Osse Group

Eelco Osse

Eelco Osse, CEO / Chairman of the board Osse Equipment Manufacturing-group

I would like to emphasize that we always make innovative initiatives thanks to our entrepreneurial spirit. We focus on having the most modern technical infrastructure while making serious investments in our employees, our technology and our customers. As a team we strive to continuously renew ourselves and incorporate the latest technological developments into our projects.

Basis of our strategy stems

I believe that the basis of our strategy stems from a very strong set of corporate values, which has evolved over the past 100+ years. Years. Among these corporate values, the highest priority is to keep the safety and health and happiness of our employees at the forefront while delivering unmatched quality.

We believe in contributing to the cultural development of our society by sponsoring artistic and educational projects all while reducing the worlds environmental footprint through our technologies.

Ever changing environmentally sensitive world

Our greatest pride is our long-standing relationships with our happy employees and customers. I am grateful for their trust in us. “It is our greatest desire to continue to flourish with advanced technology in an ever changing environmentally sensitive world”. It is not just my desire but my personal pledge.


The team

Meet the team

Eelco Osse, CEO Osse Manufacturing Group
Hans Extercate, CFO Osse Manufacturing Group
Mike Mackay, Managing Director Despray Environmental
Jasper, Chief Engineer Osse Group
Antonie Dewilde, International Business Development
Ellen Van der Steege, Business Manager


Interview

Interview with Eelco Osse in 2019
Entrepreneur and innovator

In 2005, Eelco Osse (45) took over Machinefactory Boessenkool from his father, Maarten Osse. Today, fourteen years later, Eelco manages the Osse Group, which consists of multiple enterprises, among which is Boessenkool. The Osse Group supports and facilitates these companies in developing innovative techniques and their corporate structure. The group applauds new products, technical developments and solutions; original and focussed on in-field performance. Investing on a continuous basis make for a technological lead in each companies field. The Osse Group’s activities are build around their mission for creating a better, more durable planet for tomorrow. This is how Eelco Osse reflects his personal impact on the companies within the group. Read about the key features that make Eelco Osse the entrepreneur he set out to be.

Reticence

“I was a bit restless as a kid. Never really could sit still. My curiosity drove me to take a lot of objects apart, so I could see what it looked like from the inside. I always wanted to create things. Often together with my dad. In fact, we even made a navigable sailboat once! I found myself taking a leading role in many situations, at school or with my friends for instance. Which was weird considering I’m actually a pretty passive guy if you know me. I think it was more about making sure everything was organised in the best way possible. Getting the most out of whatever it was.. Though, I like to think I’m pretty quick on my feet as an entrepreneur.”

Employer vs Entrepreneur

“My passive nature drove me to take my time when I found myself within range of taking over Boessenkool from my father. As to say, I didn’t simply jump at that opportunity when it presented itself. I needed myself to be an entrepreneur, more than I wanted to be an employer. The idea of managing people with their own personal peculiarities didn’t attract me at all. Regardless, in the end I did find myself taking the opportunity with both hands. Knowing me, I felt I wasn’t so much born to lead. I still don’t see myself that way! I’ve really had to learn how to step up on to a stage and enjoy talking about ‘my successes’. You have to take your job seriously one hundred percent, if you want to be called an entrepreneur. Not just act the part.
I want my ventures to thrive and I hope that the people that work with us enjoy their jobs as much as they can. With each colleague that works with us I seek how they are an extension to myself for the company. I look for people who are independent. Who take initiative and have this peculiar type of motivation to create things that seem utterly impossible to create at the start.
By now I’ve learned that people who aren’t looking to be managed, usually turn out to be the best experts in their field. I also know that getting there together can take years and years. Looking for that type of people, means I often get confronted with the rules I’ve set in place myself. That appeals to their - or my - creativity to find a work around, to eventually get to where and what we need to be. We want to be making ingenious, fully functional, innovative and durable machines. Achieving that can sometimes takes a second or third try, but we always try to get where we designed to go. That pretty much sums up ‘the fire’ that I look for in people. People who are provoked and committed to prove their value when I say: ‘Here’s the prototype. There’s little time, make it perfect.’

Analytical based thinking and acting

“Not everyone usually seems to follow whatever I ‘came up with this time’. It’s not uncommon that the respons to one of my new idea’s is something like ‘Eelco, that’s impossible.. Especially in that timeframe!”. That’s understandable if you know the things I sometimes come up with. Those type of responses usually drive me to try to shift their scepticism to vigor. But I don’t simply decide that things are going to be the way I want; I challenge my team to come up with ingenious solutions to make my ideas feasible.
I remember a similar sceptic attitude in a slower economical time, when I presented my plans to construct a new building on site. “We’ll go bankrupt!” seemed to be the general consensus. Little did they know at the time, that constructing that additional space is what steered us away from bankruptcy.

In 2009 we realised our largest company expansion. Again, a less fortunate economical time. Especially for banks. Here I was, presenting my plans and asking for financing during these horrible times for banks. As you can imagine, banks were anything but forthcoming. It took a lot of pitching and explaining our vision behind our request. I was devoted to explain the financiers why and how our expansion opened up possibilities in a very niche market due to our capabilities to construct very large parts in a very precise manner of machining and welding. That’s not easy to explain on paper. But there was a demand and clients already valued our high precision, quality production. We needed the square meters to be able to supply to their demands. Eventually we managed to convince the bank. I still feel fortunate they were convinced. Without the ‘09 expansion the Osse Group would not be where it is today.

Persuasion

“I think it’s safe to say that I had to learn to be persuasive as an entrepreneur to be able to achieve my goals. Making people realise that they can design and create something great is one thing. Moving them to play their part in something they initially don’t support, is something else entirely. I remember having to send a few expert welders - who know near everything there is to know about welding - that they need to participate in a training. The company needed the certificates from that training to be able to supply large machining- and welding-products for a new market. Suggesting this to the welders collectively, turned out to be a nightmare. Talking individually, face to face, I managed to get everyone on board. That ment a huge step forward, opening doors for us towards the oil- and offshore industry.
But aside from entrepreneurial chances, it also turned out to be a big step forward in team performance. Their results make them motivated and proud of their shared achievements. And really, that’s what matters to me most. I find it to be one of the fundamental terms for a healthy and successful business. At an corporate party one of the welders wives came up to me and said; ‘Eelco, my husband has to drive a lot more for work..’. I wasn’t sure where to look. ‘But..’ she goes, ‘... at the end of the day he gets home with a smile from ear to ear! I don’t know how you managed to do that!’.”

Innovation

“To stay ahead of competitors you have to innovate. We need to make products that offer clients new perspectives, thanks to which they, again, can stay ahead of their competitors. You’re innovations would have to be successful though, if not, you’re just tying the cart before the horse. We have an abundance of in-house knowledge, expertise and capabilities to face challenges head- on. Innovation takes investing. The roadmap from a design on paper, to a prototype, to actually releasing a market approved product, usually takes a very long time. That also means taking risks, like when we decided to construct the new building in ‘09. The way to take these risks without losing sleep over it, is by betting on multiple horses. Spreading risk over a variety of products and branches. By the time an innovative products gets picked up, you can start harvesting. Products like the MultiToolTrac are great examples of that. Our electrical tractor with a large maximal track- width allows farmers to take a big step in terms of efficiency. Our mega drone designed by the groups company Drone4Emergency is designed to swiftly transport wounded in case of emergency. Both very innovative ideas, on the verge of succes.

Durability

“Durability is very high up on our list of demands. If not the highest. I strongly believe we are obliged to make an effort to create a cleaner planet. We are all obliged to take our responsibility for that matter. That’s why we steer towards innovations that contribute to this cause. That’s what defines our corporate mission. Spreading our activities and remaining ahead of competitors by investing and innovating makes it possible for us to not only strive durability, but also achieve it. Environmental-installations from our company DeSpray recycle one hundred percent of all material and gasses from spray cans. It’s global demand is rising to new heights. We get many inquiries from the European an American market. Another good example is the Kinetic flywheel installations we produce with our company S4 Manufacturing, a joint venture with S4 Energy. Together we are able to stabilise peaks and shortages on large electricity networks. We’re also currently developing a new type of machine that can make high quality briquets from garbage. Again, a product with great potential and in high demand.

CERN

“Another project worth mentioning, is the production of nearly 335 meters of ‘vacuum vessels’ or ‘vacuum tubes’ for the LHC, better know as the particle accelerator from Research-institute CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. This recently admitted commission means a large order of nearly two million euro’s. The projects brings us to new horizons, due to it’s prestige and high demand for knowledge, expertise and experience. It enforces our position on the market.
We’ve been working for CERN for a very long time now, most of it through tenders. Problem is that there’s a lot of companies opting in, sometimes up to two hundred. That’s where we usually strike out, because there’s often a government supported country that takes credit. That was also the reason why this time, I was the one who needed convincing to act on the inquiry for the LHC. I remember sighing and thinking “Not this again...”. But it turned out CERN only inquired at a handful of companies, so we decided to go forward. And we won. Credits should go to Jasper Brugman, who carefully worked out all details on the tenders obligations.
CERN has provided us with some lovely anekdotes throughout the years by the way. I remember being in Geneva with two of our welders, with whom I was invited to come see and learn first hand what ‘Ultra Clean Welding’ ment. Imagine standing in a clean-room with two blunt welders, being dressed up in laboratory overcoats and white gloves.. “What’s all this.. I ain’t no surgeon!” if I remember their banter correctly.
I also gladly remember when we were casually invited by CERN to attend ‘the big bang’. We were invited because we supplied part of the beam-pipe in which the big bang would take place. We stood there, waiting for the magical bang, behind what we hoped was a very thick piece of glass. Behind the glass sat a group of researchers from CERN in front of a large wall of monitors. Suddenly, the researchers all started cheering and applauding loudly. A bit confused, I looked around, not knowing what had happend.. As it turned out, the ‘big’ in ‘big bang’ was merely visible as a peak in a line-graph on a few monitors. Ah well, at least we can say we witnessed the big bang first hand, right?”

Family

“Of course, being CEO of the Osse Group makes for a busy live. There’s work being done continuously in the factory and at any given moment my attention can be required. We supply products to lots of different countries across the planet, so my phone rings regardless of the callers timezone. So there’s plenty to manage in a factory with fifty employees. That doesn’t cause stress though, I like to think I manage that quite good as well. I even find a way to combine everything with what I believe to be a healthy private live. I take my kids to school in the morning and I usually make my way to the dinner table in time. I switch off my phone in the weekends to focus on my family and hobby’s like sailing, horseback riding and mountain biking. I sail with my dad by the way, in competitions. Clears my head for new ideas.”

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"I was a bit restless as a kid. Never really could sit still.”