In our series “Yexpert Stories”: Tim Boekestijn, our Supply Chain Coordinator. What does a Supply Chain Coordinator actually do? And what does he have to do with preventing food waste?
Five years ago, I was offered a position here after my internship for my Logistics and Economics course. I was delighted, because the industry and the enthusiastic attitudes of my colleagues during my internship had left a great impression! I started working as a Supply Chain Planner for the products mango and avocado. Our department was expanding quickly, and last year I was given an additional task. As Supply Chain Coordinator I manage the process from purchasing to sales on a daily basis: I am the point of contact for any problems and questions in the warehouse and I take action when there are things that need resolving immediately. But equally interesting: as Supply Chain Coordinator I also work on various projects to improve the processes within Yex and to coordinate product flows to an optimal level.
Working as a Supply Chain Coordinator offers challenges every day in all kinds of areas. Through the use of short lines of communication with the various parties involved, we ensure that we can deliver to our customers’ satisfaction every single day. This is exciting, and combined with an enthusiastic and passionate team, makes Yex an excellentplace to work!
One of my projects is to make the data we collect clear and transparent and record that information on dashboards. This allows buyers to make better decisions. Previously, we often imported on intuition, but nowadays we increasingly base our planning on data. This enables us to prevent, among other things, buying too much of a product and having to throw some of it away. Disposal of purchased products not only has financial consequences, it is also bad for the environment. We believe it is important to combat food waste and we work closely with our suppliers to achieve this. This includes, for example, use of special coatings, which ensure that overseas products endure their long journey to the Netherlands better. I think it’s interesting to work on these kinds of projects. I am truly the spider in the web, and I am in contact with suppliers, buyers, sellers, inspectors, and employees in the warehouse.
In the position of Supply Chain Coordinator, I am also a daily planner. In that role I specialise in avocado and mango. Two products that I myself have increasingly come to appreciate; there is nothing better than a well-ripened avocado or mango. As a planner you work closely with the purchaser. So, in my case with two buyers: the one for avocado and one for mango. The buyer makes the agreements with the supplier and as soon as they are made, I come into the picture. I then contact the supplier about the product specifications, I schedule the orders, keep an eye on arrival times of the containers with ABC Logistics and revise the planning with purchasing when there are any changes. I coordinate expected sales numbers with the seller and ensure that the product is fully tailored to customer requirements. Certainly with mango and avocado, products that we ripen ourselves, this planning is very strict.
Avocado will be a spearhead for Yex in the coming period. This product has become an enormously booming business in recent years and there is still a lot of growth left in it. If you compare Europe with the United States, avocado consumption is still far behind. So, there are still plenty of opportunities there! We want to conquer even more market share with our Ready to Eat avocados, which we market under the Discovered brand. We have good and regular suppliers and are good at ripening avocados. This looks promising for the coming years!
It is great that at Yex we maintain such good contacts with our suppliers. I have already visited America and Peru. It is not only fun and interesting to visit these companies, it is also very useful. You get to see with your own eyes what is happening on the farms, and you really build a relationship with the suppliers. That is definitely not the same as a phone call or an email!