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Competence group visits Coppens Diervoeding

The Supply Chain Management competence group is an enthusiastic club of TMC Employeneurs within Manufacturing Support. They meet several times a year - not just the experienced colleagues, but also the employees who are at the start of their career. During these meetings, Supply Chain-related topics are discussed and knowledge is shared. TMC customers also have the opportunity to benefit from this knowledge. The competence group recently visited the company Coppens Diervoeding in Helmond. Coppens produces about 1200 tons of nutrition for chickens and pigs per day.

‘A former colleague, who now works at TMC, contacted me,’ says Bob Pritchard of Coppens Diervoeding. ‘He told me about the competence group and what it could mean for my organization. I prepared a number of business cases and organized a guided tour within our company. The attendees all worked in the field of Supply Chain and were genuinely interested in the company, promoting improvements.’

‘It is striking that different branches face the same challenges.'

One of the attendees was Employeneur Femke de Langen. She has been working at TMC for three years and has conducted several projects in different work environments. She currently works at Abbott, a distribution center for medical products. ‘During the visit to Coppens, I noticed that a nutrition company can have common ground with a company that works on medical products. In recent years, I have gained a lot of experience in healthcare and safety, and the quality of the products is a priority. Coppens has the same priorities. The difference is in the way products are made. Coppens produces larger volumes than Abbott.’ The issues discussed at Coppens were recognizable to Femke. ‘It is striking that different branches face the same challenges. Because these were recognizable, we were able to share experiences and present our vision. All participants had different backgrounds, which resulted in many perspectives.’

Employeneur Nick Hoffmans has been working at TMC for six months. The visit to Coppens was his first company visit within the competence group. ‘I grew up on a farm and often saw the final product. It was very interesting to see how that kibble is produced. We gained insight into the production process, the design and the challenges that Coppens has to deal with. At ASML, I work on a Supply Chain project. Unlike a company like Coppens, it is all about big machines and smaller volumes. Despite the fact that all attendants came from different branches, we were still able to contribute ideas and provide solutions. In one’s daily work, you often become blind to problems and you do not think in terms of possibilities anymore. Learning how you can be of service to a company without having direct knowledge of the product made this company visit valuable to us.’

'Bringing the departments together is one of the most important improvements that TMC has put forward.'

Bob Pritchard continues: ‘The issues I had always came with one solution: to improve the communication between our production department and sales department, which would lead to a more mutual understanding. The communication between these two departments is also complicated because they are in different locations. Developing greater understanding within my organization is something that I am working on again. I am now scheduling an appointment with the sales director every month. Bringing the departments together is one of the most important improvements that TMC has put forward. TMC presented itself as a creative organization with enthusiastic professionals. It was instructive to spar in this area and to share knowledge and experience. I was forced to face the facts and look at them with a fresh perspective.’

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