‘Make it in Belgium’: this is only possible if companies recruit and keep the top talents. One of the IT experts at Gullegem based machine tool manufacturer LVD reveals a practical aspect of talent management in this company.
Bart Vandromme is Senior Software Developer at LVD headquarters in Gullegem and is one of the driving forces behind the software package developed by the company for all aspects of design, production organisation, automatic NC file generation and management of unfolding, punching, laser cutting and folding of sheet metal pieces.
A logical choice
In 1983, my parents bought a computer. I was eight years old. My older brother and I were hooked from Day One! When I was 18, I resolutely opted for a master’s in computer science at KU University in Leuven.
My father, who spent his entire career working as a mechanical designer for LVD, told me that there was a job vacancy. I seized the opportunity and got my first job as a software developer in December 2000.
Working at LVD
My first big project was the design of the database, which I am still proud of today! It is a very open concept: in addition to tools and folding technology, the database also includes machines, work pieces and job lists. The whole software package can connect to the same database and exchange data.
Now my job largely consists in thinking of new concepts for the software package. I am in direct contact with the beta customers who test our new software. In addition, when we launch software, I deliver internal training to sales and customer service.
The great thing about my job is that I have everything at hand: analysis, self-programming, customer testing, maintenance and support.
A good team
There are 15 men in our dynamic software team. The new colleagues are usually recruited after their internship. Those who have proven that they can bring a project to fruition are likely to stay. I have great colleagues; we have grown as a team and know what to expect from each other! We hold weekly and monthly scrum and sprint meetings, which gives us insight into what the other team members are doing and saves us a lot of time. For example, we can decide to apply an existing development to other applications.
An open mind
What does the customer ask for and for what purpose? You will learn a lot if you visit the customer to assess the possibilities.
I’ll use the example of a contract for a producer of luxury fireplaces in the Netherlands. The customer asked for a report containing a list of the lasered pieces, which he still had to fold with the corresponding tools, in order to be able to pre-sort them for his offset presses and enter them manually. We tried to figure out ways to skip the extra step when the pieces had to be entered manually. Eventually, we did the programming at the customer and set up an entire software platform. Now the customer can scan the pieces using barcodes and sees their data immediately displayed on the screen.
The freedom to program and implement something extra has often led to great results. That’s the power of LVD: we think outside the box; if we believe something is necessary, we make it hapen.
Source: LVD Magazine ‘Discovery’, 2016