Elinex Celebrates Its 35th Anniversary; Bart van Raamsdonk Takes Us Back in Time.
When Huub van Raamsdonk (March 30, 1956 - May 28, 2020) took the plunge, now 35 years ago, he could not have foreseen that his visionary idea about emergency power supplies would grow into the backbone of today's digital world. "My father was working at an electrical engineering company back then," outlines Bart van Raamsdonk, CEO of Elinex Power Solutions.
"With foresight, Huub saw the potential in emergency power supplies. In 1986, no one could envision much in that field, and the company he worked for at the time decided not to pursue this idea. This led my father to explore the market himself," says Bart van Raamsdonk, CEO of Elinex Power Solutions. Elinex Trading & Consulting BV became a reality, and Huub gradually convinced computer system users of the importance of backup power.
Working from home
Huub started working from home with a phone in one hand and the phone book in the other. "The first customer he acquired was the fire department in Arnhem," Bart recalls. "It was not easy for my father to work from home in this way. As a 2-year-old, I was pushing against the door of his home office, while Huub was holding the door closed while on the phone. That first order was worth Hfl. 10,000, and when it was secured, it was a celebration." What began as a trading and consulting firm soon grew into a company that also performed installations and repairs. "A small service team was established, and more space was needed quite soon. Huub effectively worked from home for only a few months, and then Elinex moved to Rhoon. Half a year after the start, we were already in Ridderkerk. Elinex had several properties there until we ultimately moved to our current location."
Today, Elinex employs more than 50 people, both in the office and in the field. Among the numerous clients are big names from both the business world and the government. The significant difference between the UPS systems then and those of today? Bart explains, "Battery technology has made enormous progress. The capacity, battery life, and longevity back then cannot be compared to today's standards. UPS has evolved in response to the increasing demand for more power over the years."
From summer worker to CEO
Bart was steeped in emergency power supplies from a young age. "It was the topic of discussion at home," he recalls. "After my first summer job at Elinex when I was 12, I knew I wanted to follow in my father's footsteps. I officially joined the company as an employee when I was 23. In the first three years, I was involved in an improvement program supervised by an external agency. This allowed me to look at our company in an unbiased way and learn about Elinex independently. I have been working for Elinex for 14 years, and since 2019, I have been the CEO."
Service as part of our DNA
"Our core business is reliability," Bart continues. "In all aspects, not just regarding hardware but also in terms of delivery and service. Service is woven into every fiber of Elinex as part of our DNA. It's the foundation on which Huub built our company, and it will always be. We are a true family business with all the associated values. Two of my three sisters also work at Elinex. Our customers notice this. I don't think I need to explain that hardware is only as reliable as the people behind it. It's the overall package that makes a product. We deliver guaranteed top-quality hardware with a maximum level of service. When you call us, we are there."
Continuous focus on improvement
For Bart, continuous improvement remains a central focus. "You can see it in the broadest sense. Improvement relates to internal processes, customer processes, innovation in hardware and software, and delivering service even faster and more efficiently. We work on this constantly, and I am truly passionate about it. Where Huub had a strong technical background, I have a passion for process improvement. We place great value on Research & Development and are not afraid to expand our portfolio with the latest innovations," Bart says.
Automation and digitalization are currently undergoing innovative changes. "We see the value in collecting data. We learn from it, analyze the data, and use it to automate and improve processes. An excellent example is 'automated signaling and action,' which is currently very relevant at Elinex. We are conducting a pilot with five top customers. We monitor remotely and identify problems long before the customer is aware of them. This has significantly increased our response time, and we often arrive at the customer's location before they even realize there is a problem (or one is imminent). Elinex is and remains a company that aims to provide peace of mind and takes a proactive approach. If we look at Elinex's timeline, we can see that it started as a trading company, followed by an emphasis on service, including installation and commissioning, and then we started offering maintenance services. Later, we began handling large projects and offering customized solutions, which elevated Elinex to an international level. Today, we are involved with our customers from the design phase to the maintenance phase."
What does the future hold?
Bart is steering Elinex in his direction, but in the spirit of Huub. "With an open mind and preserving all that is good. This is important for us and our customers. We still serve customers from day one, and I am grateful for that," says Bart. "The future looks bright. With the energy transition, the electrical infrastructure is becoming increasingly unreliable due to bidirectional network traffic and the ever-increasing demand for electricity. This is where we come in with reliable power backup systems, offering a level of support that is unparalleled. Our motto is that our customers should focus on what they do best without worrying about continuity problems due to power outages. What are we looking at now? Energy Storage. We have excellent partners for this, and it fits perfectly within our strategy to provide power everywhere."
Bart concludes, "I am proud of Elinex, our customers, our employees, and our partners. What would we be without them? Only by working together can we keep the train that Huub lovingly set on its tracks running. I would say, feel welcome on board."
Article: Draeckensteijn Media.