Maatwerkbedrijf BW IMSIR, Boom, Flanders
Presentation by Björn Elewaut at meeting of ESF Social Economy Thematic Network in Madrid, 16-17 October 2017
IMSIR, based in Boom, just south of Antwerp, is 50 years old and bills itself as “an enterprise like no other”. It develops every talent of its employees and gives sustainable employment either within or outside the enterprise, while serving customers as a normal supplier. Five municipalities - Aartselaar, Boom, Hemiksem, Niel and Rumst – are involved in its governance. It has 490 employees: 250 in social care, 75 in LTU services and 165 in production by disabled people
BWIMSIR is IMSIR’s sheltered workplace division. Its sales are €2.1m a year excluding subsidies. It operates:
- the biggest bicycle wheel assembly plant in Benelux, and the only ISO-accredited one, which makes 20,000 wheels a year and employs 50 people;
- packaging and despatch solutions; and
- Telenet Reverse Logistics:10 The partnership is now 10 years old. Before 2009 all returned telecoms equipment (600 tons a year) was just scraped. Now returned set-top boxes go to IMSIR which tests and reconditions them. This work doubles the life of the modems. A similar line of work recycling digital televisions failed.
Telenet and its suppliers account for half of the sheltered workshop’s sales. Its factory is in effect part of Telenet, in that Telenet workers can work for a day at BWIMSIR, and hold meetings in its offices. Telenet pays a bonus if BWIMSIR exceeds its service level agreement and key performance indicators, which is shared with the workers, giving transparency and motivation.