Bekaert announced that it is taking a number of structural changes in response to the impact that Covid-19 has had on economies and demand patterns.
A press release said that the Belgium-based company will reorganize its global engineering activities, several functional department areas serving the Group’s global or local business needs, and a number of support and technical roles in the production plants in Zwevegem. “The Group will develop stronger knowledge centers and invest further in shared services to consolidate expertise and activities in business areas that serve the global footprint. This may include decisions to relocate or outsource such activities. Bekaert also continually evaluates the set-up and usage of its footprint to drive value creation.”
The restructuring plan would affect 160 jobs in Belgium, and the intended implementation is scheduled as of 2021 onwards. For Bekaert Engineering (Ingelmunster), the goal is for it to become a global knowledge center for the development of innovative equipment solutions. The design, service and project management teams will focus on the implementation of new and digital technologies and Equipment Lifecycle Management (ELM). The plan includes the discontinuation of the workshop activities in Belgium and the move of the expertise activities with a prototype lab from Ingelmunster to Deerlijk. These changes would affect 95 jobs (63 operators and 32 white collars and managers).
For functional areas (Zwevegem), Bekaert is developing stronger centers of excellence across Group Services,
accelerating the adoption of digital capabilities in the areas of operational, commercial and administrative process excellence to create new value for the business and the customers. This would lead to a reduction of 46 white collars and managers in Belgium. For production plants (Zwevegem), the goal is to realign and regroup support and technical functions. The new set-up would affect 19 white collars and managers in the respective plants.
The company noted that its Belgian engineering organization and production sites have 50 vacancies, and that applications from employees in the above-mentioned, affected roles would be considered.