30 - 01 - 2020, by Convergence Industry

Interview: Erwin Quak – Manager Operations

 Growth and restructuring, the ongoing process within the walls of Convergence Industry. Our biggest priorities are our customers and our employees. Because of this, we are reworking our existing workflow. We needed someone to oversee and manage our operations in a more direct way. Now we are proud to announce that we have selected Erwin Quak as our operational manager! We sat down with Erwin to talk about his first month as operational manager.

What was your first month as the Manager Operations like?
As with all changes in life, I needed some time to adjust and get used to my new situation. December and January are already very busy months for us at Convergence and with my new function I gained a bunch of new responsibilities, part of which were still in the process of being carried over to me. Of course this is part of the process and this posed a nice challenge for me. Luckily the amount of overtime is starting to get back to manageable level and I’m starting to get settled in in my new function.

Why were you chosen for this new function?
I have proven myself capable of handling the stressful situations that this job comes with and I had been slowly taking on some of my responsibilities over the last months of 2019.

Why did you chose to accept this new function?
It gives me the chance to be part of the strategic process at Convergence instead of just the organizational and executional daily routine. I can now implement the knowledge on leadership and management that I’ve gained over the years through reading, training programs and an education at Nyenrode.

How have your responsibilities and daily routine at work changed since moving to this new function?
Well compared to the past half year not so much. Overseeing the production schedule and guiding my operational colleagues had already become part of my job to prepare me for the coming year and to relieve some pressure off of our Operational Director Chielant de Wit. In the last months this also included some Human Resources management.

What definitely has changed is my role in the structural part of our organization.¬† I am now also involved in the scheduling of our software development which also means that I’m more closely involved in R&D projects.

The biggest change for me has been that instead of working on individual projects I am now mostly working with my colleagues to improve upon organizational aspects of our production process. Thankfully my Assembly and Project Engineer colleagues have picked up my previous responsibilities very well and I’m confident that with my guidance we can achieve even more than we have in the past.

With your first month now behind you, what changes and improvements would you like to implement?
Haha well there are tons of things that I’d like to do different and improve upon but if I’ve learned one thing, it’s that sudden and invasive changes are rarely a good thing unless you have a clear plan to back it up. If a change is not immediately necessary then it is best left for the long term process and to implement it slowly.

Of course I have plenty of plans for improvements and changes but right now we are already dealing with this huge change in our leadership structure. Together with the others on the management team we are working on a few concepts to improve our existing workflow and organizational structure but I’ll leave those for future press releases.

Goals and targets for the coming years?
Well it may sound a bit dull but I really just want to focus on achieving our goals in terms of budget, quality and production time. Although these kind of things sound dull and easy they are a key part of what makes this company and what our customers experience while working with us. It’s also not as easy as it sounds as we are often dealing with custom user specific requirements in our systems which pose new challenges every time.

The overarching theme here is that I want to focus on professionality and achieving set targets without losing the creativity, flexibility and willingness to provide service to our customers that my colleagues have come to expect of me.

What is your vision?
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” (Leonardo da Vinci, 1452-1519)

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