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Operational Excellence at TMC: continuous learning and improving together

‘Continuous improvement is a term widely used in manufacturing environments within the technological sector. It applies on multiple other levels as well. A great example is the organizational one: to differentiate from our competitors the unique Employeneurship model is in place, to stay ahead we continuously evolve.’ Thierry Debertrand, account manager with TMC Manufacturing Support explains how they work on continuous improvement within his cell.

‘Within TMC Manufacturing Support we do so (amongst various other initiatives) with the three competency groups Operational Excellence, Quality & Supply Chain. Within TMC we create an environment in which knowledge transfer and sharing experience is stimulated in a challenging way. The Operational Excellence group serves in giving the Employeneurs the option to participate and learn from each other.’

In 2017 TMC Manufacturing Support took a new path. Gerald van Heugten and Wietse van Gerven, both Employeneurs with TMC Manufacturing Support and initiators of the Competence Group Operational Excellence, had organized several sessions based on an Operational Excellence model. Each session was inspired by a specific topic in this model:

  • Process Excellence;
  • High Performance Work Teams;
  • Strategy Deployment;
  • Performance Management.

‘The interactive program stimulated the Employeneurs to learn skills that could help in risk management and cultural differences. By developing the skill sets of our Employeneurs, ideally they can handle a wider variety and complexity of situations at the client’s site. Our clients value this approach because of the learning curve the Employeneurs go through. In this way they can live up to the expectation of making the difference for the client’s organization.’ 

'Seeing people connect not only on a personal level but also with knowledge and experience is really great.'

According to Gerard the competence groups are a very powerful method to unlock the potential within the group. ‘To me facilitating the Operational Excellence group as a coordinator has been very satisfying. Seeing people connect not only on a personal level but also with knowledge and experience is really great. It’s amazing how they have gained insights as a result of the subjects and discussions we brought to the table. Just by sharing you can learn so much from each other.’ 

The best thing about this program is that not only the Employeneurs learned from it. Thierry himself got to know more about his field of expertise. ‘I am now able to explain theory and practical approaches on topics like Lean Six Sigma, planning related methods, work preparation, trouble-shooting and production engineering. This definitely helps me in carrying out my other responsibilities at TMC. Personally I’m convinced that the Operational Excellence competency group has multiple positive effects on the internal TMC organization as well. 

Last but not least, I have to say that I’ve gained a lot of energy working with this inspiring group of people. Like Arthur Aufderheide once said: All knowledge is connected to all other knowledge. The fun is making the connections.’


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