Lex Mentink bids farewell to Stichting IMN

Wednesday 13 September 2017
On 11 September 2017, Lex Mentink stepped down as chairman of Stichting IMN. He occupied the position for twelve years, and played an important role in stabilising the organisation and professionalising incident management on the Dutch main roads. Mentink was appointed Director of Customer Contact at Zilveren Kruis insurers on 1 June 2017.

Lex Mentink bids farewell to Stichting IMN

LM at the IM2017 event

In 2004, Lex Mentink became director of Eurocross Assistance and in that capacity joined the board of Stichting IMN. Elected chairman on 13 December 2005, he found himself in charge of an organisation facing troubled times. Under pressure from the Netherlands Competition Authority, Stichting IMN had been forced to abruptly cease involvement in recovery work on the underlying road network, and in 2005 was party in eight different legal disputes, with recovery operators.

Over the next few years, Mentink succeeded in re-establishing calm. He worked hard to improve the relationships with the recovery sector. However, the focus of his policy was on professionalising Stichting IMN itself. Key steps in this process were the professionalisation of the tendering procedure for recovery agreements in 2006, 2009, 2012 and 2015, the introduction of the Arrival Time System Incident Management (AIM) in 2007 and at the same time the tightening up of enforcement of the contract conditions agreed with the recovery operators.

2008 saw the tendering procedure for the National Central Reporting Point (LCM) which had traditionally been the role of the Insurers' Assistance Service. This procedure offered Stichting IMN the opportunity to modernise its 'control room', as it saw fit. The LCM contract was awarded to Allianz Global Assistance (AGA) in 2009.

This was the start of a period of steady improvement in the performance of the national network of IM recovery operators. The average arrival time for all recoveries undertaken reached the level of around fourteen minutes, from 2012 onwards. This figure includes delays as a result of traffic congestion. This development was accompanied by a rapid rise in the number of IM reports, from 40,000 in 2007 to almost 100,000 in 2017.

Under the leadership of Lex Mentink, over the past three years Stichting IMN has above all been working to accelerate and computerise the receipt and passing on of incident reports. Orders to recovery operators have been issued electronically since 2016 via the Electronic Reporting System for Incident Management (EMI). The automation of incoming messages is currently well under way.

In his period as chairman, Lex Mentink witnessed the rapid and unstoppable concentration of the recovery market. He viewed this growing scarcity on the supply side as a threat to the quality of recovery work on the main road network. To turn this tide, on 7 September 2017, Stichting IMN decided that in the next round of tenders for recovery agreements, additional weighting would be given to quality as an awarding criterion. This resolution was passed in the last board meeting chaired by Lex Mentink.

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