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26 March 2019

Smart logistics at Houben Vastgoedservice

"50% fewer journeys and more than 75 tonnes of CO2 reduction per year"

Family business Houben Vastgoedservice, located on Punterweg in Maastricht, together with Maastricht Bereikbaar, was able to take enormous logistical steps in a short period of time. ‘As the company grew, we provided the same customer-friendliness and service that clients have come to expect from us, while at the same time reducing the number of kilometres travelled per day by 1,590 kilometres, resulting in a CO2 reduction of no less than 75,946 kg per year,’ says general director Bianca Houben.

Houben Vastgoedservice has been working in the maintenance and renovation sector in South and Central Limburg for more than 30 years. ‘Clients can come to us for advice and for all maintenance and renovation work seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Our clients consist of a large number of housing associations, property owners, and property managers.’

A cleaner environment and accessible city centres

The family business is committed to corporate social responsibility. ‘In addition to focusing on making business processes better, more efficient, and more effective, we also want to think about how we can keep the environment and the city clean. We really want to do something to keep city centres accessible and reduce particulate matter emissions. The inefficient and environmentally damaging delivery vans, together with the large number of business trips we make each day, have led to constant internal discussions.’

Let's get started!

Together with Maastricht Bereikbaar's logistics broker Mark Luikens, they set to work to actually reduce the number of transport movements, which also resulted in a more efficient and effective way of working. ‘Despite the construction sector being very traditional, there is always space and time for innovative ideas that can improve business processes,’ says Bianca. ‘Within a few weeks of starting our partnership in 2018, Mark and I had already put down our first ideas on paper and turned these ideas into concrete measures.’

Logistics and organizational measures

Many logistics and organizational measures were put into place. ‘We ensured that everything needed for a job is delivered at exactly the right time and place by placing orders beforehand and limited the number of suppliers we use. We looked at the area layout of the jobs and compared these to the home addresses of our employees so that they don't have to travel far to work. We also encourage teams who are performing the same work to carpool. This allowed us to reduce our fleet despite an increase in the number of employees.’

Resounding results for 2019

The first results of all these measures were already visible within a few months of their introduction. ‘All the measures we took in 2018 accounted for very good figures in 2019: 42 hours of time savings per day, 211 fewer journeys per day of which 145 in rush hour, and 1,590 fewer kilometres per day, all which results in an astounding CO2 reduction of 75,946 kg per year.’

Mark Luikens
Project leader logistics