Meet Jip: Project Coordinator

I studied Logistics and Economics in Breda. I was looking for an internship, and at that time, a NewPort employee was renting my grandfather’s house. He told me he worked at a logistics company. This way, I ended up at NewPort and carried out my internship assignment. I completed my internship with the General Manager as my supervisor, with whom I have always had a very pleasant relationship. He always challenged me.

Once I graduated, he asked me to stay at NewPort. I started in the Planning department as a Depot & Repositioning Planner. I worked on repositioning tanks, which consisted of a lot of phone calls and mail conversations with several carriers. I was really motivated to learn more and develop myself, because I wanted to know more about the different aspects of transport and tank planning. 

That is when I got the opportunity to become Tank Planner. Being a Tank Planner is like solving one big puzzle! In this position, I was able to get more responsibilities. I had to make sure that there were sufficient tanks in every area and work better, smarter and cheaper each time. I also liked that this position had many different aspects: I constantly had to turn to Sales colleagues and Customer Service Representatives in the Operations department. We would look at feasibility together in terms of dates and costs. I felt very responsible in this role, because I was in touch with many colleagues and many colleagues came to me to ask their questions. 

I have been working at NewPort for almost 6 years now, most of which I have spent on Tank Planning. I faced challenges every day, but I was not sure if I wanted to stay Tank Planner for the rest of my career, so I started studying project management. This program was aimed at implementing improvements. I am currently in the process of obtaining my master’s degree in Business Management and IT and I work as a Project Coordinator in our Business Optimization department. The IT part was completely new to me, but this program really helped me to make the connection between Operations and the use of IT. We are currently implementing our new system at NewPort, and I’m learning things I didn’t even know existed!

When I first joined NewPort, I really had to get used to the ‘working life’. I was quite impressed by the huge departments and all colleagues who were busy calling and arranging transports. It was always busy, but also very pleasant with a good working atmosphere. At NewPort, we work hard, but we also laugh a lot. In the 6 years that I have been working at NewPort, the company has not changed, but the business has. And that is something we have to anticipate.

What does your role as Project Coordinator entail?

As Project Coordinator, I am currently responsible for the operational module of our new transport management system. This system consists of 6 modules, and Operations is one of them. I keep track of movements and costs, and my focus now is the go-live of this new system. My biggest priority is that this go-live goes smoothly, and after that we will continuously work on making the system better and smarter. We built the system ourselves, so we are flexible when it comes to improvements and enhancements.

What does your working day look like?

It depends, really. One day, I’m on different departments collecting information. This was mainly the case at the start of this project. Other days, I am preparing and writing for the new system. I always have a lot of meetings, mainly because not everyone works from the Moerdijk office. For example, I have a lot of contact with colleagues in the USA, China and Brazil. Specifically, these colleagues work at the Continous Improvement departments or are active as local operational managers. These people are the body of the regions, and then disseminate information within their own teams and organize training sessions. 

I work in the Business Optimization and IT department. IT is the technical side: I think it is very interesting to learn what is possible within several systems. The other side is Business Optimization, where Project Coordinators are each assigned to their specific module within the NILS system. It is a nice team: we work together a lot, and we also learn a lot from one another. We have daily stand-ups, in which we go through our tasks for the week and to see how we can make use of each other’s strengths and knowledge. As a team, we are very close. When someone is in need of help, everyone drops their work to find a solution together. It is very nice to be able to rely on such colleagues.

What do you find challenging about working at NewPort?

The speed of the projects, I guess. In this phase, close to go-live, we work with deadlines that cannot be postponed. Sometimes, there are things that need to be adjusted. This can create a certain pressure in deciding what is priority and how it can be handled best. This also makes my work very challenging. Projects have to be completed in the shortest possible time, so I’m always looking for the best solutions and collaborations.