Towards operational excellence in the smallest room
As Chief Operating Officer of 2theloo, it is Wouter de Koning’s task to provide visitors with the ultimate toilet experience. And with the new toilet concept, things are heading in the right direction. The innovative facilities are maintenance-friendly, clean and provide peace of mind. Always with a smile!
2theloo has been around for a while now. Could you explain the evolution of the company?
Most people know 2theloo from the toilet shop on Amsterdam’s Kalverstraat, which we opened ten years ago. A somewhat garish concept with big visuals and with a strong focus on the experience. We have learned a lot from this. Building a solid toilet, keeping it operational for seven years and ensuring a pleasant experience is an art that we have mastered. The new concept is modular and slightly less striking in graphic design, but it remains a true experience!
What makes the 2theloo concept unique?
The balance between a memorable customer experience and hygiene, easy maintenance and durability. The trade-off between these elements is made with every decision: a waterless urinal consumes the least water, but that smells less good and leads to blockages. In that case we give way to the experience. Another example is the durable hand dryer. As they are very unsanitary and noisy, we found a way to use single-folded paper towels in a smart way: people always take two, which means that they don’t have to be that thick – thus, less paper consumption. Also, we mix the soap with air and toilet paper goes per sheet.
What place does such a dull subject like operational excellence have within the 2theloo team?
Why dull? Comfort in the smallest room appeals to the imagination, because everyone goes to the toilet. And thinking every day as a team about how to improve a customer experience leads to interesting conversations. How much toilet paper is used, which cubicle fits our range of customers best, how long does an average toilet visit last. By having these conversations the experience comes to life!
Wouter de KoningCOO
“As a result of our easy-to-operate approach we’ve noticed that are sites are easier to clean. We’ve connected the water tap to the wall, which prevents calcium deposits, and we’ve built a sink and a toilet without sealant seams and edges. When flushing, a vortex is created, which means less water and more power. And, very important, we ensure that defects are repaired quickly.”
How does ‘the new way of working’ relate to operational excellence?
We believe that if you give people the responsibility, they’ll take it. At 2theloo, we have a lot of employees that work on the technical side and are on the road often. That requires flexibility from both sides.
Can you give a glimpse of what the future holds for 2theloo?
Our core business is now gas and train stations, and retail, but all places where many people are or pass by are options. I think it would be nice to deliver to airports, where hygiene and comfort of toilets sometimes leave something to be desired. That requires a different model, because asking for a contribution at the airport will be difficult. But we are always open to new collaborations!