Earlier this year nlgroeit announced C-Job Naval Architects is among the top 250 fastest growing companies in the Netherlands according to research conducted by Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship. More recently, the company has once again appeared in the top 50 of Dutch engineering companies, published by Technisch Weekblad. C-Job’s Wietse Bandstra, responsible for the company’s strategic business development, discusses some of the important milestones from the last twelve years and outlines some of the key projects that have contributed to the company’s growth.
Expanding into four European offices and the recently announced Houston office, employing 140 naval architects and marine engineers: all achieved in a dozen years. It is not an understatement to say that the growth C-Job has experienced is notable. “In the early years we had an increasing number of clients,” says Wietse. “We grew in respond to this increased market demand. Our independent, tailor-made services have allowed us to build a strong track record for the future while empowering our clients.”
“The markets that we were, and still are, active in were all doing well, largely unaffected by the oil crisis.” This includes the dredging, offshore wind, and yachting sectors; and more recently the cruise and ferry industries.
For a relatively young company, C-Job has had a large impact on the maritime market. When asked what the most significant moments in C-Job’s history have been, Wietse immediately recalls the nominations for the 2014 KNVTS Ship of the Year Award. “This was a very important year for us because we were involved in three different nominations for Ship of the Year; Atlantic Dawn, Galactica Star and the NH1816,” he says proudly.
Another defining moment in the company’s history is the Texelstroom. Working together with TESO, C-Job was responsible for the Initial, Concept and Basic design of the sustainable ferry, which won the Shippax Award in 2017.
“In terms of other sectors, the Orion [the offshore wind installation vessel for DEME subsidiary GeoSea] established our position in the offshore wind market. And working with multiple dredging majors increased our foothold in the dredging industry.” Wietse says.
No more than 50
Despite the growth that C-Job has undergone, it is a company that has not forgotten its less sizeable origins. Indeed, there are many valuable lessons to be learned from being a smaller company. “These are generally related to maintaining customer intimacy and fostering relationships, and it is for this reason that we have developed a clear strategy of sustainable growth,” he continues. “This involved the conscious decision to have a maximum of 50 people working per office. You can see this throughout the company, in the Dutch offices of Hoofddorp, Rotterdam and Heerenveen, as well as the team in Ukraine.”
By keeping the offices small, C-Job has been able to stay close to its customers; in terms of both geography and cooperative relationships. “We can maintain a clear and manageable overview of ongoing projects and customers, with the all-important short lines of communication and personal touch.”
Having no more than 50 people working in one office also has a positive impact on team spirit and the closeness within working teams. “The recent Great Place to Work certification demonstrates this,” Wietse adds. “In general we are a very sociable company that offers lots of opportunities for personal and professional development to our personnel.”
Change is the only constant
C-Job plans to continue its strategy of sustainable growth into the future. This means staying active and handling bigger projects in numerous maritime markets and expanding further geographically in order to boost resilience, avoid risks and stay flexible. In addition to having an increased impact on the maritime industry, continued growth will allow the company to expand its already well established research and development department and grow its skills and disciplines.
“Providing room for new initiatives – all of this is made possible with growth, which in turn adds more value for our clients. After all, growth means adapting to new circumstances in a world where change is the only constant,” Wietse concludes.