“If you're willing and you show them that you're capable, then you can go ahead!”

from Shift Manager to Production Manager

I've been employed at Perfetti Van Melle since 2009. I previously worked in the graphics industry and my work mostly involved printed materials rather than sweets. I never imagined I would end up here. I've even enrolled in a technical management training programme.

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Shift Manager at a nearby factory. Would that work for me? My thoughts were, whether I'm working behind a printing press or a packaging machine, it's the interaction with people which matters most to me. I enjoy the process and if I can make a difference, then why not? A week on from deciding to make a change and applying for the job vacancy, I was invited to an initial interview with Corrie Stolk (HR Manager). A totally different world, but we had a great meeting and everything just fell into place.


Incredible! Within the first six months, my superior had already asked me about my personal ambitions. They found it strange that I'd not given it much thought before. I told myself that I should make a good start first and try to bring out the best in myself and my people. There are countless opportunities, it's really unusual. If you were to say: “I want more responsibility” then that's what you'll get. You can shape your role as you see fit.

Active in sports

I coach the C1 youth team at my football club and I'm also a board member. That's great fun. It's all about solidarity, a good atmosphere and motivating others. They're very active at my place of work in terms of organising outings, bowling nights with colleagues, a cooking course, cycling, etc. I personally prefer football to hockey, but if I was asked to join in, I wouldn't hesitate. It's important to get to know one another in an entirely different way. I'm a giver rather than a taker and I enjoy contributing!

Whether the Works Council was up my street?

One day, I was approached by shop-floor workers who said: Marcel, isn't the Works Council right up your street!? We think you could help us and represent us. I had to give it some thought, I've been here for 2.5 years and have only just become acquainted with the organisation. Still, I always enjoy a challenge and I like to be kept on my toes. The Works Council is a good opportunity to get to know Perfetti Van Melle even better. And so I now often visit the other branches in Hoorn, Weert and Andelst as well. In addition to my own people, I sometimes speak to managing directors, such as Kees de Waard, and it gives me a broad overview of the culture of a company. I was chairman of the Works Council for two years and I nowadays fulfil the vice-chairman role.

The other side of the factory

A new challenge came my way in September 2016, when I became Production Manager. This made me responsible for the 'other side' of our factory. It didn't take me long to accept the offer of this new position. It was certainly good for my development, but also for the Packaging department for which I was responsible for a number of years. They now have a new impetus provided by new management, while I have been able to apply my knowledge within Production.