Transformation of a railway

11 April 2016

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B Logistics has come a long way. A troubled state-owned railway company that we have transformed in recent years into a dynamic, financially healthy and private rail company with a promising future. 
It was a long battle for survival but we got there in the end. And all this thanks to the perseverance, energy and unequivocal professional ability of our employees. I am enormously proud of this achievement. As indeed, change is only possible if everyone is pulling in the same direction.
 
Purpose, change and people
 
“At last”, I hear you all thinking about the announcement of our financial results. At last we have taken the last steps to complete recovery and can now build on solid foundations. A lot of people ask me about the secret of our turnaround. Well, it does not lie in our concrete figures, nor in our restructuring projects. It’s all about purpose, change and people.  
 
As our activity was close to bankruptcy, with EUR 160m loss on a EUR 360m turnover in 2009, our purpose was rather clear and adopted by everyone: survival.
 
To achieve this purpose, we had to be ready to change every single aspect that required change: management, organisation, operational processes, relationship with clients, governance, …  In the last 6 years, the DNA of our company has undergone a major transformation.
 
Key in this process were our people; not only to accept the change and to understand that we needed to let go about 60% of our employees, but also to actively contribute to B Logistics’ survival. It was anything but easy. We only achieved our goal through years of transparent and direct communication, years during which we were very close to our employees, taking them through this difficult journey and bringing out the best in them.
 
The potential to save the cargo activity was always there but it was hidden under a thick layer of dust. We had to reinvigorate the passion and pride of our staff. And we achieved this across the board. Today our employees are demonstrating enthusiasm that is taking us to new heights.
 
We have overcome the most difficult obstacles together. It has taken blood, sweat and tears, but we are now a sound and prosperous business. We now want to deploy this renewed strength and dynamism at B Logistics to develop the company from its sound footing to become a truly outstanding enterprise. We are now shifting the focus from survival to a new purpose: modal shift. More about this in a next blog post.

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