A shared goal: top quality, every time

Gardeslen Orthopaedie, Goes [Netherlands]

This success story began in 1985, when Marcel and Nellie Gardeslen opened their specialist orthopaedic shop in a former supermarket in Hoogerheide, a village in the province of Brabant. Five years later they moved to Goes in the centre of the neighbouring province of Zeeland, where there was essentially no provision of orthopaedic care up until that point. Based in this central location, the pair continued to provide fittings for their “old” customers in Brabant – and, thanks to a host of innovative ideas, went on to quickly become one of the leading specialist orthopaedic providers in the region.

A shared goal: top quality, every time
The Gardeslens became members of “Bewegingsvisie”, a professional group which brought together 14 orthopaedic companies. The cooperation comprised the areas of procurement, marketing and quality management. The couple were soon producing silicone products for various colleagues, among other services.

But it was the patients who benefited from this intensive, partner-based cooperation most of all: They now received the most suitable devices every time, fixed consultation times were held at hospitals and rehab centres throughout the province, and patients who weren’t mobile could be visited at home on a regular basis. Thanks to close contacts with leading specialists, patients could now be assisted as effectively and directly as possible. And their lives simplified to the greatest possible extent: Gardeslen Orthopaedie can carry out the entire settlement process with health insurance companies for you upon request.

“Finding the best way, even under changing conditions”
After successfully completing his orthopaedic training, the Gardeslens’ son Yoeri took over the family company. In 2014, he took on a partner as well: Richard Valkenburg is actually a logistics expert from the private sector. Together, they are leading the growing company and resetting its strategic direction. “A company has to be able to change, it’s down to circumstances as well. New ideas, new techniques and new materials, new regulations, new payment terms – the market doesn’t stand still anyway, so we might as well be leading it.” Valkenburg understands that fear isn’t a sound adviser. “You have to make bold decisions. They’re the only ones that pay.” Because a growing number of hospitals are now prescribing standardised devices, Gardeslen Orthopaedie is focussing increasingly on fabricating customised medical devices. “We are producing a lot more prostheses now.”

New techniques allow expansion of production
The company has been growing continually throughout its 31 years of existence. Its previous staff of seven has grown to 18 employees today. The company’s previous office was partially demolished in 2015 and replaced with a large main building, which includes office space, a cafeteria, storage, technical departments, a welcoming reception area and modern treatment rooms.

Silicone processing and the orthotic support department are also housed here. But before the company got this far, they consulted Ottobock Planning and Equipping: We carefully examined every square metre of the new company headquarters and developed an optimal plan for it. The company is now ready for the future: The new casting and laminating room offers a total of 13 fully equipped workstations. Larger quantities of devices can therefore be easily produced as well. There’s now a sophisticated compressed air system and the decentralised extraction system ensures the entire working environment remains clean.

Work as usual during the conversion
Thanks to the backup workshop consisting of 24 cubicles, which was set up by Ottobock, production was able to continue as usual in the building even during construction. “Preparations for the conversion were perfect, and it was completed after just nine months – without anything slowing us down,” Valkenburg remarks with satisfaction. “Choosing Ottobock Planing and Equipping as our partner was the right decision. We’ve been working together successfully for decades. The experts from Ottobock Planning and Equipping were incredibly committed: Everything was planned down to the centimetre, their experts visited the site on a regular basis, monitored the work, offered tips and kept an eye on all the details. They provided us with incredible support – you don’t carry out a conversion of this size every day!”

“The future is coming - we want to help shape it”
During the grand opening, Gardeslen Orthopaedie presented itself as a dynamic, active and energetic company. Guided tours of the new premises were a key part of the celebration, and everyone was full of praise for the building. Physicians, customers, employees and suppliers alike were impressed. This confirms Valkenburg's view: “A healthy company doesn’t stand still. Changes always offer opportunities as well.”


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