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Wendy Verbakel   inbetween

How did you get started at Ahrend?

I started in manufacturing in 2001 on the assembly line. Simply put, this means putting things together. I started off turning screws. I went from screws to cabinets and on from there, step by step. It was a wonderful time; we had a great group of colleagues who secretly got up to mischief together at times. But that was twenty years ago...

What do you do now?

These days I work in assembly planning. This means that I plan the capacities, so I look at how many people we need to fulfil our orders. In this department, we prepare our products so they can be loaded onto the lorries which then take them to the clients. The fact that I have been on the line myself still helps me every day. I know how the people think and what goes on.

I like working with people, but also enjoy working on digital paper. Getting things organised first, then communicating clearly. I think you should always do as you say, and not promise anything you can’t deliver. I’m not strict but I do want to resolve everything properly. 

Fabriek / Factory Sint Oedenrode   squarem
‘Ahrend connects people, I’m sure of that’

What is Ahrend’s strength?

It might sound like a cliché, but the sense of community. Ahrend connects people, I’m sure of that. We make beautiful, high-quality products together. I really believe in them, and my colleagues share that feeling. It’s a collective pride, a mindset of ‘let’s do this’. No matter how long you’ve worked with us, everyone knows that feeling. Everyone is the way they are; everyone has their own user manual. It’s up to us as people to handle that well.

What changes have you seen?

As far as products are concerned, in recent years a lot of companies have got rid of their storage space: storage cabinets, tambour door cabinets etc. They are all disappearing, as we store everything digitally these days. The same goes for the disappearance of the metalwork. That’s pure nostalgia now. In a way I think it’s sad, although it’s a logical development. 

Twenty-four years ago, I was a real punk, working for Ahrend for three months, putting all kinds of frames together. Nice work. Now I’m a little older, a little greyer... that’s changed too. But I’m still happy here. 

‘Everyone makes mistakes but no one makes them deliberately; that’s how I see it’
Aero, Well Armchair, Loungescape   landscapem

What is your greatest strength?

I get along well with everyone. Dealing with people respectfully and positive communication are very important to me. I’ve also been a confidential advisor for a few years. In general, people are happy to approach me whatever their background or problem. I’m quite proud of that.

I’m not quick to judge people either. To me, you’re a person first and a co-worker second. Everyone makes mistakes and I assume that no one makes them deliberately. That’s how I see it. It really puts things into perspective at work, and in daily life. It’s a way of thinking I try to encourage in others as well. 

Balance, Ease, Recharge 45   landscapew
  • Colour portrait of Petr Zednik

    Petr Zednik | International Projectmanager

    For over fifteen years, Petr Zednik from the Czech Republic has been on the go for Ahrend almost every day. As an international project manager, it’s up to him to make sure every job and delivery runs smoothly.

    Read the full interview
  • Gerard Huiskes   landscapem

    Gerard Huiskes | Innovation Manager

    Gerard Huiskes has been working on the future of Ahrend and of the world for almost 30 years. As a product innovator, every day his mind is focused on the most sustainable solutions for the company and the world around him.

    Read the full interview
  • Rob Lowiessen, Stijn Lowiessen   landscapem

    Rob and Stijn Lowiessen | Account managers

    Father Rob (60) and son Stijn (28) Lowiessen both work at Ahrend, of course one of them a bit longer than the other. They discuss their time at Ahrend and what they have learned from each other over this period.

    Read the full interview