Finding solutions while expanding networks
‘The most brilliant solutions are often the simplest ones’, says TMC Employeneur Cameron Riley, ‘but that doesn’t mean they’re easy to come up with. Sometimes it really helps to have an outsider’s perspective, preferably from someone who works within your own field.’ And that’s why TMC’s New Product Introduction (NPI) Cell recently held an inspiring meeting at Objexlab in Eindhoven. ‘It’s a great and easy-going way of expanding our network and helping each other succeed in our projects.’
Objexlab is one of the first educational additive manufacturing labs in The Netherlands. After a tour of the company, Cameron gave a presentation about his current project at Philips, where he is responsible for the ramp up of a production line where 3D printers are used to build tungsten parts for medical applications.
Cameron, who joined TMC last September, is the youngest member of the NPI Cell, but he’s well-respected and isn’t treated like a newcomer at all. ‘Engineers approach everything from a technical point of view,’ he explains. ‘They don’t care about age or the number of years you’ve worked at the company; they only look at the problem at hand and the possible solutions. Of course, at TMC you always have to be prepared for tough questions and constructive criticism – that’s a given in our field, no matter how old or experienced you are.’
TMC’s Employeneurs are spread out across the country and beyond its borders. A lot of their work takes place at the clients’ offices. Still, through regular Competency Meetings like the one at Objexlab, TMC manages to create a sense of togetherness, a sense of belonging to the company and to one’s particular business cell. ‘TMC is very good at that,’ Cameron says. ‘Our business cell comes together every two months. We talk about our projects, share our experiences, discuss problems and come up with solutions. And by having these meetings at inspiring companies, we also expand our network and broaden our horizons.’
Although the Employeneurs who came together at Objexlab work in the same field and therefore face the same kind of challenges, they all work on different projects. ‘Sometimes, you can get stuck in a certain way of thinking’, Cameron says. ‘You made a decision to follow a path and all your ideas are based on that initial decision. If you face challenges or difficulties in your work, it really helps to have your colleagues take a fresh look. They have the same level of understanding as you, but they aren’t blinded by familiarity with the project. It’s always special to see new possibilities emerge from these informal meetings.’