WPS is looking forward: "innovation is in our DNA"

In 2018, Digna van Zanten took over as managing director of WPS. An ambitious young woman at the helm of a technical organization with primarily male employees. At the start of 2021, Digna looks back on the changes she has initiated within WPS and looks forward to 2021.

"In 2018, the course was set to focus on the basics: happy customers and happy WPS employees. We are now harvesting the fruits of this direction and will continue to keep focusing on this. Last November and December, we took the time to reflect on our aspirations. Now a solid foundation has been laid, we can continue to work on sustainable growth for WPS."

"Innovation is in WPS’s DNA. Something we are proud of and cherish. We want to innovate more intelligently. We want customers and the supply chain to be structurally involved in thinking about our innovations.

WPS’s focus is on developing new modules for the SmartFlo transport system, automation of packaging solutions with robots, packaging machines and tray handling."

European horticultural market
"In 2019 and 2020, our market share in Germany increased significantly. After years of seeding, our solutions are now widely accepted and the number of systems is expanding every year. In the Netherlands, in addition to intensifying our relationship with existing customers, targeted acquisition is the focus. In doing so, we look for growers who match WPS."

"Over the past two years, under the leadership of Edwin Dijkshoorn, we have been working hard to put WPS on the map in the US and Canada. Edwin understands the  growers there, so we are working on long-term cooperation.

For SmartFlo, we expect to realize substantial growth in the US in 2021, since growers in North America face the same challenges as in Europe. Now our SmartFlo system has proven itself outside greenhouses we can meet this need as well."

"In 2020, we were grateful again, we also serve agri-science. The technical solutions which are in demand are a perfect match for our product portfolio. In 2020, we received another nice turnkey order from one of the largest agri-science companies. In the last consecutive years we have been growing tin this market and the forecast for 2021 is in line with this."

"When you buy a WPS system, you are signing for a 20-year friendship. In those 20 years, good service is crucial. Last year we focused on further optimizing our service. With the arrival of our service team leader Michael, a project towards optimalisation of our service department has started with an end goal of: minimal downtime for our customers and our service to an excellent level".

Continuous improvement and work happiness
"With the implementation of lean methods in our project operations, we have taken the first step towards the realization of an “improvement culture”. In 2021, our ambition is to further embed 'continuous improvement' into our corporate culture. The great thing about this is, that everyone can contribute to improvements within WPS. Together we can make WPS grow.

Another important theme is:  happy WPS employees. We gained a lot of knowledge about work happiness. Work happiness is an important ingredient on which we actively focus. The great thing is that work happiness is also in small things."

On growth
"Because the entire team’s drive, I notice, that as WPS employees we sometimes forget to reflect on the things we can be proud of. For me, growth is not just turnover or profit, it is the growth we experience as a team that I am most proud of. Personal growth is long-lasting and manifests itself in many ways. 2021 promises to be a great year for WPS.”

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