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22 June 2022

Customer Excellence: always in search of the perfect balance

How to balance customer requirements with operational capacity? A question without a straightforward answer, as Bert-Jan Visser knows. His function as manager customer excellence requires Bert-Jan to contact multiple clients on a daily basis, all with unique needs. ‘’Looking for balance is the challenge of our work'' 

Bert-Jan’s position can be described as central in the organisation. He directs a logistics team and a transport team, all while keeping in contact with Versteijnen’s clients to meet their needs. ‘’Being in the middle of the operation means getting involved with a variety of projects. The tasks that emerge from these projects are then set out in the organisation.’’ The only downside to Bert-Jan’s position? ‘’Sadly, problem-solving capabilities or extra completed tasks that we didn’t account for aren’be measured while it’s one of the most important aspects of my position.’’

His choice for a career in logistics was one made early on. After a three-year course as a logistics manager, Bert-Jan met a business partner with whom he developed a small transport company into a company with 4000 m2 storage capacity. “I have been given responsibilities, learned a lot and worked hard,” says Bert-Jan. “We worked like entrepreneurs and had long days. I eventually went looking for more rhythm and structure in my work schedule, which I found at Versteijnen.’’

Ever since joining Versteijnen 22 years prior, Bert-Jan has been active on various departments: process, planning, and as manager customer excellence. His prior function as team leader planning proved to be useful. ‘’We initially intended to switch positions with customer excellence for a limited period of time to get a better understanding on each other’s positions – it wasn’t clear why particular choices and considerations were made. I ended up enjoying customer service a lot, a return tothe planning department was therefore out of the question. My past expertise as planner now makes me much more nuanced.’’

Bert-Jan’s nuanced perspective has been of good use lately: personnel changes and an overstrained market have demanded a lot from Bert-Jan and his colleagues. “The volumes have increased considerably, which was a challenge in combination with the training of new colleagues. Fortunately, my teams consist of enterprising employees with a lot of commitment to Versteijnen. It’s admirable to see how everything went through – the customer noticed little delay to none at all.’’

Bert-Jan has great confidence in the future. ‘’We’re not understaffed anymore and new employees provide fresh energy. Stability is restored, and we’re ready to maintain a high level of customer service. Operationally, we’ll probably have to deal with demanding situations in the future. But looking for balance is the challenge of our work.’’