The Entrepreneurial Lab gets a make-over
A natural born organizer, Employeneur Egbert-Jan (EJ) Holleman was the ideal person to refresh TMC’s Entrepreneurial Lab.
EJ is a member of TMC New Product Introduction. He works in the Systems department of VDL ETG in Eindhoven, which assembles high-quality mechatronic products for industrial use. EJ’s daily tasks consist mainly of bringing electronic and electromechanical devices to production and developing test equipment for use in production. Quality monitoring plays an important role in his tasks – so it’s not surprising that he put himself forward to take on the role of Supervisor of The Entrepreneurial Lab (TEL).
‘It all started with the relocation of TMC’s head office to the High Tech Campus,’ EJ says. ‘The lab was messy and stock was insufficient. When colleagues worked on a project, they often had to go to the store for all kinds of trifles. There were also no decent tools. The relocation was a good opportunity to clean up and organize The Entrepreneurial Lab to make it more functional.’ The Entrepreneurial Lab is one of the pillars of TMC. ‘We’re pretty unusual in having a lab like this. It encourages the development of technical skills, enterprise, and creativity in Employeneurs, together with our customers. The lab has many facilities, and colleagues not only work on projects here but also exchange information and discuss issues.’
'The relocation was a good opportunity to clean up and organize The Entrepreneurial Lab to make it more functional.'
During the move, EJ sorted out the old and unusable equipment and materials. With the revenue procured through selling the old lab’s inventory, he bought tools for the new lab. ‘I invested part of the budget in workbenches, and I used the remainder to purchase a column drill and several smaller tools. I have improved the workbenches and equipped them with sufficient power outlets. Furthermore, I arranged organizer boxes for electronics parts and fasteners, such as bolts and nuts, and sorted them into storage bins. Since the lab has had the organizers, there has been a big drop in the number of people needing to buy their own equipment and claim it back on expenses. Due to TMC’s relocation and the improved visibility of this new lab, I have noticed that the number of projects has increased considerably.’
As a TEL supervisor, EJ ensures that stocks are kept in order, equipment remains functional, and defective hand tools are replaced. ‘I offer advice on where materials can best be ordered. In the meantime, I am busy arranging accounts at various suppliers so that colleagues can easily order products. I also arrange software for electrical and mechanical designs.’
In 2018, EJ received the Employeneur Award for his commitment. ‘Entrepreneurial Lab Manager Lotte Geertsen is responsible for the lab and nominated me for my role and contribution as a TEL supervisor. I am happy that my efforts are appreciated. Sometimes, I wonder what motivates me to carry out this task. I like to facilitate and create and, of course, the social context appeals to me. And when I do a project myself, I'm assured of a well-equipped lab,’ he laughs.
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