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After his studies, Peer Verkuijlen moved from his home town of Erp to Eindhoven, but he has never really left Erp. His first job was at Van den Bosch's head office, as a HR officer. At the time, he could not have imagined that, more than twenty years later, he would return - but this time as a trainer.
Verkuijlen will focus here on the development of customer-oriented skills among employees who have customer contact. At Van den Bosch it’s not just about innovation and development of equipment - the personal development of employees is at least as important. We believe that the growth of our employees will contribute to the growth ambition of our organisation. "Through learning and development, together we can exceed the expectations of our customers."
After his earlier time at Van den Bosch, Verkuijlen went into retail. As a shop manager, he realised that, with a bit of extra attention, his staff would be able to do their jobs better. He saw that the staff who worked weekend shifts in particular lacked guidance. Verkuijlen then took the initiative. He gave training in the morning, and that knowledge was put into practice on the shop floor in the afternoon. The model was a success, and performance improved.
As a young father, Verkuijlen decided to stop working at weekends, and said goodbye to his job as shop manager. He started working full-time as a trainer. Later he also took on the role of coach. "That dual role is especially important," he remarks. "With training alone, you rarely get to see the intended growth. By coaching employees after the training, you help to maintain focus and you find out what’s really needed to achieve your goals."
Verkuijlen now fulfils this dual role within Van den Bosch. Based on our vision on Learning & Development, we have centralised the approach, the knowledge and our specialists, and a complete team has emerged. Verkuijlen trains our customer service employees in developing their customer focus from the Customer Service Maturity programme. With the Sales Maturity programme, he coaches commercial managers in optimising customer contact. "In contrast to the retail sector, in the bulk sector you are frequently working with permanent customer relations. That requires the creation of a strong bond. However, despite the different dynamic, customers remain customers, and people remain people. It's always about customisation."
This also applies to the development of employees. Van den Bosch focuses on the growth ambition of the organisation by facilitating employees in realising the strategy. "The result of the training is that performance goes up, but the aim is to set development goals," says Verkuijlen. "After that, it's a case of getting on with the job. With small steps forward, we get a little better every day. I'm under no illusion that I'll be doing that on my own. We are taking those steps in customer focus together."