What did you study and why?
I went to the VUB and studied Polytechnical Engineering specialized in Mechanics. In high school I went to a technical school and it was a logic next step to become an engineer.
What were you looking for in your (first) job?
After all the hours of theory study, I was looking very much forward to some practical applications. During a visit at Asco with the VUB I was immediately impressed about the industrialization processes and was hoping to be able to be part of it one day.
Although I am not in a technical function anymore, this was at the time what I was really looking for in my first job: some technical challenges. Of course I was also aware that I still needed to learn a lot, so I looked for a job where I had the opportunity to learn.
What was your first impression of Asco as employer and how did things go during your first few weeks/months?
I started working in the Industrialization department and I quickly realized that all the studied theory, wasn’t sufficient at all to be able to perform my job. A lot of on-the-job training was necessary. I was lucky to have a very experienced coach when I started.
My first 2 weeks, I operated a CNC machine, producing tooling holes in sector gears. A real shop floor experience, which I valued very much.
In my first weeks I had the chance to follow some interesting technical trainings and I was able to travel to Detroit to a subcontractor for optimization of a heat treatment operation in our industrialization process. A very exciting trip.
What is the exact content of your job and how do you see yourself evolving in Asco?
After my job in Industrialization I took a position of Technical Project Leader. My next step was a move to our Canadian facility in Vancouver where I took on different roles. I worked as a Project Manager and Engineering Manager, but I also supported the bidding cell and started to have the first contacts with customers (Boeing and Bombardier). After this I decided to take on a more commercial role in Program Management. The last 3 years I am working as Purchasing Manager, acting in a real corporate role, which makes this a very diverge job with a lot of internal and external interactions. With our Procurement team we already realized a lot of nice projects, and it is my goal to still increase the level of support to our internal customers, and this with an enthusiastic and motivated team.
Can you briefly explain the operation of your department?
In the Procurement department, we procure the right products and services for the Asco group. The link with the supply base is very important and is key in supporting the production lines. In order to improve the service level to our internal customers, we focus on supplier development and define our Procurement strategies in such a way that we concentrate the spend at a limited number of high performing suppliers.
Why is Asco the right choice for you?
Clearly after all these years, Asco was and still is the right choice for me. Despite the sometimes big challenges, there is always an interesting project awaiting. The international character of Asco, created over the years, and the international customers such as Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, … combined with the very interesting aerospace business, keep motivating me to work for Asco. Some colleagues who’ve been for a long time with Asco now, became good friends, and it is enjoyable working with friends.