Young professional to work at NTS Norma: a success story

Annually, Symbol selects five junior consultants who use Symbol Academy to boost their starting careers. These young professionals take training courses to develop themselves, are mentored by a lead consultant and get to work in practice.

NTS Norma is a high-tech first-tier supplier that designs, manufactures and assembles complete mechatronic systems. The core strength of the Hengelo-based company lies in its extensive experience in ultra-precision activities. “We work at the limit of manufacturability, accurate to thousands of millimeters. That accuracy allows us to serve triple A customers such as ASML, for example. We supply ultra-precise parts for virtually every machine that goes out the door there,” says Kees Looijenga, Manager of Quality and Business Improvement at NTS Norma. “Quality is particularly important in this regard – it is one of the spearheads in our operations and for our customers. A young professional from Symbol, Tom Kamp, is now helping us to succeed even more in that area.”


Tense labor market

Tom Kamp

Tom Kamp

Because in most positions it takes quite a long time for a new employee to become fully settled in, NTS Norma prefers to choose permanent employees. But unfortunately, in this strained job market, it is very difficult to fill certain vacancies. Kees: “That was the case, for example, for the position of Quality Engineer. For this I quickly thought of Symbol, the company we have worked with many times to our satisfaction. One of my contacts at Symbol had already told me about the young professional program. Within just a few conversations it was settled: Tom will now strengthen our team for six months – and we are extremely happy about that!”


Improvement projects, a conscious choice

Because, as mentioned, it takes a lot of time to fully train someone, Kees and Symbol chose not to assign Tom to operational duties. “It takes a lot of time, for example, to get to know our drawings, products and customer specifications – a waste of Tom’s six months with us. That is why he is very deliberately scheduled on projects that require little familiarisation time, namely improvement projects. For a Quality Engineer, these are immediately the cherry-picked projects, so for Tom it is also a great opportunity to get started with these.”


Implementation of oZone

Tom is working on two major projects: the implementation of an online application for competency management and e-learning and the implementation of process FMEAs. He says: “oZone is an online learning environment in which employees can take (mandatory) training courses, but in which we can also immediately test whether they have actually absorbed the knowledge. Their progress is also visible to their manager: managers can see in the application whether the right knowledge is present in their team, so they can make adjustments if necessary. This is important, because if people do not have the right knowledge or if knowledge is not up-to-date, it creates a production risk. It is my job to set up oZone, but also to embed working with the application organizationally. Because even after I leave, of course, it still has to be used to its fullest extent.”


Standard operating procedure for process FMEAs.

“In addition, I am involved in implementing process FMEAs,” Tom continues. “NTS Norma already had something for this in its infancy, but they wanted to give it much more structure. My job is to record agreements, assess risks and write instructions. This will create a standard operating procedure for performing process FMEAs, including a database of standard risks that they can use. Cool that with both projects I will soon really leave something behind.”


Both projects well underway

Kees is very pleased with Tom’s work. “With Tom we have brought in someone who really knows the ropes. As a result, the two projects are well underway and there have already been some nice successes. Of course, another factor is that Tom is deployed on explicit improvement projects and is not in charge of operational matters. So he is not disturbed by unplanned activities, think of customers calling, and that ensures speed and focus. For me, this is an important learning: also for other improvement projects, it can be good to separate colleagues during the project to get the work done faster.”


A win-win-win

For Tom, working as a young professional at Symbol is a great opportunity for rapid development. “I like working in a high-tech company that makes products so precisely – I hadn’t seen that before. I see up close how processes run in such a company and what it means to deliver to a party like ASML, and that is very valuable. I also really enjoy looking critically at processes and seeing what can be done smarter, and this is the perfect assignment for that. And besides my work at NTS Norma, I learn during events and trainings from the other young professionals in Symbol’s program and during company events from more experienced Symbollers. For me, this is a perfect combination: a win-win-win.”


Also interested in being a young professional?

Does your organization, like NTS Norma, need temporary extra support in achieving specific objectives? Then read all about working with a young professional at Symbol or contact us directly.