What was the context of your arrival as Managing Director of Flandria ALuminium?
The first contacts were made in anticipation of Mr. Vandenbroucke’s retirement. I worked in large European groups, including extrusion specialists in France and abroad, but I also have diverse experience in the management of SMEs; the choice quickly became obvious to me.
I knew about Flandria from its history and its potential. Bringing my experience and my vision means participating and contributing to this beautiful human adventure that was started more than 50 years ago.
6 months after taking up your position, what is your first assessment?
I officially took up my position on 1st April in the middle of lockdown. Looking back, this particular period was a tremendous eye-opener. I was able to see the responsibility, availability and sense of service of the Flandria teams. I am very happy to have joined the company and what I had in mind is confirmed: the technical and human quality of Flandria is there. This is a very important factor for me because my management focuses on people as a priority. I feel that the employees are very attached to the company and to the values of the Vandenbroucke family. These historical values are still represented by Sabine and Julie Vandenbroucke, Commercial Director and Director of Aluminum Systems respectively, and are, I believe, shared by all managers. These elements are all assets that allow us to envisage a new cycle of development for the company.
What are Flandria’s strengths in the extrusion market?
First of all, we offer our customers a fully integrated service: from the purchase of the metal to the delivery of our profiles, our service is complete through our advanced quality processes.
We also recycle all of our aluminum waste on site, in our own foundry, and therefore in a short supply chain. This long-established positioning is a real opportunity that we will be pushing even further in the coming years. Finally, our machining and assembly centres offer real comfort to our customers. We are able to respond to all specific requests, from design to finishing, respecting the quality and deadlines promised. It is a trademark that differentiates us from the major European groups. We need to maintain and further improve these strengths to bring even more value to our customers.
You often talk about the human wealth of the company; can you tell us more about it?
Indeed, after these first months in the company, I feel that our teams have a sense of work well done, of customer service; they are proud of our achievements. It is a real wealth that cannot be bought. My wish is to capitalize on these foundations in order to go even further in the degree of responsibility and autonomy of all the actors in the company. We must facilitate decision-making as close as possible to the field Each link in the company must bring its experience to facilitate our and our customers’ projects.
This is how the company will be even closer to its customers and will consolidate its “raison d’être” in its markets.
What are the major projects for the coming months?
We are continuing to modernize our workshops. It is an essential strategic approach since it strengthens our industrial tool and reinforces the teams in their working conditions and technical capacity. It is important for us to continue to develop our production capacities in order to support the growth of our customers, which for some of them has been confirmed again this year despite the current health crisis.