Shimano’s new European headquarters had to be built in a place that would ensure the company’s leadership in innovation in fishing, cycling and rowing, even after the current board would be retired. A tall order. That place was found on High Tech Campus in Eindhoven.
Currently, the lot on campus corner still very much looks like a building site. By January 2017, the concret building blocks, digging machines and cranes should have given way for a new building, offering working space for over 200 (future) employees. At first, after moving in January, there will be about 150 spaces filled. “A number that can change over time, depending on a number of developments. But we expect to expand quickly to a larger number”, says Rudy Bouwmeester, Manager Sports & Events with Shimano Europe.
Shimano’s new home in Eindhoven will be their European headquarters. The office will exist along the current Dutch office of Shimano Benelux in Nunspeet, which will also remain active. “Which is why we can create work in Eindhoven. Not all current employees working in Nunspeet will make the move to Eindhoven. Already, we have about 20 job vacancies. That number is expected to grow once we setlle and start work here”, says Bouwmeester.
‘The emphasis lies on research’
“It’s mostly the creative part of the work, what we’ll do here. There will be little to no distribution, transport or production done here. It’s Research & Development, with a strong emphasis on Research.”
Bouwmeester: “The type of work we will be doing here,definitely contributed to the fact that we came to campus. Other companies on campus have a way of attracting talent to the region. On the one hand we would like to contribute to that, on the other we also would like to benefit from it, these are people that could help improve the company.”
Moving to Eindhoven has another reason, according to Bouwmeester. “Logistics: the campus has an airport nearby, that definitely played a part in deciding on the location. The relationship between Shimano Europe and its Japanese headquarters is one of mutual involvement. Members of the Japanese boarded visited the campus even before a first initiative was taken to set up a contract for the building.
“There’s quite a lot of contact going back and forth between our office and Japan. In the new building, young Japanese talent will come to work for a few years. After that, they return to Japan and report their experience on the Dutch markets and ways of work to the board. That way, the Japanese vision on their offices around the world remains up to date.”
According to Ben Hillsdon, a Shimano Europe Spokesperson, Shimano Eindhoven will be the ‘most important European office’. “het ‘belangrijkste Europese kantoor worden’. “Research for Shimano products will be coordinated from Eindhoven, especially in collaboration with our sponsored athletes.”
There’s a logistical reason for the move as well as an attraction from other names on campus. But there’s a third upside to the move for Shimano. In the first talks with Campus management. Shimano’s European board discussed the available facilities on campus. During the opening of the build for the new building, Shimano Europe President Marc van Rooij said: ‘Turns out, we are allowed to test our new fishing rods in the big pond on campus. Not the most prominent quality of the campus, but a fun one we are not afraid to explore.’