Name: Fatima El Ayadi
Department: B&S Bosman Global
Function: Sales Manager
‘I am responsible for sales in Africa, Canada and the Caribbean Sea basin. Whenever possible, I speak to my clients in their language. They appreciate doing business with a native speaker or at least with someone who knows their country. After all, it’s not only the language that can be a barrier. Cultural differences, too, can make understanding a new market difficult. You need to adapt to them. For instance, we were in Morocco and one of our clients was returning at 8pm from a business trip abroad. He sent his driver to take us to his villa for our business meeting. Can you imagine this happening in the Netherlands? And what’s more, we made the deal that night!
What are the characteristics of a good sales person? You have to be able to adapt to the market, not be afraid of challenges and have self-confidence. And, of course, you can’t let the first “No” stop you. Our aim is always to create long-term relationships with our clients, but these are hard to build. They require patience, because the client really has to trust you. Once you have their trust, you can show them that your offer is the best value for money.’
Fatima El Ayadi
Name: Danique Thijm
Department: B&S Global Cruise Supply
Origin: Dutch Antilles
Function: Senior Contract Manager
‘Doing just one thing isn’t for me. I enjoy variety at work, and responsibility, too. B&S encourages us to develop into entrepreneurs, and I enjoy the push this gives me to become more involved in the business world.
In the last four years, our department’s turnover has increased by 500 percent! How did we do it? We did it with dedicated employees, experienced management, the ability to adapt to the market and the support that comes from having a large corporation like B&S behind you.
What’s the Cruise industry like? Last year, I went to Miami to the biggest trade show in the industry in order to find out. It was the perfect opportunity to find out who’s who in our business. It was also a chance to learn how to think American – most cruise liners are from the USA, so thinking like they do is important. As is thinking outside the box! This can give you the edge over your competitors and make you stand out. As for my job, I enjoy it a great deal. The high season requires dedication and hard work, but it’s also very rewarding, both personally and professionally. And I am proud to be working with our experienced management. Thanks to the example they set and the mentoring they give me, I am continuously learning.’
Name: Clifton Hofwijks
Department: B&S Global Transit Center
Function: Operational Manager
‘In my warehouse, we move 700,000 kg of goods every day. This means there are always difficulties to deal with. Nevertheless, I’m not afraid when a problem arises – I just have to solve it. To help me, I’ve got 100 people (with 10 different nationalities) working together as a single team. My job is to run it all. Logistics is my thing.
Five years ago, we started checking every process in the transit center to achieve maximum efficiency. Since then, we’ve improved every year. Right now, we’re introducing a two-shift system. What’s more, we are implementing voice picking technology. I saw this at a trade show two years ago and I immediately knew I wanted it. Why? Well, imagine the staff working in the frozen-food section. The temperature is –20 degrees. Sometimes even the calculators freeze. Voice technology means we can work faster, eliminating paperwork and cutting down on human error.’