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Leon Kierkels

Program Manager New Product Logistics

My job is all about timing. We make sure all necessary materials are available at the right time, so ASML can deliver its new products to market on time. All of this has to be done against extreme time to market pressure. It's not unusual that we start ordering materials for a module before it has been fully designed by the development team!

Gradually releasing designs to the supply chain like this, and then working with development and supply chain management teams to mitigate technical and financial risks makes working in New Product Logistics fun.

Can do, will do

Before ASML, I had been an analyst / business consultant. But I wanted to get back into industry, working on a product I could be proud of and where I could use all my experience. The recruitment agency described ASML as a company where you can use your entrepreneurial spirit. During my first exploratory interview, the ASML hiring manager told me upfront there was no budget to hire someone - this was at the start of the global crash. But we talked, found I was a good fit and so he found budget. That showed me there really was a can-do attitude here.

You can still feel that "cowboy culture" - as I perceive it from colleagues - of twenty years ago: the "yes we can, yes we will" mentality. But you can also see ASML is maturing as a company, becoming larger and more global. The challenge is to maintain the energy and effectiveness of the early days as ASML grows and becomes more sustainable for shareholders. That's really interesting to me with my background in industrial engineering and management science.

I really appreciate the opportunities ASML has given me to develop in different areas. My career path here hasn't just been about obvious steps. Managers have said "OK, let's see what you can do."

Make a difference

If you are prepared to take ownership, ASML really opens up to you. People told me this when I joined, but I didn't quite understand or believe them. But now I see it all the time. For example, if a supplier is struggling to meet our needs or deliver to schedule, I can create a business case and plan. If they are convincing, a priority call will be made and there will be a team and budget available. Then the challenge becomes organizational: creating a sustainable supply chain and pulling back our team.

That willingness to listen to employees and act on what they say is very different from what friends tell me about other companies. But here it happens all the time, and not just in your day-to-day work. You often see big changes in the company coming out of suggestions from the work floor. If you have a good idea, you can get it in front of the board, get budget and possibly even lead the improvement project. So you aren't limited to just your job. That creates a lot of energy.

You can make a difference here right from day one. Whether you are a recent graduate or have years of experience, you bring new perspectives and ideas. ASML's management believes in that, and sees how it refreshes things. That's important, because ASML is a company that constantly innovates in all sectors - not just its technology.

Page updated on 2013-10-21 9:45 CEST

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