Pascal Jongejan (24) is a Supply Chain Planner at SuperFlora. With a few side jobs in the greenhouse – one of which at vegetable sprout specialist Koppert Cress – he has been working his way to the top of the horticultural sector even back when he was finishing his secondary education and his studies in Business Administration. After completing a master's program in Supply Chain Management, he was certain: “Understanding and improving major processes is what makes me happy.” How he does it? Pascal has 5 tips for the new generation of Supply Chain Planners.
1. Start with small improvements
Just like Intergreen, SuperFlora supplies flowers to English retailers. As a Supply Chain Planner, Pascal studies how each step in the process of the delivering of African products is constructed. “It’s a complicated process with lots of steps. Flowers from Africa, South-America, and Europe come together in England, get processed into bouquets, and then get sent to their final destination. Say that step one or two doesn’t go smoothly, then this could have grave consequences for the rest of the process. I get challenged with finding that one step that isn’t as efficient as it could be and improve on it. It’s small adjustments like that that tend to have the greatest impact.”
2. Seeing is knowing
To truly know how a process works, you have to witness it for yourself. On his own initiative, Pascal went to England earlier this year to tag along with his colleagues oversees. “With the questions ‘How is it done over there, and how can we work more efficiently?’ in mind, we located a problem relatively quickly.
Production employees on the work floor were walking more than was needed. The walking paths between where the finished products were stored and the loading stations were quite disorderly. By organizing the paths in a more clear and concise way, the English employees now spend less time needless walking about, which lets them work more efficiently. And as a bonus, the knowledge we gained from this can be applied to other departments as well. Like with our supply of loose flowers.”
3. Work together and connect people
In Pascal's job, it’s essential to keep an eye on everything. He works together with a variety of parties, from the production team to the commercial team. “The trick is to know exactly which person you can put on which job and what expertise you all bring to the table. I love connecting people and getting the most out of these connections. By working on something together instead of going about it on your own, you can achieve much more. Together we ensure that we perform well.”
4. Think big
After 1.5 years at SuperFlora, Pascal knowns what his other colleagues at Dutch Flower Group (DFG) bring to the table. “DFG – which SuperFlora is a part of – is one big family. That is why we gratefully use each other’s knowledge and work as much with our sister companies as possible. For example, when our processes in a certain area overlap. This way of working fits me like a glove. When I want to make a process more efficient, and the solution is not something that can be found in our own organization, I can always try and find a solution elsewhere in the DFG.”
5. Look beyond the beaten track
By practicing tips 1 through 4, Pascal has time left to look for new opportunities and possibilities. “As I continue to work more efficiently, I have more time left to work on other issues. How can I help myself as well as the company even more? Because of the opportunities I get around here to take my own initiative and manage changes, I think more and more about the next step in my career. Overseeing large processes and connecting people is something that suits me really well. I already have a personal short term challenge for myself. In January 2020, I will join HortiHeroes. New people, new ideas, and a hard program. Fun! I can't tell anything yet about the contents of my project, though…”
Source: World Horti Center