INTERVIEW WITH MARIJKE GREVINK - QUALITY ASSURANCE SUPERVISOR
THE IMPORTANCE OF OUR QUALITY ASSURANCE DEPARTMENT
Hi Marijke, could you please introduce yourself?
My name is Marijke Grevink, I’m 39 years old, married to my better half and mother to an energetic 1 year old daughter. Since the beginning of this year I am Quality Assurance Supervisor at Interfood BV. During my professional career I’ve worked in the logistics industry for several years. First at Vos Logistics, mainly in traineeships, and before I joined Interfood I worked at Van Den Bosch Transporten for almost 14 years.
What was your motivation to start a job at Interfood?
Despite the fact that I absolutely loved my job as Commercial Manager at Van den Bosch, I had the profound wish to focus more on my passion for quality management. As Commercial Manager I saw the impact of delivering good quality service throughout the entire business process and most certainly the difference you can make when professionally dealing with non-conformities. Last year I received a call from a former colleague that Interfood was looking for someone to optimize the communication about quality topics both in the organization and outside (with customers and suppliers). In theory it sounded like the perfect position for me, making it possible to combine my commercial expertise with the desire to focus on quality. In practice it has proven to be a perfect match.
What’s your favorite thing about Interfood?
Everyone within Interfood is striving for the best possible result: from our colleagues in the Atrium serving the best fresh meals, to Traders making the best possible deals or our colleagues from Logistics defining the best supply chain solutions. Staff events, our working environment, the Dairy Food Studio; everything is arranged to perfection.
About your job at Interfood, what does your average working week look like?
My job is all about changing a quality challenge of a customer, supplier or our own organization into an opportunity for all parties involved. I support and facilitate my team of Quality Assurance Coordinators to bring out the best in themselves to serve our stakeholders. Furthermore I communicate a lot with other departments like Trade, Supply Chain Management and Logistics to optimize QA processes. I’m based in Bladel and I am in the office most of the time, but when support from Quality is needed I also travel with colleagues to customers or suppliers in the Netherlands or abroad.
What do you like the most about your job?
After half a year experience within Interfood I am definitely still in a learning phase. On a daily basis I am learning a lot about our products and processes. Besides learning so many new things, I also love to be a sparring partner for our stakeholders both internally and externally and to use both my commercial, logistics and quality expertise to find the best possible solution for all parties involved.
How about your work-life balance?
Meaningful employment and personal development are truly important. But as the mother of a young child, I realize there is nothing more important than family. Interfood, being a family owned company, understands that. And I sincerely believe that such an understanding leads to even more motivated employees; it most certainly counts for me.
How important is it for your team to work together with other departments?
The dairy market is a complex one and most importantly, we deal with food products. Food safety and audits are of utmost importance. The main goal of QA is to create added value by ensuring global compliance, providing traceability, documentation and supplier risk management and finally also a professional non-compliance management. In order to achieve this, a close collaboration and an open and constructive communication with the other departments is definitely key.
Audits, audits, and more audits. How do you see the future of audits?
My team is performing audits at our suppliers (mainly producers, warehouses, transport companies) with or on behalf of our customers. They advise and deliberate on processing and quality systems. As you will surely understand this process is incredibly important and rather time consuming. Therefore, my team is travelling around the globe to visit our stakeholders and perform these audits. With all the digital developments nowadays, I’m sure there will be plenty of other possibilities to perform audits in the future. Not sure what these possibilities will be, but we are an innovative company and we try to stay up to date on all developments. Let’s see what the future holds for us.