Founder Ton (‘Tonny’) Goedmakers started our company in 1943 in order to avoid mandatory employment by the German occupying forces. Due to competition considerations, he focused his cleaning company, Hago (named for his father, Harrie Goedmakers) on large companies and institutions: the State Mines, the Limburgse Tram Maatschappij, Philips. He convinced these organisations, and later many others, to let his company manage their cleaning operations by providing professional service at lower costs.
The company grew through its large customers and began operating nationwide in the 1950s. The development and sale of the company's own cleaning products and systems also began quickly. The Diakonessen Hospital in Eindhoven became the first healthcare customer in 1966. The company also cautiously entered the Belgian market.
The Vebego holding company was established in the 1970s and completed its first acquisition: a cleaning company in Switzerland. Tonny’s son, Ton, joined the Board of Directors in 1975. A period of further expansion began in the 1980s and 1990s, nationally as well as internationally. Tonny’s second son, Ronald, also joined the Board of Directors in 1988, and the second generation is now managing the company. Vebego achieved a firm foothold in Belgium through a number of acquisitions. Vebego has also been active in Germany since 1995 with cleaning and personnel services. Partnerships provide Vebego access to the markets in Spain, France, Italy and the United Kingdom. This strategy is not an unqualified success due to fierce competition, differences in national legislation and the necessary cooperation. That is why beginning in the 1990s, Vebego focused on the core markets: Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland.
At the end of the 1990s, Vebego expanded to integral facility management and strengthened its position in that market with a number of acquisitions.
In the early 2000s, Vebego launched a new activity that is very much in line with the philosophy of founder Tonny. By working together with sheltered workshops in more than sixty municipalities, and later even establishing a 100% SW (Sociale Werkvoorziening [Sheltered Workshop]) company, Vebego provides work for vulnerable people. Ton stepped down as CEO in 2005 and Ronald became CEO of the family business. Vebego started its own foundation that year with the goal of providing disadvantaged children and young people a better future.
Vebego became actively involved in green space maintenance through a number of acquisitions and collaborations. This work is a good supplement to the services that the company provides. It is also a good way to provide people with an opportunity to join the labour market. Currently, more than 10% of Vebego's workforce consists of people distant to the labour market. Ton Snr’s son, also called Ton, joined the Board of Directors in 2018. He will be appointed CEO in 2021. From that moment on, all Vebego shares will also be in the hands of the third generation of Goedmakers.
An anniversary year deserves an anniversary book. Vebego celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2018 and that is why we wrote the book, Vebego Vitalises since 1943: a collection of inspiring stories from the organisation, interviews with customers and portraits of employees. It is also a trip down memory lane, where we look back on, among other things, the company’s origin in the turbulent war years and the explosive welfare success in the 1960s.