All cubicles have been removed, the new office will be one big open space. ,,People emailed each other. They have to talk to each other”, says managing director Johan Postma about the employees. He himself will also have his desk here. During the Elfstedentocht (famous Dutch ice skating contest) the engineers, customer service, sales managers and the administration employees will be sitting first class: 50 meters further down the riders will enter the ice of the frozen Zwette. Jongia (50 employees) is eighty years old and makes industrial mixers and agitators. The agitators with often meters long shafts are mixing worldwide everything that needs mixing. Margarine, chocolate, manure, paint, salt, paper pulp, bitumen, bio-ethanol, toothpaste, lotions. It is just a fraction. ,,We could have continued on the same path for 20 more years, but in the end you lose.’’, says Postma. He convinced the shareholders that the company was capable of so much more and got the go-ahead for an investment of millions.
Everything has been newly designed, as if there was no old factory. Work processes, work flows, integration of health regulation, “the complete flow, the entire logistics, it will all be much more efficient.” There will be new machines, three new pits and towers in which the agitators can be tested, an internal loading station, more storage and finally also a showroom. ,,The previous managing directors have been weeding, I will make the company grow and flourish.”, says Postma. He took over the lead four years ago and found technical drawings on the shelves for the most amazing machines. They never saw the light of day. H. de Jonge, the Jewish founder who fled from Germany in 1937, was a top-notch engineer. The downside was an under developed sense for marketing and sales. ,,The saying at Jongia always was: ‘it is bêst genôch’ (it is good enough). They were used to do projects for the same clients.’’
Think with the customer in possibilities
In the new setup Postma wants to get in contact with the customer in an earlier stage, think with the customers about possible solutions, making cross connections with other disciplines. “We are making the switch from product focused to process focused. Our top priorities are consultancy and innovation.” And ofcourse this entails manufacturing. The higher in the chain, the higher the profit. Postma, who has an international background at technology corporation Mitsubishi: ,,It is more interesting. You can be much more creative. Inspire, take risks. That is what I want.’’ After which he explains about a company that wants to stir insects. And how fun is it that Jongia can provide a solution that was originally created in another country for a completely different application, for a bio digester for example.
Enthusiastic: ,,Next week we are presenting at an exhibition with our new magnetic mixer. We will build a tank with a window and will fill it with water and confetti. This way the visitors can see exactly how the flow paterns go. If it will work we don’t know, but we go for it!” The unique selling point of this new mixer? It is 100 percent guaranteed free from bacteria and therefor a potential asset in the ultra hygienic food industry. The new way of working will bring 30 percent more turnover within two years, expects the director. Also because ‘Leeuwarden’ will work more for its German and Italian partner companies Heinkel, Comber and Bolz. Moreover the quartet will become more active in Asia and will open there an assembly hall of which Jongia will be a supplier. If the plans will turn out successful, Postma expects to need ten extra employees.
Click here to view the 3-D animation video of Jongia’s latest innovation, the magnetic mixer Magitator.