Internal Newsletter

Willem Mink becomes our new plant manager

As of 1 November, Willem Mink will be managing the production plants A2 and A5. This means he will be responsible for the day-to-day (production) business at Bedrocan Nederland.

For many employees Willem (Emmen, 1980) is an old acquaintance. He has been working at Bedrocan Nederland since April 2017. First he was in charge of the breeding department at location A2, after which he became team leader Operations. Prior to joining Bedrocan Nederland, Willem gained knowledge and experience in both greenhouse horticulture and the pharmaceutical world. While working for one of his previous employers, the company Tjoapack, Willem has also been trained as a Pharmaceutical Practitioner.

Willem is married, lives in Emmer-Compascuum and fills parts of his free time with sports and plays. He is a member of theater association De Foxel, which celebrated its 65th anniversary this year. Willem and his fellow actors will hit the stage again on November 10 and 17.

GMP. A preview

The production locations of Bedrocan Netherlands are GMP-certified, and must stay that way. To emphasise the importance of GMP and make improvements at the same time, extra attention was paid last summer to ‘good manufacturing practice’. Since the date of the IGJ audit isn’t yet known, we spoke to QA manager Naiem Hakiemie about how things currently stand.

“I’m very happy with how our people have tackled things in the past few months,” says Naiem. “We’ve redesigned the organisation and tailored GMP to our organisation’s processes. We’ve also assigned QA tasks to both our A2 and our A5 employees. This works very well because these are people who are already close to the organisation and the product. At the same time, we’ve noticed an increase in GMP awareness on the shop floor. My feeling is that employees understand why we follow certain work instructions and why we keep records of everything. Everything’s taken seriously, and we’re also seeing that employees consider the quality aspects of their work and understand that we want to bring continuity to it. The next step is continuous improvement. That’s important, because we don’t do it for the audits, but for the patient. Our quality has to be consistently high. On that point, there’s no room for discussion.”

Paying extra attention to GMP brings the desired continuity in sight at our current locations and enables us to look ahead. During the various information meetings, Tjalling Erkelens has already indicated that production capacity is being stepped up, and that means expansion. That underlines the importance of having the new production locations running according to GMP from day one. Naiem: “It goes beyond personnel and procedures alone. GMP is also important when making choices about the building and the equipment. A production site should be organised in such a way that working according to GMP is as easy as possible, and all equipment has to be classified and validated. Now we’re going to work on a project basis to get the next new production location at GMP level as early as in the design phase.”

To be continued

Introducing… Hans Spits

As the organisation grows, so does the need for a Finance department of our own. With the arrival of financial controller Sander van Velzen in 2017, a good deal of structure has already been brought to the financial sphere of Bedrocan International and Bedrocan Nederland. Recruiting a Financial Manager is intended to safeguard this structure in the future. Hans Spits (Bodegraven, 1979) is holding this position with effect from October.

Hans studied Economics at Groningen University and then worked for thirteen years at PWC; first as an assistant auditor and finally as senior manager. A few years ago he started out working self-employed and certainly has no regrets about that, but for the position at Bedrocan he was willing to give up this independence. “An interesting company in an interesting sector”, is how Hans summarises his reasons.

“Bedrocan plans to grow and that makes it necessary to set up and manage a sound financial organisation, not least because as a medium-sized company we’ll be legally obliged to file financial statements.”

Hans lives in Zwolle, shares the care for two children and fills his free time with running, fitness training and cycling. He also runs a wine club with three friends, where ‘congeniality’ is more important than talking about aftertaste, aromas and grape varieties.

Introducing… Jan Cremer

Jan Cremer joined us as an interim Accounting Associate on 8 October. In the coming months he’ll be taking on at least some of the tasks of Sander van Velzen, who is leaving us on 1 November. Jan – who has already heard all the ‘jokes’ about his famous namesake (a controversial Dutch artist and author) – completed higher education in economics and management before studying business economics at Groningen University, after which he worked for an impressive list of nationally and internationally operating clients. Sometimes as a permanent employee, and sometimes ad interim. Jan worked for various shipping companies, a food wholesaler, a museum, a secondary school, a university, an owners’ association manager, a healthcare provider, a supplier and producer of heating and ventilation equipment and an aluminium smelter.

Jan (Groningen, 1969) lives in Haren and counts gardening amongst his hobbies. Sport (rowing) is another hobby, but unfortunately, he says, that doesn’t amount to much these days.

Introducing… Annelotte Venhorst

Annelotte Venhorst will be helping out the Finance department for the next few months. Annelotte is working on her master’s degree in Accountancy at Groningen University and will be focusing on streamlining all financial management information from Operations in consultation with Jaap Erkelens, Hans Spit and Jan Cremer.

Annelotte is already a familiar face at Bedrocan: last summer she took on a holiday job at the QA department where her tasks included renewing batch records.

Annelotte (Zwolle, 1997) lives in Groningen, is engaged and spends her spare time being creative (drawing, interior styling) and Zumba.

Introducing… Varun Arora

The Business Development department has been strengthened with Varun Arora. Varun is working at the Amsterdam office as Business Development Analyst and is looking forward to pair his knowledge and experience in finance, life sciences and business strategy.

Varun (Mumbai, India, 1983) studied at the University of Mumbai (Bachelors of Commerce), the IE Business School in Madrid (Master in Finance) and obtained his MBA at the TIAS School for Business & Society in Tilburg. He worked for various organisations active on the cutting edge of finance, investment and life sciences before he came to the Netherlands to get his MBA. Varun did a short stint at the Dutch merchant bank Kempen & Co before he joined Bedrocan International.

Varun enjoys a live-in relationship in Eindhoven and is interested in history and gastronomy; where discovering new dishes is as sweet as being ‘behind the stove’.

Employees come up with alternative to cardboard lamp packaging

Cardboard. A handy packaging material, but it can cause all kinds of pollution and that’s not in keeping with good manufacturing practice (GMP). That’s why we no longer want to see any more cardboard in or near the production floor (especially the entry locks). “It was a bit tricky, because the original cardboard packaging was very handy when it came to replacing the lamps,” says Boaz Kwakman. “The original cardboard boxes have recesses for the lamps to protect them against damage during transport. We had to find an alternative for that.”

For a while the lamps were transferred to blue plastic boxes during replacement work. There they were, loose, with all the risks of damage and even injury that entails. Until a colleague, Stefan Dingemanse, had a… bright idea.

He knew someone who specializes in laser cutting and 3D printing. Between them they came up with a design for GMP-friendly lamp boxes*. Stefan: “We took the existing plastic boxes as a basis. A suitable lamp holder was then designed for this and produced in the correct dimensions.”

The result is a unique box*, in which lamps can be transported safely and GMP-responsibly. And although they’ll need a minor adjustment (lid), the boxes are now in use on A5. They are due to be introduced soon at A2.

*) The lamp boxes haven’t been given a name yet. Can you think of one? Entries are welcome at the editorial address.

Demand for new employees gets employees down to work

Bedrocan is growing and urgently needs new employees. Recruiter David Farago was hired to find suitable colleagues. To do this, David takes stock of the need for new colleagues both at Bedrocan International and Bedrocan Netherlands, accurately describes the vacancies and posts them via various channels.

We also publish the vacancies in this newsletter. “There are two reasons for this,” says David. “First of all, we want to offer our own employees the opportunity to respond to the vacancies. We set out to be an employer that allows its people to develop and provides promotion opportunities in their career at Bedrocan.”

Employees are also encouraged to share the vacancies in their circle of friends and acquaintances. “We’re a special organisation in many ways, and it’s not easy to find suitable people,” David says. “Our employees are also our ambassadors. They know the organisation, they know the product and they know our mission. They may also know someone who is suitable to fill a vacancy at Bedrocan International or Bedrocan Netherlands. That’s why we ask employees to share vacancies, via social media, for example.

Please contact David if you have any questions about the vacancies or how to share them: d.farago@bedrocan.com.

These vacancies are still open. Please share…

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