For more than 12 years, the social enterprise WAAK and the company Belintra have been working together. It is a collaboration that, according to both companies, runs like clockwork. Belintra is a major international developer of smart logistic solutions for hospitals and other care institutions. The cooperation between the two companies can be described as an end-to-end process. The basic work of metalworking and assembly happens on WAAK premises, while the customer-specific finishing is done by Belintra’s employees. This collaboration has evolved into a true partnership between two parties who are able to count on each other.
Belintra, a major player in the healthcare industry
Founded in 1965 in Semmerzake (Belgium), Belintra was active in the industrial laundry sector for many years. In the 1990s, however, they changed their strategy and started to focus on the healthcare sector. CEO Kris Liesmons says: “We design and produce solutions that ensure that logistics processes in hospitals are organised more efficiently and also improve patient safety.” Good examples being Belintra’s medication trolleys that allow staff to get medicines to patients efficiently and safely, and storage and transport solutions that allow medical instruments to be brought into the operating theatre in a sterile manner. Belintra is market leader in Belgium and is considered a major international player.
WAAK, integral part of Belintra's production process
Although Belintra employs 32 people, you can add 4 to 5 WAAK employees to this number. Belintra has been working with WAAK since 2010. The basic work takes place at WAAK’s Metal Assembly unit, with metalworking done by skilled workers. From drilling, sawing and bending to TIG welding and powder coating, WAAK has all the requisite machinery and know-how. In addition to metal manufacturing, WAAK’s workers also take care of assembly, turning the various components into a semi-finished product. Client-specific finishing, on the other hand, happens at Belintra. WAAK manufactures several Belintra products: the Roll-IT mobile workstation, the Medicart medication trolley, roller shutter transport trolleys, nursing trolleys, open transport trolleys and the UBeFlex® storage system. According to CEO Kris Liesmons, WAAK is an “integral part of their production process”.
Shared goals and vision
Kris Liesmons testifies that its cooperation with WAAK runs “like clockwork” and has evolved into a true partnership. Kristof Casier, Director of WAAK’s Metal Assembly Department, agrees: “We know what we can expect from each other. We can count on each other and that’s important”. “And if there are any problems, we always come up with a solution together,” Liesmons adds. According to the CEO, WAAK’s flexibility, expertise and attention to detail and quality are the main reasons why companies should work with the social enterprise. With regard to Belintra in particular, he also appreciates what he refers to as ‘social entrepreneurship’: “Most of our customers are hospitals. Providing care for people is what they do every day. I also see this at WAAK: as a social enterprise they ensure that people who might not get many opportunities in the regular labour market (for whatever reason) still get a chance. I think that this matches perfectly with what Belintra and our customers stand for. This statement shows why both parties describe their collaboration as a partnership. At the core they are essentially the same. They have very similar ideas and goals”.