"Logistics engineer Joep: ‘Improving processes is what I like most’ "

How many trucks are needed to supply a supermarket? Where do all these products come from? And how do they move around the world? As a young boy, Joep van Meer (39) was already fascinated by these questions. It's no surprise that he pursued a career in logistics. Recently, Joep started his second TMC assignment at the brewing company Royal Swinkels in Lieshout. He explains what motivates him and what being a TMC employeneur means to him.

Joep van Meer - Logistics Engineer


Mapping and optimizing warehouse processes, creating KPI reports, working with ERP and WM systems, and planning production: over the past years, Joep has gained extensive experience in logistics engineering. After taking on various roles, Joep sought a different kind of job—one where he could look behind the scenes of various clients, discover and improve their processes, and focus even more on his personal development. At Royal Swinkels, Joep is a transport engineer. He now has a coordinating role for incoming goods and the export planning departments. "I provide operational support where needed, but mainly focus on analyzing how we can improve processes. That’s what I like most: sitting down with colleagues to see where things can be done faster, better, or more efficiently and guiding them."

A well-timed invitation

His now Business Manager Laura’s invitation to talk about working at TMC came at the right time. They sat down for a – very welcome – informal conversation with a touch of business. ‘We talked about the kind of positions I could take on. And Laura explained how TMC works and what employeneurship entails. And I immediately noticed that at TMC, it's all about you as a person. Laura was genuinely interested in me, my experience, and my development. I had never had a job interview that was so personal.’

Joep is a people’s person. The 39-year-old from Tilburg always enjoys a chat at the coffee machine, is interested in the private lives of his colleagues, and likes to joke around in the workplace. He is down-to-earth, works hard, and finds it important to be a sympathetic ear for colleagues. ‘If necessary, I can be business savvy and rational, but by nature, I am an empathic person, guided by my emotions’, he says. The people-oriented approach and the opportunity to further specialize in the logistics industry made the choice easy for him. TMC was the right fit.

Starting at TMC

Once contracted, Joep’s first assignment was that of production planner at a production company, an operational role in which his prior experiences came in handy. ‘The start was great. I quickly gained insight in a company that was new to me. I always like that. It's a great company, and I had friendly colleagues.’

However, after a while, Joep didn't feel comfortable in his role anymore. He preferred a more coordinating role. In the past, he would have pushed himself to just keep going. But having been burned out years ago, he knew that that is not the best way to go. ‘So, I decided to speak up. To my supervisor at my client and to Laura.’

TMC as a safety net

Both responded understandingly, which to Joep felt as a relief. ‘Laura helped me to come up with a suitable solution. Eventually, together with our client, we agreed on an end date for the assignment. In my opinion, that’s typical TMC. If something doesn’t feel right with an assignment, there is always room to discuss it. I felt heard and supported.’

High versus low volume

The transition period between his assignments was short: only two days after finishing the first, Joep started his second TMC-assignment at brewing company Royal Swinkels in Lieshout, Brabant. ‘I was amazed when I entered the production area,’ Joep says. ‘Swinkels, as a producer of fast-moving consumer goods, is very different from the high-tech manufacturing companies I had known before. Their products move rather slow, while at Swinkels, there are about nine bottling machines here that fill a full truckload of bottles and cans with beer and other beverages, every hour. All these products need to be loaded onto trucks and transported. That’s a lót of logistics. It’s nice to be working on something completely different.’

Help from the sidelines

Joep, in turn, also gets guidance. From his manager Laura and a business coach. Both pleasant and educational. ‘We discuss the projects I've worked on and what I've learned. And which types of projects suit me best and how I want to grow.’

These extras characterize TMC's employeneurship model, says Joep. ‘TMC provides you with many tools to build your career, both content-wise and when it comes to personal development. For this, you have a personal budget. You can participate in courses, training programs and attend networking sessions – with pizza.’

During these sessions, Joep meets his internal TMC colleagues. It makes him feel like a part of TMC, even though he mostly spends his working days at his clients' offices. ‘Recently, we had a summer barbecue. I enjoy having a drink and getting to know TMC-colleagues better, in a relaxed setting. At TMC, it doesn’t matter what kind of role someone has, everyone is equal and interested in each other.’

What's next?

Joep will be at Royal Swinkels until this autumn. He doesn’t know yet what’s next. At least not work-wise. ‘First, I’m getting married to my girlfriend Suus. After that, we’re going on honeymoon together. I’m really looking forward to that!’

‘When I get back, I’ll be ready to start a new assignment all fresh. I don’t have a specific preference for a type of assignment yet. There are so many logistics companies I’d like to explore. I’m sure we will find the right match!’

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