It was a challenging time, because Leipzig was still developing after the fall of the Berlin Wall. I had to live there for two years and could only see my wife occasionally. And back then, project managers had three roles (project, construction and integration), not one.

One day, a visitor from The Netherlands arrived on site. I was surprised – as I wasn’t expecting anyone – and I had never met this gentleman before. Without introducing himself, he explained that he was from Vanderlande and asked if he could look at the system.

During the tour, the mystery guest stopped suddenly and asked if only some of the equipment had been supplied by Vanderlande. I confirmed that all the conveyors were from our company.

He then disagreed, because there was no branding visible and stressed the importance of this by saying: “The first thing they did when they stepped on to the moon was to put a flag in the ground…”

Towards the end, he revealed that he was none other than Rein… van der Lande! The owner of Vanderlande! I was shocked and even thought he might be joking. However, my VIP guest explained that he wanted to complete the tour.

He enjoyed the experience, continued to visit me regularly and always kept in personal contact – even after he had sold the company. This is typical of my experiences with Vanderlande and a good example of the trust-based culture that exists within the company.

More memories

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