With bookU toward carefree administration: The De Barkentijn youth residence center's experience

With a history dating back to 1868, De Barkentijn in Nieuwpoort can safely be called a monument, where stories were created that cross generations. Once built as the majestic villa of a wealthy tycoon, De Barkentijn has come a long way to become the youth residence center it is today. “Although new times also bring new challenges,” says Nicolas Vermote, director of De Barkentijn. To overcome these challenges in terms of workforce management and administration, it was decided some time ago to team up with bookU. 


Administratively turbulent waters require a change of direction


As director of De Barkentijn since 2019, Nicolas Vermote faces the important task of respecting the heritage aspect while modernizing the administration. “In the current climate of the time, growing administrative tasks associated with the employment of (temporary) employees provided more and more emphatic challenges,” says Vermote. “For example, it sometimes happened that we forgot to prepare contracts or did not submit Dimona declarations on time, with all the consequences entailed. Also, communication with our job students was sometimes a bit more difficult,” Vermote emphasizes. “However, for De Barkentijn itself, but equally for BarCour, our pop-up summer bar, we do not benefit at all from last-minute unavailability.”


In other words, a solution was needed to simplify administrative tasks and improve communication with employees. Enter bookU



Fewer forgetfulness, better communication via bookU


“With its intuitive interface and extensive functionalities, bookU seemed to offer us exactly what we needed from the first intake,” Vermote reflects. “I am particularly impressed with the ability to automatically draw up contracts and generate Dimona declarations, eliminating human error or forgetfulness and saving time.”


“In addition, bookU's staff app provides a seamless way to communicate with our staff, especially the younger generation who are used to digital tools,” Vermote added. “ Job students can indicate their availabilities through the same staff app, making confirming shifts and scheduling child's play.”  


Essential part of day-to-day operations


The switch to bookU marked a turning point for The Barkentijn. Thanks to the platform's reliability and ease of use, the youth residence center has been able to streamline its administration without compromising its focus on hospitality and service. “In just 2 years, bookU has become an essential part of our daily operation of our youth residence center. The tool running in a very stable manner has not only saved us time, but has given us peace of mind. We are ready for the next hundred years!” concludes the satisfied director. 



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