The Operations Department is responsible for the smooth and profitable production of Moba equipment. Jos Fessl has been Director Operations for the past eighteen years. He explains what happens within the Operations Department, how they improve production efficiency and add value for our customers.
What needs to happen before a Moba machine reaches our customer? It all starts with a sales order, which will be discussed by the daily management group of Operations. They determine if it is a standard machine and what the workload will be and how this order fits in the planning. The second step is to create the bill of materials. The system calculates what and when parts are needed and when something needs to be manufactured. Before the machine can be build, 8,000 part numbers and over 100,000 parts must be arranged. Jos speaks of a difficult process: “I always compare our machines with a Boeing air plane. Our Moba machine may be smaller, but is just as complex.”
One of the reasons Moba stands out is that we manufacture most parts for our machines at the headquarters. This ensures faster delivery times, flexibility and customisation at an economical level. However, the availability of parts remains a big challenge. You can never avoid a shortage of parts. Jos explains: “This may sound strange, but it is impossible to have all the parts on time, in the right quantity and quality. That is the game we must play within the Operations Department. To fabricate parts with the highest quality but within the shortest possible delivery time.”
I kept asking myself: ‘What does Moba, and more importantly, what do our customers need?
Eighteen years ago, when Jos started at Moba, a great challenge was waiting for him. “Moba looked like a museum. They hadn’t invested in their own equipment for the past fifteen years. That was my first major task. I kept asking myself: ‘What does Moba, and more importantly, what do our customers need?’. Our customers demanded more customisation and shorter delivery times. So that needed to be our main investment.” Moba brought a new sheet metal machine and a laser, specially aimed at customisation for the smaller series. Within two years and three months the investment was profitable. That marked the turning point: all the equipment was replaced. Jos: “I didn’t do this alone, it was a team effort. Henk Geijtenbeek (Manager Machining), Martin Teunissen (Sheet Metal Production) and William van de Fliert (Head of Injection Moulding and Tool Manufacturing) with their teams; everyone did a fantastic job.”
“Our current situation? We have a whole new range of machinery. The laser, the first investment under my watch, has already been replaced with a new one. Gradually all machines will be replaced for new models. The focus will be more and more on automation.” The warehouse also changed quite a bit in eighteen years. Jos and Henk Kok (Head Logistics) are responsible for that. “When I started, the warehouse was twice as big as it is today, while we currently handle five times as much materials. Nowadays, we organize it more tightly; no more unnecessary storage of materials.”
We must always look for ways to improve ourselves. To not only ensure that we stay ahead of our rivals, but to give them the knockout punch.
To stay on top
Moba is the leading manufacturer of grading, packaging and processing equipment in the egg industry. A position we like to maintain, but that is no easy task according to Jos: “Of course, we are proud to be the market leader, but we should not be blinded by it. We must always look for ways to improve ourselves. To not only ensure that we stay ahead of our rivals, but to give them the knockout punch. Fifteen years ago everyone had a Nokia smartphone. But Apple and Samsung did not sit still. They came up with innovations that changed the industry, while Nokia stayed behind. That is why it is so important for Moba to stay innovative.”
For that reason Operations must have the latest machines and technologies. Moba is well on its way according to Jos: “For example, we are working on a trial to print mold parts in metal. If this proves to be a success, we can realize a faster production time in the future. We also want to work more effectively. A great example is the warehouse. We have recorded every part on photo so that it is clear to everyone which part is needed. That is necessary with a storage of 27,000 parts.”
Turn every stone
Jos still sees many ways to improve, but he believes that Moba is on the right track. An example is the Lean Training. ‘Lean’ is a management tool that is increasingly being used to help organisations perform better and improve processes. At Moba there are employees with black, green and orange belts. Thanks to the Lean Training, communication has much improved within the Department. Jos: “There is more understanding for each other and there is a greater will to cooperate. And better collaboration between the various departments will lead to better quality and faster delivery times.”
Not the best individual players win, but the strongest team will end up as winner. A team that complements each other and works together as effectively as possible.
The Operations Department is a large department with approximately 300 employees. Luckily, Jos isn’t the only one in charge of the Department: “We all have our own specialty. We have the Supply Chain Management, Warehouse, Electrical Assembly, Manufacture and Technical Service. And each department has managers. That is how the department is divided. We really need to work as a team within the Operations Department.”
“My job is to ensure the right people within the Moba vision; the best possible team. You can compare me to a soccer trainer. A team with 11 Lionel Messi’s will not work. Not the best individual players win, but the strongest team will end up as winner. A team that complements each other and works together as effectively as possible.”
After eighteen years Moba has become more than just a job for Jos: “I can honestly say that I have Moba-blue blood running through my veins. Moba is a place where the impossible is made possible thanks to its dedicated and hard-working employees. A great example of this was a few years ago when the bird flu had broken out just before the VIV, the most important exhibition in the Netherlands. Because of the bird flu it wasn’t possible to take customers to an operational plant in The Netherlands during the VIV. A crazy idea was to bring the customers to our head office and set up our Moba equipment in Barneveld for the customers to see. The whole company worked hard on this idea and it became a huge success. That was a striking example of how everyone at Moba worked together and eventually achieved the impossible.”
We are not Philips, or any other multinational. We are just Moba, and that identity must be preserved. Never forget how we got here.
In April 2019 Jos will retire. He has no doubt that his amazing team, which he enjoyed working with so much, and his successor will help Moba to grow further in the future: “We are the market leader in the egg industry. The annual turnover is expected to pass the limit of 200 million euros for the first time in our 71-year history. The Moba global team employs over 800 people worldwide. That is all amazing, but we still remain a company in Barneveld. We are not Philips, or any other multinational. We are just Moba, and that identity must be preserved. Never forget how we got here. Cherish the past, focus on the future.”