Michelle Tijssen was only meant to work at Vetipak for two months, over the summer of 2014. In the end, she was there for more than four years...
“From a bumpy path to a three-lane highway”
Tuesday, June 1, 2010. It’s Hans Snel’s first day at Vetipak. He switches on his laptop in the reception area at Landweerstraat. Hans, who has just started as a Customer Support Manager, hears Mark van der Burgt's words echoing in his mind: “Keep your eyes and ears open in the coming weeks, and tell us what you notice.” His Vetipak adventure has begun.
In his first week, Hans decides to focus on speaking to as many colleagues as possible. After all, learning from others with experience is a great way of getting ahead. He also spends two days in production to get a feel for how Vetipak actually carries out its customers’ orders.
Hans notices one thing in particular: while Vetipak has a wealth of knowledge and experience at its disposal, it is mainly in the minds of its employees rather than being documented anywhere. This seems inconceivable to him. For example, where are the guidelines for making new customer orders ready for production? Or the data sheets into which customers can enter their order details? This can – and must – be done differently.
“I remember being quite shocked that the standard processes for translating quotations into production orders weren’t recorded anywhere”, says Hans now. “Imagine if someone got sick, or left the company. All of a sudden this essential knowledge would be gone. The first document I created was a checklist, which has since evolved to become what we call our Cook Book, an Excel sheet for processing customer and order data relevant to our production. I also described a new item process illustrating the route an order takes to start-up. It includes everything: duties, responsibilities and supplies.”
Simple, but vital
Hans’ approach worked. The almost traditional (and often slightly chaotic) ‘question hour’ right before the actual start-up was replaced by calmness and clarity. “Colleagues knew what to expect, and what was expected of them. Nowadays we have weekly meetings at which we run through all of the upcoming orders and jobs. It might sound simple, but thorough preparation is essential to a smooth start-up.”
“I was quite shocked that standard processes
weren’t recorded anywhere”
Hans Snel | Customer Support Manager
Structure and clarity
Under Hans’ enthusiastic leadership, more and more things were standardized and documented. Our CRM system now contains a treasure trove of standard documents, from quotation forms to templates for full-service terms. “All of my processes are set up the way I like them. I haven’t received any complaints so far, so I think my colleagues are also pretty satisfied”, laughs Hans. “Seriously though: we have a great way of working. It’s structured and clear, and everyone can provide input and ask questions. We wouldn’t get very far on our own; we need to work together as a team to achieve success.”
Farewell to the Excel sheets
We’ve now been using the SuperOffice CRM since 2019. “That was another step in our professionalization”, says Hans. “We use this to record relevant customer information and make it easily transferable. This includes things like customer contacts, communication regarding projects, and quotations. We manage the entire sales pipeline here – the whole process from finding a prospect to starting up the first order. We now also extract all of our sales KPIs from the CRM, which provides us with greater insight and importantly, real-time data. It’s great that we’ve moved beyond a bunch of Excel spreadsheets!”
Part of the family
It’s not just the structured approach that appeals to Hans; he also feels very much part of the Vetipak family. “There are no lords and ladies here – everyone is equal and we behave accordingly. And at Vetipak, I have a sense of enterprise that was missing at my previous employer. That was a publicly traded company, and every single decision there had to pass through numerous channels. Too many, in my opinion. You can fill in all kinds of forms and get approvals, but there also has to be a time for action. Vetipak has the ideal mix, I feel.”
“There are no lords and ladies here –
everyone is equal and we behave accordingly”
Hans is confident about the future. “As an organization, we’ve transitioned from a bumpy path to a three-lane highway. We have a fantastic client portfolio, a great name in the market and a carefully considered plan for acquiring new customers. We know what we’re looking for and what our customers expect: a professional partner they can rely on. Many customers often regard their product as their baby, and rightly so. When you take your child to daycare, you want to feel good about leaving them there. We give our customers that good feeling about their products.”
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Meet our ‘new’ board member: COO Jeroen van Herpen
At Vetipak, we always look ahead. And not just to the next five or ten years, but the next generation or two. Because we aim to offer our employees, customers, and suppliers a safe, innovative and appealing future. That’s also why we welcomed powerhouse Jeroen van Herpen to the board as Chief Operational Officer (COO) on January 1 of this year.
“We wouldn’t have a business if it weren’t for Vetipak”
“What do I remember about that long day way back in 2010? I remember being tired – tired and disappointed.” Briton John Toomey, the co-founder of Yu! Fruit Snacks, can laugh about it today. “We wouldn’t have a business if it weren’t for Vetipak.”