Working together, growing together

From accounting to relationship building, Manon Hendriks’s career is full of growth and inspiration

3-minute read - , February 14, 2024

This story is part of our 2023 Annual Report. Read the full report.

“The interaction among supply chain partners helps us all improve to support faster growth.”

 

In 2023, after 15 years in finance at ASML, Manon Hendriks stepped into a new commercial role as Senior Director Sourcing & Procurement. The experience in building relationships that she developed in her finance career is now not only underpinning the success of ASML, but also of one of our key suppliers.

Making the move

I started my career as a certified public accountant (CPA) in a 'big four' accountancy firm, focusing on auditing. I loved the job and the interaction with people - I learned a lot about building relationships outside my own organization. But after six years and a move into management, I felt I was losing that day-to-day interaction and wanted a new way to add more value.

 

So I decided to ‘switch sides’, and someone suggested ASML. An ex-colleague already worked here and told me it was an energetic company where you get more out of your job, with opportunities to grow and change your role. I decided to go for it and have never regretted that decision.

Steering your own career path

That description of ASML turned out to be true. I’ve always felt that, if you show the capability and desire, the opportunities are there. And in 16 years at ASML, I have had a variety of roles – in finance and beyond.

 

Once, I asked about moving into business control. My manager said she had a role for me in business, but it wasn’t in business control. Instead, she suggested I manage a program that was setting up a new enterprise structure. This was a long way outside my comfort zone: I knew all about the processes, transactions and accounting flows involved, but had no experience in change management. However, if you have a good team around you and can find the right people with the right skills, you will be successful.

 

I learned so much in that role. And I took it with me when, after three years, I moved back into finance – this time in business control, first in manufacturing and then in sourcing and procurement. In this latest role, I found my energy came mostly from connecting people – between sectors within ASML, but also with our suppliers. So the question was: how could I bring more of that to my work?

 

A role in procurement was the answer. This was an even bigger step outside my comfort zone than program management. But I knew I had the trust of my management and the network within ASML to ensure I had the right team supporting me.

A new direction

As of this year, I am responsible for ASML’s relationship with one of our largest suppliers: VDL. ASML doesn’t really have a traditional supply chain – we have a supply network. About 80% of our cost base comes from our suppliers, as our main role is as system integrator. This means suppliers could be supplying us directly while also supplying each other, and even receiving components from us to integrate into their modules before shipping them back to us.

 

Technology is at the heart of this network: We need our suppliers to innovate with us so that, together, we can make the impossible possible. My role is less about commercial negotiations and more about building relationships to drive joint improvements. Suppliers such as VDL interact with many people at many levels of ASML – on everything from day-to-day engineering issues to strategic roadmaps. There can be 20 or more ASML people working with VDL on a specific solution. The challenge for us – and particularly me – is to ensure we speak with one voice.

 

I think my background gives me a different perspective, one that complements the skills of my colleagues. Finance is about connecting facts and figures, but also building bridges between sectors and thinking issues through from all angles. We work with our key suppliers at many levels in a true partnership. How you set up and govern those relationships is vital. But you can’t be bureaucratic or dogmatic. We work with suppliers like VDL because they are world leaders in their manufacturing technology, but they are different to us. Now we want to build a partnership that gets the best out of both of us, because we are more successful together.

This story comes from our 2023 Annual Report which features people at ASML and the impact they are having on the company and society.

 

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