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Managing People and Operations: Operations Manager Gertjan

Gertjan is Operations Manager in Kuehne + Nagel Eindhout, where he leads the warehouse activities of one of our Contract Logistics customers. With his expertise in supply chain and warehousing, he’s a great at managing the operations. Nonetheless, it are his people management skills which make him excel in his job.

“As an Operations Manager you’re in between the customer and your people, and the goal is to find the right balance”, Gertjan explains. “The customer has to be happy but your team as well.” According to Gertjan, who has been responsible for different customers in our warehouse, the job content largely depends on the type of operations. “Not only among different companies, but also within the same company the type of customer and their requirements can add a whole new dimension to the job of Operations Manager.”

And in order to meet the customer’s requirements, part of Gertjan’s task is also to align with them on a frequent basis. “Today I have my monthly customer meeting”, he says, stressing that these meetings are essential to determine the right course of action for the following weeks and months. “Forecasting and budgeting are also important aspects of this role. If the customer expects high volumes, we need to ensure to have enough capacity to handle that.”

Added to that, Operations Managers also constantly have to think of ways to make existing processes more efficient. Thankfully, Gertjan can always count on his team for support. “The supervisors reporting to me are yellow belts who lead their own continuous improvement projects. My team and I do the largest part of the productivity projects by ourselves, but we can always ask coaching from the KNPS team when needed”, he clarifies.

Despite all his responsibilities, it’s impossible for Gertjan to see himself in any other position. “I was a Solutions Engineer for a while, but I missed the people and the warehouse so it didn’t take long before I decided to go back to the ‘floor’.” And also culture-wise Gertjan feels like he’s in the right place at Kuehne + Nagel, saying that “you’re always listened to. You can be open and say what’s on your mind and get support from the management. I value that immensely.”

Would you also like to work in a company where you can speak your mind? Check our open vacancies in our Career Portal: https://jobs.kuehne-nagel.com

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