De Vries: ‘All projects are born out of a customer need and a clear business case. The proven methodologies are highly analytical, resulting in a robust product with a predictable lifespan, and with a shorter time-to-market. But, I also draw on my experience as a consultant to apply big data analysis in improving products and production processes. Many processes are the same and by looking at them at a higher, abstract level, I can help customers acquire new insights.’
‘There does tend to be a strong focus on Design for Six Sigma and the creation of new products. But at the same time, I see that SMEs have more need for improvement in existing processes, rather than new processes. I apply my expertise in accomplishing precisely for such improvements’.
Geelen: ‘Every project is different: different culture, different processes. It’s often primarily about the people factor: what do they need? I don’t just look at the tools and methodologies. In the end, the success of a project largely depends on whether you manage to give people insights into their way of doing things. Only when they have gained such an understanding is it possible for them to actually implement improvements. You have, as it were, make sure they are all willing to hop onto your train. It’s important to also listen to feedback. The entire improvement process is a dynamic game in which you learn from each other. The goal remains that the train and the people travelling on board arrive at the right station on time, even if heavy snowfall causes delays.’
De Vries: ‘Yes, that’s so true! Young professionals help me out with new technologies such as Python. In turn, I bring in my broad product and process experience. This way we can really mean a lot for each other. A nice word for this is ‘complementary’, or 1+1 = 3.’