IPEX and Ontplooj: a successful collaboration

31 May 2023

In addition to our desire to deliver the finest products, we also want to do more for our society. That's why Gerwin Meilink, the founder of IPEX, collaborates with SOWECO, now known as Ontplooj, the work development company for Almelo and its surrounding areas. We have already had a successful collaboration with Ontplooj for 25 years, where individuals with disabilities find job opportunities at IPEX, and together we deliver the finest products to the market.

It all began with a message from Ontplooj: "The work that your production employees do, my people can do it too!" Gerwin Meilink engaged in a conversation, and a wonderful collaboration emerged between the two companies. Initially, IPEX's products were transported to Almelo, but soon ways to make this process more efficient were explored. The solution was found in a group detachment of approximately 25 employees who work together as one team, primarily carrying out assembly tasks at IPEX. 


Ontplooj helps individuals with disabilities develop themselves, enabling them to contribute to the workforce. Collaborating with companies like IPEX provides these individuals with an opportunity to work and gain work experience. Additionally, they become an indispensable part of the production process and, in this way, contribute to the economy. This contribution is important for everyone's sense of self-worth, and having a work routine is vital for the well-being of all. 


The collaboration has brought significant flexibility to IPEX, setting them apart in the market. By working with individuals with disabilities, we can maintain this flexibility while making a significant societal contribution. Automating these tasks would require IPEX to sacrifice this flexibility. 

At IPEX, we are proud of our collaboration with Ontplooj, as it contributes to the livability of our community. 


As advice to other companies interested in working with individuals with disabilities, Gerwin Meilink would say, "If the tasks are there, go for it!" It is not only beneficial for the employees themselves but also for the rest of the organization. It creates a pleasant and enjoyable company culture with a lot of fun in the workplace. 


All in all, the collaboration between IPEX and Ontplooj has been a successful example for years, demonstrating how companies and organizations can strengthen each other and make a positive contribution to the livability of society.