On the Bijsterhuizen industrial park, HM Verploegen is still just on the territory of Wijchen territory, on the border with Nijmegen. For this region, as in the rest of the Netherlands, the tightness of the labour market is currently the biggest challenge. “Together we must make sure that more room is created.”
As a board member at Logistics Valley Region Nijmegen, Verploegen is always looking to collaborate with other companies. He also does this during breakfast meetings. About thirty to forty companies from the region come together and benefit especially from sharing knowledge and the increase of their brand recognition.
France as an example
As an entrepreneur in the transport world, Verploegen believes in collaboration and sees major differences between the Netherlands and France, where he also has a branch office. "In the Netherlands, we are quite reserved when it comes to sharing knowledge." As in the Netherlands, Verploegen joined a networking club in France. Together with almost a hundred other companies, he exchanges knowledge and experience when it comes to training or, for example, business purchasing. It pays off in the form of mutual trust and partnerships. "We can learn a lot from this in the Netherlands."
Closer to home, the transport company recently organised an event for employees to thank them for their efforts. From the catering to the bouncy castle and from the photographer to the illustrator, everyone who contributed to this day came from the region. This is also how it was possible that the DJ who provided the music the brother was of one of the truck drivers. "We support local entrepreneurs, because you need each other."
The world of transportation is often considered as traditional: at HM Verploegen they are consciously not conservative. “We are proud of our family business and certainly not afraid of innovation and knowledge sharing. If we do not cooperate, we will not make it. If the tightness in the labour market continues, we will have to rotate our employees. Therefore, we should all look outside the box more. You know your own tent. Make sure others get to know it as well. Otherwise, you don’t know who can support in what place and at what time.”
Logistics Road show for students
The tightness of the labour market will not be resolved just like that. That is why Verploegen is also committed to creating enthusiasm in young people for the logistics industry. As chairman of the Logistics Road show, he has been touring secondary schools in the Nijmegen region for the past two years with a road show, where students aged 14 to 16 are introduced to professions such as forklift driver, planner, cooperating foreman and warehouse manager. The first expedition was born out of necessity in 2020 and reorganized and even expanded in 2021.
With a trailer from Burgers Carrosserie and a tractor made available by neighbour Bas Truck Center, ten schools and five hundred students were visited in one week. Due to the great success, the province of Gelderland asked if the road show could also travel to the logistics hotspots Rivierenland and Liemers-Achterhoek during the next expedition. "For that expedition we had the time to make the event even more professional." The ride -with the theme Facilitate a Festival- even drew national attention. This year, the road show will run again for three weeks.
“The main goal is to give young people a taste of logistics. Working in this sector is more than just getting from A to B. Think of all the ICT developments, innovative concepts for warehouses and more efficient and sustainable transport. We need talent in this dynamic industry. Together with healthcare, we are also the largest employer in our province."
Lees hier het artikel op de website van Regio in Bedrijf.