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Interview Marco Ootes for ZNSTD Onderneemt

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Automating Industrial Activities and Preserving Zaanstad’s Historical Charm

Zaanstad, a picturesque city in the Netherlands, is known for its historical buildings that adorn the riverfront. Nestled in this captivating setting is CoNet, a unique company that specializes in automating industrial processes. With an unwavering commitment to Siemens technology and a passion for promoting the industrial sector, CoNet stands out as an idiosyncratic player in the field. Marco, one of CoNet’s representatives, shares insights into the company’s mission, his personal motivation, and the significance of Zaanstad’s entrepreneurial landscape.

Automating Industrial Activities

CoNet’s core business revolves around automating industrial activities, focusing on the industrial process rather than information technology. Collaborating with Siemens, the company employs technology to streamline operations for various industrial domains, including Food and Beverages, Chemicals, Oil and Gas, Steel, and Infra. By leveraging automation effectively, CoNet helps Dutch companies compete with low-wage countries and stay economically viable.

Motivation and Industry Enthusiasm

Marco’s personal motivation lies in preserving and revitalizing industrial activity. Recognizing the importance of efficient production to remain competitive, he strives to generate enthusiasm for the industrial sector and cultivate a vibrant work environment. CoNet actively advocates for greater emphasis on technology and industry within the education system, aiming to inspire future generations. The company supports initiatives like the Technasium in Zaandam, providing training programs to familiarize students with industrial automation.

The Idiosyncratic Nature of CoNet

CoNet sets itself apart through its idiosyncratic approach. Their commitment to a one-brand strategy, primarily relying on Siemens, distinguishes them from their competitors. The company’s technical prowess and dedication to excellence enable them to perform at the Champions League level in the industry. Unlike those who engage in political games or focus on competitors, CoNet trusts its own strengths. The team at CoNet embodies idiosyncrasy, combining technical expertise with creativity to forge remarkable solutions.

Working with Zaankanters

As a native of Zaanstad, Marco appreciates the chauvinistic nature of the Zaankanters, who take pride in their region’s heritage. The local community demonstrates a preference for supporting businesses within the Zaan region, fostering a sense of unity and collaboration. Zaanstad itself holds historical significance, being the oldest industrial area in the Netherlands. Marco shares fascinating details about Jisp and Wormer, constituting the world’s oldest industrial area, where the whaling industry once thrived, taking advantage of the abundant water resources.

Zaanstad’s Appeal for Entrepreneurs

Zaanstad’s allure for entrepreneurs stems from its historical charm, exemplified by the magnificent buildings along the riverfront. CoNet, housed in the former Verkade facility, proudly operates in this architectural gem. Strategically located near Amsterdam, Zaanstad offers proximity to a major economic hub while retaining its own unique character. Additionally, the city’s location halfway between Amsterdam and Wormer provides convenience for the company’s founders and residents.

Supporting Entrepreneurs

To further support entrepreneurs, Marco suggests that local authorities consider dividing work packages when issuing tenders, making it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to participate. By promoting the preservation of industrial real estate along the Zaan river, the local authorities can ensure the conservation of the region’s oldest and most beautiful industrial heritage.

CoNet’s commitment to automating industrial processes and fostering enthusiasm for the industrial sector sets them apart in Zaanstad’s entrepreneurial landscape. With a focus on Siemens technology and a unique blend of technical expertise and creativity, CoNet thrives as a champion in their field. Zaanstad’s historical allure and strategic location further enhance its appeal for entrepreneurs. As local authorities continue to support and preserve the region’s industrial heritage, Zaanstad remains an enticing destination for businesses seeking a combination of historical charm and modern innovation.