Days are always too short for Senior Technology Manager Eddy Allefs (56). At NTS he is responsible for business development. Besides, exploring new markets, opportunities and services for the company, he deepens existing customer relations and every now and then he also wears a recruitment hat. He uses his solid and extensive network, knowhow and years of experience in high tech to take NTS even one step further. Eddy’s primary mission: shorten the time to market of NTS’ customers and unburden them even further.
If it were possible Eddy Allefs would be on his feet 24/7. Besides exploring opportunities for NTS, being a mentor to start-ups at HighTechXL and having conversations with experts who could be of added value to NTS, he writes columns for Techwatch about very diverse subjects such as Blockchain, AI and the circular economy. An entrepreneur with a permanent contract that relies on his ethical compass to take the right steps at the right moment.
Technological development in unprecedented acceleration
“I really like the developments that you see at this moment and especially in this region,” Eddy says. “What you see, is that at this moment technology is in an unprecedented acceleration. When you look at the societal challenges that we are facing then there really is no more time to lose. Technology offers an answer and that is why you see that technologies like Additive manufacturing, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics are currently developing extremely fast.”
ASML is the most extreme that you can find in high-tech
“As I find everything in the field of technology enormously appealing, I’ve worked for ASML for ten years. When it comes to high-tech that really is the most extreme you can find. The craziness then simply attracts you. At a certain moment I left ASML but after a number of years I returned. After I returned at ASML I became group leader Mechatronics. It was a great experience but line management is something that eventually didn’t offer me enough satisfaction anymore.”
Combination of technology, business and people
“At a certain moment I looked at what gave the most energy and that really is the combination of technology, business and people. That is what I found at NTS. I am actually an entrepreneur here with a permanent contract and I have an extremely free role. I try to take NTS a step further by using my track record, experience and network and by making smart connections. That gives me a lot of energy.”
Trying to lift NTS to a higher level
“Here, I operate on the interface of technology and business. Sometimes I propose leads, at other moments I am in charge of the sales process and sometimes I work on new business or try to lift the internal organisation to a higher level in order for us to unburden our customers even further. In this process I of course have my targets and, in the end, history will have to point out if I will have succeeded. I set the bar high. For myself and for NTS.”
Reversed thinking is necessary to further unburden our customers
“A concrete opportunity that I see for NTS in the future is that we think along with our customers even more, in order to unburden them further. That requires some guts and another way of thinking of the internal organisation. Design For X, and also taking the end-user experience into account in the product development phase, can become NTS’ assets. What that means concretely, for example is to not hesitate to rely on a volume contour and don’t waste time waiting for a detailed drawing. That will follow later. That is a totally different mind-set for manufacturing companies.”
Manufacturing something that doesn’t seem manufacturable
“What customers like ASML and Thermo Fisher Scientific ask for, is on the boundary of manufacturability. Making sure that it can be made and anticipating on it, to us is an opportunity. My knowledge of ASML in this, comes in very handy. I can help NTS in making the difference. NTS is still of a size that you can walk into the CEO’s office. At NTS you find an entrepreneurial attitude. For me it is nice to be able to build on this.”
Shorten customer’s time to market
“My personal mission is to make sure that we accelerate the time to market of our customers. At the moment we still work a lot according to the V-model. In accordance with this model the assignment or design is completely specified after which it is developed. That takes a lot of time. That is why we need to move towards concurrent engineering which does not require a complete specification but developing based on assumptions that you discuss thoroughly with the customer. This means a different way of working to all of NTS’ departments and being extremely entrepreneurial!”