As one team for “One Brunel”

In just over 40 years Brunel has evolved from a Delft brokerage company into an international service provider, employing more than 11,000 people in 37 countries. In many of those countries Brunel used local IT systems, each with its own definitions. However, to be future-proof all these systems had to be replaced by a single system, based on the same standard. “In a fast-changing world you simply have to keep demonstrating the value that you can add, particularly in an environment like our market,” says Stefan de Boer, Global IT Manager at Brunel. “The ‘One Brunel’ programme now enables all our offices to work together on a single platform, making it possible to keep serving local and international contracts.”


Brunel had previous history with ITDS. Collaboration for the implementation of the new IT strategy was the right choice. It started in 2010. “At the end of the day the technical solution is never the most important consideration: change is,” insists De Boer. “You have to get people onside, because not everybody likes change. It suddenly makes things transparent, with a possible shift in working patterns. People can feel threatened by this, which is why change management was our biggest challenge.”

The implementation of the IT system was indeed a challenging change programme, one that was dubbed “One Brunel”. ITDS helped us to draft the strategy and with the necessary project management and change management. A few key players were present throughout the entire process and several specialists with the necessary skills were brought in at the relevant phases of the process. “ITDS is very strong on strategic and project levels. Developing a strategy in a market that changes as quickly as ours calls for a great deal of knowledge. And you have to deliver it all too.”


Six years later and everyone now speaks the same language, on the same platform, and according to same standards. “It’s both quicker and better,” continues De Boer, “both for us and our customers. In broad lines the job’s done, we’re now just fine-tuning. People who have worked for us for a long time have embraced the change and new employees don’t really know any better. The ITDS consultants worked very hard with us. With both feet on the ground, they were very much a presence on the work floor. That’s how we are at Brunel too; our cultures are a good match. It facilitates cooperation. We are both goal-driven, commercially oriented, we like to work at a fast pace, and we don’t avoid the need to discuss content should the need arise. Both parties benefit.”


Were they tough years? “I had no idea beforehand that the process would be so extensive. The biggest challenge we faced was to push the change through the organisation and get it accepted. We had to constantly keep in touch, listen intently, and waste no time in changing things that didn’t work. ITDS was a great help with the change management.”

The next step is to deliver it to the organisation. “And that’s possible now. People in relatively junior positions six years ago have developed hugely, thanks to ITDS’ efforts. It really is a joy to see. And, of course, we will continue to change. When you take something on you continuously see something new wherever you try to do things. This is something we must continue; it’s also part of our organisation. By continuing to make relevant decisions we are working on improvements in an agile manner, for the organisation, for clients and for prospective employees.”

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