This way we
can continue to excel

KTBA is celebrating its 25th anniversary in the Netherlands its 10th anniversary in Belgium. This is a milestone in the KTBA’s captivating history. Jeroen Sleenhoff (CEO) reflects back with pride, pauses for a moment and looks ahead enthusiastically: ‘Our customers provide us with the drive to continue excelling’

It is not only a celebration for you, but also for your customers. Right?

‘That is indeed how we feel since we owe this 25th anniversary of KTBA the Netherlands and the 10th anniversary of KTBA Belgium to our customers. This would not have been possible without our customers. There are even those who have remained customers from the very beginning to the present day. It’s great to see that just like us, they have also grown in recent years. This says something about our services. We offer quality and nurture relationships with our customers. Due to our regional managers who are close to the customer, we understand the challenges of the customer and we try to find solutions for them. It is also not insignificant that we have a global presence. We can help our customers in 27 countries worldwide.’

How have the services at the KTBA developed over the years?

‘A lot of legislation has changed recently. Todays legislation is no longer comparable with that of 25 years ago. The KTBA has certainly contributed to that. Previously our focus was mainly on outsourcing and helping quality managers with quality systems, now we have evolved into high-end consultancy. We provide strategic advice to small and big names in the field of quality assurance and on the recommended path for the future. In addition to our services such as Business Assurance and Sustainability, we are an organization that looks ahead. This is one of our great strengths. We understand which developments our customers will have to deal with in the future and we can anticipate them at an early stage. 25 years ago the world was a lot simpler. Back then the discussions were about whether or not to wear a hairnet on the production floor. About whether or not to smoke. Nowadays, the discussion is about sustainable production in a world that needs it.’

What do your customers notice about your growth?

‘That they are always up to date and kept informed of future developments. Our customers have an ally in us, a sparring partner. We look and empathise with them. However, bear in mind that we also learn a lot from our customers. What’s called, they give us all the power, an appropriate term in this industry, to continue excelling’

It’s the KTBA’s birthday. Treat us to anecdotes!

‘I’ve been waiting for this question, haha. We started in the attic room of Jurgen de Jong, the founder of the KTBA. Jurgen was an economics student who worked as an intern at the bakery, Henk de Rooij during the weekend, now Bakkersland in Waalwijk. When the HACCP became part of the Commodities Act, Jurgen successfully set up his food safety system. Companies in the vicinity quickly registered. The first employee was hired after three years. This meant a doubling in turnover and capacity. Step by step, the KTBA started to grow. The first official office was located in Waalwijk. We were very proud of that. At the end of 2013, the KTBA consisted of fifty employees and the office was overcrowded. The desks moved closer and closer together and sales were accused of talking too much. The KTBA grew out of her jacket and it was time to look for something bigger. We bought the second and current office in Kaatsheuvel in 2013. And ten years ago we took a chance in our beloved neighbouring country. A decision we have not regretted for a single moment.’

The KTBA has since grown into an international organisation.

‘Yes, we are active in 27 countries worldwide and in more than 100 laboratories. Therefore, our consultancy services, training and audits take place worldwide. Each country has one clear point of contact. Although our reach spans across many borders, the lines are amazingly short. Our innovative ideas are copied worldwide. Mérieux NutriScience, our French parent company, allows us the freedom to function independently as an organisation. This in turn benefits our customers. We have all the space to focus on customer needs. We adapt our services accordingly. Our customers tell us what they need, not the other way around.’

What does the future look like for the KTBA?

‘We are in the position to continually better understand the market and we can offer help to both small and large entrepreneurs in an increasingly high-quality world. The customer and the KTBA go hand in hand. I remember a customer who started 25 years ago in a garage and now has two large successful factories. We are proud that we are still his advisor. Furthermore, the future will be international and more focused on sustainability. Think of sustainable production in the form of reducing plastic, CO2 and other environmentally polluting packaging. We will continue to specialize in this. There are also currently great developments in this field, which we will of course share with our customers soon.’

Our customers tell us what they need, not the other way around


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