Interview with Tom Melis, Van Oord

Substantive knowledge combined with a commercial strategy. For Tom Melis the most important values. As Senior EMVI Coordinator at Van Oord, he develops the strategy and realisation of tenders. We talked with him about his work, challenges and the drive to always be the best with his team. “We always want to perform to the best of our abilities at Van Oord.”


Photo: Tom Melis
Senior EMVI Coordinator, Van Oord

The 35-year-old Tom Melis graduated from HTS Civil Engineering in 2006. He worked at his previous employer as a calculator, work planner, superintendent, technical manager, contract manager and, in recent years, as a tender manager. “I like to combine substantive knowledge with a commercial strategy. Developing an approach based on craftsmanship that provides the best possible response to customer demand”, Tom Melis, Senior EMVI Coordinator at Van Oord, starts explaining.

Tom joined Van Oord in March 2019. “Van Oord appealed to me because of its substantive and broad expertise combined with an interesting market position. I see a lot of potential in the Dutch market”. The first year has been very positive for Tom. “I established quickly”, Tom laughs. “I really feel a connection between Van Oord and me. There’s a great deal of developmental energy and people are very accessible.”


As Senior EMVI Coordinator, Tom is responsible during the tender process, for the realisation of the approach of the Economic Most Advantageous Tender (EMVI). “Ensuring that we offer our clients the optimum price-quality ratio. These customers are usually water authorities. We are often involved 2 to 3 years prior to the start of execution as contractors in the plan development phase. The shift in the water safety market means that our approach and the people we offer are often decisive. The price for the realisation arises later and we determine it one-on-one with our clients. Transparency and trust play an important role here”.

Together with the tender team, Tom plays an important role in the development of the strategy in the tender. “Preparing for and participating in dialogue sessions with the client and understanding the client’s demand are essential in this process. So the work is very varied. “Sometimes I’m concentrating on writing a plan, working on the overall strategy or looking at other tenders. And other moments we discuss with our client as a team. Finally, we also do a lot with visualizations in our offers, such as design and imaging. Those are nice items in my job.


In the tender team there is a real winner’s mentality. “We want to be the best in what we do. That is only possible if you really understand the customer. This is our challenge,” he continues. “It is a competition and every time we want to perform optimally as Van Oord and exceed customer demand. To win we need creativity and perseverance. But it also requires sensitivity, understanding the customer’s needs or concerns. In short, it is very dynamic and it always matters what I do. That is why I am committed.

Tom’s happy to get a lot of room on how to fulfil his job. “I need that to develop myself. I like a certain freedom in my work. Fortunately, Van Oord facilitates that well. If it fits in with my development perspective and is in Van Oord’s interests, I will certainly make use of it”.

Tom gets a lot of satisfaction from his job as Senior EMVI-Coordinator. “It makes me very proud to be able to make a valuable contribution to water safety in the Netherlands from a commercial role within one of the leading global marine contractors”. Tom is confident that he will be able to win a number of tenders for Van Oord in the coming period and create the conditions for a successful realisation. “Winning is fun, but we also have to earn money in order to continue to develop as a company”.


It is with great enthusiasm that Tom proposes for more talented people to join Van Oord. “You’ll get the opportunity to develop yourself. The company’s ambitions are clear and if you can identify with them, we can excel together. That gives a kick! Van Oord’s market position and broad in-house expertise enable us to further expand our market share in the Netherlands. You can also contribute to this”

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