Utrecht,
22
July
2009
|
00:00
Europe/Amsterdam

ASR plans to concentrate its premises

Summary

​ASR Nederland is going to concentrate most of its business activities at a single location in theUtrechtregion yet to be chosen. The new accommodation will be configured for "a new way of working" with a drastic reduction of the number of desks. Completion is scheduled for year-end 2015.

Concentration

At present the various entities of ASR Nederland are distributed over 15 buildings at 11 places in theNetherlands. The activities are going to be concentrated at one location yet to be decided in theUtrechtregion, except those of Ardanta in Enschede and Europeesche inAmsterdam. It is not yet certain whether this location will be the present head office at Archimedeslaan10 inUtrecht. The present building is insufficiently geared to the new plans. In the coming period the company will examine the best option, i.e. renovation of the present building or construction of a new building elsewhere. Key factors that will be considered are accessibility and parking. The choice will not be made before year-end 2010.

The works council and unions have been informed of the proposed decision and it will be submitted to the works council for its advisory opinion.

Background

The plans form part of the objective announced earlier for ASR Nederland to operate as a single company, to focus corporate culture more on the customer, to centralise a number of back-office activities, to improve efficiency across the board and to lower costs substantially. At present the central back-offices are spread over four locations inUtrecht,Rotterdam,Amersfoortand Woudsend. Some ICT support units operate from premises in Woerden. This distribution causes extra costs and impedes effectiveness and cooperation.

Another consideration is that the present accommodation requires adjustment in terms of size and furnishings. The accommodation has become oversized because of the gradual reduction of the workforce in recent years and ASR's unbundling from the Fortis group. The buildings now have an overcapacity of more than one thousand desks. Unchanged policy would result in overcapacity rising still further in the light of the earlier announcement of a reduction in the number of FTEs in the years ahead.

To meet the requirements for modern and inspirational accommodation the furnishings and systems of most of the buildings require far-reaching alteration. They are not configured for "the new way of working" based on part-time staffing, flexible hours and the realigned policy on employees working from home.

Phasing

In the coming period the number of desks will be reduced in phases. A consequence of this downsizing is that the buildings concerned will undergo phased closure. The company has laid down the following schedule for implementing these plans:

30-09-2009               :  Vacating of Woerden office, relocation to Archimedeslaan 10, Utrecht
31-01-2010               :  Vacating of Odijk office, relocation to Archimedeslaan 10,Utrecht
Deadline 31-12-2010  :  Vacating of Mondriaan office,Amersfoort
Deadline 31-08-2011  :  Vacating of office at Archimedeslaan 61,Utrecht
Deadline 30-11-2011  :  Vacating of Hoofddorp office         
Deadline 31-12-2011  :  Vacating of office at Archimedeslaan, 6Utrecht
Deadline 31-12-2012  :  Vacating of Woudsend office
Deadline 31-12-2012  :  Vacating of Rotterdam office, with empty floors now being rented out
Deadline 31-12-2015  :  Vacating of Zeist, Stadsring/Amersfoort, Pythagoraslaan/Utrecht and Houten offices and concentration at the future office in theUtrechtregion

CEO's comments

Jos Baeten, Chairman of the Board of Directors of ASR Nederland, said with regard to the plans: "By taking this decision we are illustrating the course that we set earlier, namely one company, trading with several brands, with a shared inspirational, customer-focused culture that works on the basis of a substantially lower level of costs.

We recognise that this is a far-reaching decision for a significant number of our employees, one that will evoke emotions. It may mean the loss of a familiar workplace and a move to a new environment and possibly more travelling time.

We believe that the step towards concentration is necessary for our company's development with a view to the future. That is also in the interests of our employees. In the coming period we will engage in a dialogue with our employees to explain our reasons in more detail and to discuss the consequences."

Key facts and figures

  • ASR Nederland and its brands are currently housed in 15 buildings at 11 places in theNetherlands.
  • ASR Nederland has approximately 6,000 employees (accounting for more than 4,500 FTEs).
  • The number of desks available in the present buildings is 7,100 (after unbundling from the Fortis group).
  • Occupation of the buildings averages 70%.
  • Fifty percent of the affected employees live inUtrechtor the immediate vicinity, includingAmersfoort.
  • Eighty percent of the affected employees live closer toUtrechtthan toRotterdam.
  • Ardanta has more than 100 employees and Europeesche more than 180.