TICO ‘outsourced’ the handling of this acquisition to TMHE, and I joined the project team in Japan after it had been decided to start the acquisition process. So, for the whole process I had the role of coordinating the communication between TICO and TMHE, with countless meetings, and video and phone calls held under the utmost confidentiality.

Therefore, I was reading about all things Vanderlande, with access to everything from the financials to the technology, to corporate strategy and the KPIs. Automated Material Handling was interesting and intriguing, and different to TMHE. I thought, “This is a cool company,” and wanted to learn more about working on automation projects.

When the acquisition was completed, we had the ‘kick-out’ session in The Netherlands – my first opportunity to visit Vanderlande. I flew over from Japan and Hans (the project manager) drove me down to Veghel. I was excited to finally see what it was that he and I had bought together!

I was really impressed with what I saw and said to Hans on the return journey, “Is there a possibility that there might be some opportunities for me at Vanderlande?” He looked at me and smiled, “Ah Stefan, it’s funny you should say that…”

Two weeks later I had the call from TMHE offering me the chance to transfer to Corporate Development at Vanderlande. And that’s how I ended up in Veghel – probably knowing more about the company than any other new recruit in its 75-year history!

More memories

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