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“Finance brings people and data together”
While Business Controller Alfred van der Meijs knows better than anyone that Finance is hardly a company’s “sexiest” department, his job is actually a lot more exciting than many people think. Vetipak’s fast-paced environment – where efficiency is important but should never come at the expense of ownership – is definitely one of the contributing factors.
Alfred believes that ‘keeping the house in order’ is one of the main responsibilities of the Finance department, being key to generating high-quality management information: “Generating and distributing the right management data efficiently and at the right time is essential for the management and the board in making informed decisions, determining the appropriate strategy for our company, and intervening where necessary.”
Anyone who knows Vetipak at all is aware that all our departments are committed to excellence. Finance – which is led by Alfred and his team members Marieke and Edwin – certainly has a passion for excellence: as well as being dedicated to keeping our house in order, they are always looking for ways to do an even better job.
“That may sound like a bit of a cliché, but we really do learn something new every day,” Alfred says. “Even if we have the tiniest wrinkles, we want to iron them out. Doing so, we bring people and data together. That’s exactly what makes our work so fascinating. Whenever we see that something can be done more efficiently, we and our coworkers in other departments get right on top of it. That makes our line of work a lot more people-centered than one often tends to think.”
always starts with people”
Alfred van der Meijs
Business Controller at Vetipak
Bringing people and data together sounds pretty exciting – but isn’t a business controller’s main responsibility ensuring that financial processes are run as efficiently and effectively as possible? As Alfred explains, the two are highly interrelated.
“Sure, efficiency is vital, but process optimization always starts with people. Vetipak offers employees a lot of opportunities for personal enterprise – they’re given a high degree of ownership. And while that’s absolutely commendable, the downside could be that you lack a fully standardized method for storing data within the company. By discussing these types of issues, we try to keep firm control over these fundamental processes. It’s important, though, that this doesn’t undermine people’s ownership, as that’s one of the things that makes us such a great company.”
“If no one’s talking about us,
we know we’re basically doing a good job”
Finance has celebrated plenty of successes in recent years, including the fact that the financial close (the end of the accounting cycle) was reduced by three days in the past year, providing even faster access to key management information. While Alfred knows that not all employees are aware of these achievements, he doesn’t mind his department’s somewhat lower profile. In the end, Finance & Control’s main job is to support the business and operations, as that’s where the money is generated.
“If no one’s talking about us, we know we’re basically doing a good job. That’s the nature of our line of business – which is not to say we don’t feel appreciated; I think people know we run a pretty tight ship.”
Alfred: “But we continue to set a very high bar for ourselves. For example, I would like Finance to ensure that Vetipak can use data in a way to keep it even more on top of things in the future, as this would mean we can respond to market opportunities even more quickly than our competitors. This will enable us to become an even stronger partner in business to our clients than we already are.”
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