method offers the greatest chance of success. The implementation programme is an effective way to secure the outcome. Accezz goes beyond giving advice and adopts a solid approach on the actual work floor."

Hans de Graaf is interim Chair of the Board at Beukenstein. His task is to take quality of care to a higher level and evaluate workplace culture. Due to the planned merger, a healthy operating result has become a precondition of his assignment, and Accezz is playing a complementary role, mainly in terms of workforce downsizing and staff planning. "Many organisations assume they can mark their own paper and think they will be able to manage this type of process without the kind of help Accezz offers. That type of thinking was prevalent here as well. My argument was that if the outcome could have been secured without outside help, it would have happened by now," says de Graaf.

People are reluctant when confronted with change
The analysis phase, which Accezz always performs free of charge, revealed that schedules were devised, but not implemented. "On some days there were too many carers, on other days too few," adds de Graaf. Once the organisation actually began working according to its ‘regular’ planning, quality of care started to improve. Moreover, this initial step delivered a financial saving of half a million euros, and Accezz was subsequently able to considerably tighten processes in the planning department. "Of course, there was resistance at first. One of our employees was very emotional and screamed blue murder when she heard about the changes," says de Graaf. "I told her to wait and try it first. After two weeks, she had completely come around. The new way of working brought so much more structure and calmness. People are often very reluctant when confronted with change."

More harmony on the workfloor
Although Beukenstein is still in the middle of the Accezz implementation programme, team leaders are already growing in their roles; roles they actually had all along but abandoned a long time ago. "They are assuming responsibility and are again in charge of what is happening, not least because they immediately experience the benefits: more harmony on the work floor," says de Graaf. The previous situation also emerged because HRM’s role had been neglected. Accezz also brings structure to this department: contracts used to expire without anyone knowing."One of our first-responsible carers has accompanied Accezz during the process to help secure the necessary outcome. We have seen this young man develop in no time into a future manager. He has grasped the opportunity by strengthening his knowledge and expertise," says de Graaf.

Invest in quality of care
Financially, Beukenstein initially did not so much want to cut costs but aspired to spend money more effectively by investing in quality of care. In week 18 of the Accezz programme, savings are already heading towards two million euros. During the past month, there has never been so little spent on labour costs, while, at the same time, the quality of work has improved. "In one department, we even had a substitute worker for a stand-in. This is now no longer necessary following the implementation by Accezz," says de Graaf, who acknowledges that awareness is an important pillar in the process.

Suitable merger candidate
He continues, “Thanks to Accezz, I am now even better at keeping all balls in the air. I recently came across the statement ‘merging is top-class sport’, which is certainly true.” De Graaf’s personal motto is 'what I resolve to do happens’. It’s a saying that hasn’t done him any harm personally. It also serves clients well and helps him achieve his targets. Beukenstein now provides higher quality care to its clients, while its excellent operational management makes it a suitable merger candidate.

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Hans de Graaf

Interim Chairman of the Board of Directors at Beukenstein

"Team leaders are assuming responsibility and are again in charge of what is happening, not least because they immediately experience the benefits: more harmony on the work floor."

Change to improve

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