Continue to optimise while maintaining quality
Brainstorming with the customer is at the heart of FIB Industries. In doing so, it is important to properly interpret the customer request. Although the customer often comes up with a good solution themselves, even better solutions are possible occasionally. Our sales support and technical department look for the solution that best suits the customer’s needs. The cost of a project can also be a crucial component in this regard. This is Leendert Otte’s responsibility within FIB Industries.
Leendert joined FIB in 1986. The motivation to choose FIB Industries as an employer came largely from his eldest brother: “My brother had been working at FIB Industries for six years. He told me that FIB Industries was a very good employer. When I saw a vacancy open, I didn’t have to think long. That same year, I started working as a warehouse assistant. In the years that followed, I continued to grow each time, eventually working as sales support manager through various roles in the Estimation Department. Because you start at the bottom, you know exactly how things work in the company. I am currently the head of the Estimation Department. My exact role within the team is to make sure my colleagues can do their job well, so they know how to translate the customer request into the best solution,” says Leendert.
Leendert ensures that his colleagues can do their jobs well mainly through facilitation and optimisation. “We have already optimised a lot over the past few years. The whole thing has become a lot more efficient, partly thanks to involving the colleagues in the workplace. This allows us to calculate a very accurate cost price. But my immediate colleagues and I are also constantly looking at how we can develop the best solution for the customer. Our aim is always to keep quality high and control the product cost.”
The important thing about estimating is to properly understand what the customer requests, so that this request can then be translated into the optimal solution for the customer. In doing so, the calculator is always in close contact with the engineering team to ensure that everyone is on the same page. “Customers write complex specifications that you have to interpret. You will build up the necessary knowledge by reading a lot and gaining experience. We use that knowledge to process the request faster and better in a standard or customised solution. As a calculator, I feel responsible for the entire company. We need to make sure everyone has sufficient work. If we don’t do our job properly, it directly has a big impact on the whole company.”
I have completed many different projects during my 36 years at FIB, from small to large. In doing so, it is the largest projects that made the most impression. “ One of the best projects I worked on was in 2012. We produced a 300-tonne pulper drum for the paper market. Due to the complexity and the size of the project, it was hugely important to make a good calculation beforehand. If we would make a mistake at that stage, you notice it throughout the whole project. But the very complexity of the project was what made it challenging for me. Due to an extended preparation and many consultations beforehand, this project was successfully completed and quality product was delivered to our end customer. I can look back on that with a sense of pride.”
Brainstorming with the customer has been of great importance to FIB Industries for 75 years. By anchoring this as one of its core values, FIB Industries has become a well-known name in the manufacturing of stainless steel equipment for the global construction industry. This involves manufacturing in the Netherlands but shipping worldwide, always taking both international- and customer requirements into account. Because the Estimation Department knows these requirements well, they always know how to translate them into the perfect solution for the customer.