Can you please give us a bit of background on Hoogwegt, and your role as a Senior Dairy Trader?
Hoogwegt was founded in 1965 by Henk Hoogwegt, purely as a trading company. The company has grown year after year and now it’s one of the leading dairy companies, privately owned and trading worldwide. Hoogwegt consists of 13 companies operating in different product categories worldwide, employing over 400 people with the common goal to add vision and value for its clients and suppliers. The Hoogwegt Group has over 75 traders worldwide trading over 1 million tonnes per year. My involvement is mainly in milk powders and butter.
“Vesper adds extra value which you can bring forward to suppliers and clients”
As a Senior Dairy Trader, how often are you looking at data, and how much does this influence your decisions?
Data is very important. You should be using data every minute of the day, because that is the whole basis from which you make your decisions – next to your feeling, your experience, your positions and also the communication with your clients. We have a lot of data, but it is spread around the company and around the world in different databases. Therefore Vesper comes in very handy. Vesper provides a good overview and by using the tool you can add extra value which you can bring forward to suppliers and clients.
Prior to Vesper, how did you gather intelligence and what were your main frustrations with this?
Information was very spread, all over the internet. We used to look into paper versions of presentations – however nowadays it is more centralised, especially via Vesper. Internally, we receive a lot of emails on a daily basis from different countries, about different products and different market views. Sometimes it’s a supplier or a client you get information from – but you also need to have an objective point of view. It’s always up to us to filter that, but it comes in handy when the data in Vesper supports these views.
How much time are you saving by using Vesper?
It’s more and more. It saves me scrolling through my emails, calling other colleagues, asking for information or updates on quotations or calculations. It’s hard to put a minute on it, it could be over half an hour per day. I think it brings more efficiency to the way we’re working, and maybe it saves even more time than we realise. If you speak to 1 or 2 colleagues and it saves them 15 minutes then it’s multiplying. It might save me over half an hour per day, but it could save hours for other colleagues.
“Vesper gives you an overview and a broader perspective”
What is your favourite part of Vesper?
In general, market trends, data and pricing information is all from the past – if you are in the market on a day to day basis you are often very focussed on one thing. Sometimes it’s good to step back and look at the overview across more than one year. Vesper helps to give you an overview and a broader perspective, it gives an indication of what can happen which is always interesting to see. Vesper is also helpful, especially for new colleagues who have only been in the business for 1-2 years, it’s increasing their learning curve.
Hoogwegt Head Office – Arnhem, Netherlands
“Vesper will speed up decision making”
How do you see Vesper changing the way we work within the dairy world, and in particular Hoogwegt?
Vesper will speed up decision making for sure. We have our product meetings twice a week, and instead of repeating all of the information that we already have – you just say to your colleagues okay look at the information we have on Vesper prior to the meeting, and this makes the meetings much more effective. I also use Vesper in one on one meetings with colleagues; we both look at the screen and look at the same figures, we don’t have to share screens, copy/paste or send emails. You just have to be on the same page on Vesper. We were always a little bit afraid of working from home, and now we see it actually can work well – if you can have a tool like Vesper that is assisting to get the right information at the right time, then it’s paying off.