Monique van de Kraats may have ended up at Stoneridge-Orlaco completely by chance, but now she wouldn't want to be anywhere else. She spent seven years working her way up in the company to become our indispensable Senior Operator, heading up the assembly department.
Name: Monique van de Kraats (28)
Position: Senior Operator
Lives in: Barneveld, Netherlands
Number of years with Stoneridge-Orlaco: 7
"The atmosphere in our workplace really is unique"
Monique: "Having a walk around, a chat here, a chat there, asking how things are going with a new house or with children who are ill. It might not sound like much, but those little things are what make our team so motivated. I believe that taking an interest in that way and making sure people feel at ease is an important part of my role. The atmosphere in our workplace really is unique"
"Our team is about quality not production"
"Our department is where we put all the camera and monitor systems together. We bring together all the ideas, technology, techniques and components that our colleagues have come up with — and that involves a lot more than you might think. As our director puts it so beautifully, our team is made up of quality staff not production staff. When it comes to safety, you can't afford to leave anything to chance. We deliver maximum quality at high speed, so we can deliver to our customers as quickly as possible. As Senior Operator, I play an important part in that. I lead the team and I am the direct link to the line managers if a machine goes down. Hans van de Hoef, my manager, gives me lots of latitude to do my job." ’
"Everyone is welcome"
"The fact that I ended up at Orlaco seven years ago wasn't the obvious choice for me. Back then, I'd just finished studying architecture and the financial crisis at the time meant that there weren't many jobs around. Somebody mentioned that Orlaco was a great company to work for and that I should put in an application. They were looking for production staff and I was looking for a temporary job. I sent them an email, I was invited for an interview and pretty soon I was starting work.
The focus on people is something that I noticed straight away and that I still find really special. It doesn't matter who you are or what you do, you're part of the team right from the start. Operators get basic training within the company so you don't need a qualification. Everyone is welcome and that is why the group is so unbelievably diverse. And that's the same across the whole company; although Stoneridge-Orlaco operates on an international scale, it feels like a small company on the inside. Everyone is different and we all work in our own departments, but we still do it together. That's why I think it's such a good idea that new employees spend time in several different departments because it gives you a much better feel for what everyone does."
"More and more responsibility"
"What I initially viewed as a temporary job has now lasted for seven years. I'm so glad that I had this opportunity, that I've quickly been able to progress to the role of Senior Operator and that I've been able to take leadership training courses to develop myself. Stoneridge-Orlaco is a big company with lots of opportunities for career progression, but right now I'm exactly where I want to be. I think the team is great and my current role still gives me lots of areas where I can develop and learn. The job is expanding all the time. Over the last seven years, our team has grown from 25 employees to 50 and that means more and more responsibility for me as well. But the atmosphere in the workplace is still just as good as it was seven years ago."