The NMC magazine for employees and business partners
p. 8 - 9
Getting beyond our
p. 10 - 11
Success is not
p. 21 - 23
Charles Darwin was the first to see it: life is change. His
theory of evolution revolutionised the thinking and is highly topical
even nowadays. Those who can no longer change have reached
the end of their evolution and die. Examples for that are dinosaurs or dried branches, which cannot bend in the wind anymore
and so they break. Each of us changes. Every day. Sometimes
more, sometimes less. This becomes obvious when looking at old
photos: we can hardly believe how much we have changed – physically, in our preferences and opinions. But we do not accept taking the change for granted in all circumstances of
our life. We regard new things with scepticism - and this is
not necessarily bad. A healthy scepticism and the openness to
changes are the best ways for us to further develop in the right
direction. In fact not every change is a progress. Like in a river,
Our entire life is marked by change. This is particularly clear to me
when I watch my children grow. I, myself, change and I perceive
ageing as a permanent mission: thus, sports and proper eating are
today much more important to me than they were a few years ago.
Exactly like a body, that needs to be actively trained in order to
be fit, only a flexible company, open to change, can survive in
a world that never stops. Therefore, we dedicate this issue of
nmc-LIVE entirely to evolution, reinvention, progress – in short, to
change in its multiple variants. Employees of NMC from all over
Europe talk about events that, from their perspective, triggered
the greatest changes in their companies or for them personally.
For a colleague in Sweden, this is the digital revolution; for an
employee in Spain, his upcoming wedding, whereby he proves
that an economic crisis does not just determine one’s entire life.
But it is precisely in the profession that you need to cause change.
Because immobility is regress. Without curiosity, without the will to
learn from others and to question routine processes, you may not
get better. Here, at NMC, we want to continue convincing our
clients by top performances and be measured against them. This
shall only be possible if our employees are able to contribute to
creating change, if they are able to appropriate new techniques
and apply other ways of thinking. The implementation of the SAP
software system and our DRIVE³ optimisation programme creates
this freedom of action.
In economy things are, basically, like in the private life: everything changes. How well we do with this natural dynamics largely
depends on ourselves. I love change as daily challenge and I appreciate the chances we thus receive over and over again –
both in our private and in our professional life.
Hence, I hope you will find a lot of interesting food for thought
when reading this issue.
the stream carries us on. Here changing means surviving, but
this is not necessarily a strategy for success. We can benefit of
it only if we consciously choose a new direction and control it
actively. In other words, the one who takes the lead of a change
will take the steering wheel in his hands and make the best of
it for himself. In an emotional as well as a professional sense,
because nowadays an embraced willingness to change is a
central skill for competitiveness. People who do not indulge in
nostalgic illusions will equally make their private life fulfilling and
their everyday professional life successful.
”Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past
or present are certain to miss the future”. John F. Kennedy gave
this law of change to his posterity to take along. Victor Timofeev,
NMC Russia, shares this view. The dissolution of the USSR and
the democratisation of his homeland represented for him the
greatest change in his country, still far from being completed. In
his private life the change was the birth of his daughters. In this
respect he is on the same wavelength as Bengt Egeman, NMC
Sweden. Besides the modification of the economic powers, with
the rapid rise of China, the latter sees his children’s birth as the
most radical change of his life. Bengt Egeman expects an analogue break when they will start their own life outside the parents’
home. But in addition to these real changes, for Sweden the
tremendous development of the digital world, with the internet
and the social media, is a milestone of development as well.
Trevor Stone, NMCUK, and Olivier Bonnet, NMC France, have
a similar view. The permanent accessibility to any site means a
long term change as to cooperation and project tempo – but
also as regards the substantial depth of relationships. “Change
begins in your mind”, says Bengt Egeman, while Bernd Loreth,
NMC Germany wants to have the possibility of an active role in
shaping changes. Peter Hammarberg, Finland, calls for less indifference and egocentrism. Empathy, a readiness to be there for
others – even unpaid and with personal involvement, is at risk of
failing. The same wish is shared by Daniel del Rio, NMC Spain,
and Sergio Vergani, NMC Italy, in the light of the economic difficulties of their homelands. But arguing will not help. That is why
Daniel del Rio is actively heading for a forward-looking change:
he is going to get married in June. And thus he lives according to
the maxim of his Swede colleague, who does not want to miss
the curiosity for new things.
In the Lion’s Workshop
Everything about the American film production company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer is great: the name, the box-office successes,
the artists and, of course, the worldwide trademark, Leo the Lion.
There is indeed none of us who would not associate the powerful
roar of the lion in the celluloid circle with a MGM classic movie.
From Casablanca to Ben Hur and Doctor Zhivago up to the latest
adventures of James Bond in Skyfall, the opening credits with the
mascot of the MGM Studios stand for grand emotions on screen.
However, the MGM Group has extended its field of activity for a
long time now. In parallel to the increasing predatory competition
in the film industry, it has transferred its entertainment know-how to
the world of casinos and hotels. The start was given by the legendary MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas with a gigantic golden lion
next to the entrance. Big shows, magnificent gastronomy, a luxury
hotel and virtually unlimited gambling possibilities consolidate its
reputation as an ultimate address in the gamblers’ citadel.
With a large-scale project the group wants to implement this proven
concept in Vietnam, too. The oblong-shaped costal state in SouthEast Asia has been changing since the nineties of the last century:
nowadays the country is characterised by tourism boom and strong
economic growth. Besides the traditional agriculture and coffee
production, it has developed to a sought-after address for the textile and shoe industry. Ho Chi Minh City, as the former capital of
South Vietnam also known under the name of Saigon, is considered
to be one of the fastest growing metropolises of the world and
is the trading centre of Vietnam. Many international companies
have established subsidiaries here. Global hotel chains followed
them quickly – as MGM did too – and transformed former fishing
villages into elegant resorts. 120 km far from Ho Chi Minh City
the group with the lion in the company sign planned the first of a
total of five resorts in Vietnam, the MGM Grand Ho Tram Beach.
Its first phase of construction has been now completed: a hotel with 541 five-star rooms and suites, nine restaurants, three bars and
numerous luxury boutiques are attracting the wealthy and spoiled
people of this world. The centrepiece of the entertainment offer
is the13,600 square metre casino with 90 gambling tables and
500 electronic gambling machines. Further 500 electronic games
and an 18-hole golf course are to be built in the second phase
of construction. In Vietnam, too, true greatness knows no bounds.
Through the Malaysian partner company PU Profile Sdn. Bhd.,
NMC has now indirectly become the Lord of the Lion, as PU Profile
has manufactured the three meter high emblem of MGM that adorns
the entrance to Grand Ho Tram Casino. A prototype of only 50 centimetres served as model. It was measured in detail and scaled to
the required size with the aid of the computer. Based on these data
the sculpture builder cut carefully a lion master of polystyrene in original size. After they had polished all cut edges and irregularities, they
coated the massive body with epoxy paint. Then this master was cut
on the basis of an elaborate plan into a total of 42 separate parts
and a distinct mould was made out of each element. All moulds
were cast in specially reinforced plastic and so the original parts
were manufactured true to scale. After curing, the NMC partner
PU Profile assembled these separate parts into four large elements,
which were transported in containers to Vietnam. There these four
components were stuck together to the final sculpture. Then the huge
lion got its unique golden glamour again in the USA, in accordance
with the detailed specifications of MGM. After a total manufacturing
time of nine month it was supposed to adorn, in all its glory, the
entrance to the gambling casino in Ho Tram. But MGM suddenly
withdrew from the project. Today the resort is being successfully
managed by the Canadian investor group ACDL, true to the motto
“The show must go on.” Only Leo the Lion is still waiting for its final
location somewhere in the wide world of MGM.
Short Escapes in White
When winter grey doesn’t seem to end or the holiday is
still too far away, your boss has yet another urgent project and
the neighbours get on your nerves – then it is time for a change.
Short escapes from everyday life work miracles. Simply disconnect, soak up the sun and get into a good mood. For this, most
people choose a short trip south – where the sun always shines
and problems are far, far away. A trip to the Algarve, for example, for it is the place with the most sunny days of all Europe.
What a shame that most of the times your account balance is a
barrier to short breaks in the sunny south. But it shouldn’t be like
this: if well planned, south can come to your doorstep. Honestly,
what can beat stepping out on the balcony or the patio with
a latte in your hands, the sun shining and a relaxed breakfast
to begin your day with? Only a glass of wine in the evening,
when the sun goes down unveiling the sky of myriads of stars.
You just need a stylish, easy-to-build patio and this picture will
turn into reality.
Telling stories, playing, barbecuing or simply relaxing and forgetting about everyday problems: oleander, lavender or thyme
will bring a breeze from the Mediterranean. A discrete water
fountain would almost make you hear the sound of the clear
turquoise water from the Algarve. The ideal outfit of this favourite
place is a NOMAWOOD® patio. Its colours create harmony
between the dream holiday locations and all year’s seasons.
For example, terracotta for Tuscany in autumn and olive for
spring in Provence; bring now the Algarve with its bright summer white in our dreary everyday life. The major advantage is
that these wooden-like patios do not offer only divine pleasure
but also every earthly advantage such as no splinters, weather
resistance, stability and unbelievable ease of maintenance. Antislip, simple to clean, they dry in a jiffy and are also treated for
small mishaps such as red wine spilled accidentally or torrential
rain. Whether barefoot or on high heels, the Algarve always
lays at your feet through these elegant patios. Now, we can
handle the rest of the problems: sun blinds or gas heaters when
weather tries to ruin our mood, bad connection when boss is
calling and good music in the earphones to forget about those
annoying neighbours. Life can be so beautiful – we only have
to change what bothers us.
10 - 11
Getting beyond our limits digitally
No other measure causes such complex changes within a
company as the implementation of a new SAP-based integrated
software system. The employees are concerned with the new
tasks arising from this change of system. For the company’s management, this step involves the reorganisation of all business processes in NMC’s subsidiaries and their directing to the new IT
system. In other words: digitally, not one stone will be left standing upon another. Nevertheless, NMC decided in 2008 to take
this step. Due to the continuous expansion of the group over the
last years, the software used at the company level had run up
against its limits. The obsolete data structures, the high repair
and maintenance costs, the impossibility to implement updates,
the lack of continuity in data transparency in various systems of
each country and department in turn, as well as the need for
general process improvement triggered the switch to a new and
homogenous system. The demands imposed on the 40-member
SAP project team, having Alain Thielemans as IT manager at
NMC group level and Werner Bongen as SAP-business process
manager were very high. All the group’s important processes
and workflows should be input in the new software. The switch
to a new global IT organisation entailed the replacement of the
existing local structures. The project drivers were innovation,
harmonisation, integration and optimisation.
team paid much attention to system flexibility, so as to include all
the particularities and scaling specific to the company, without
deviating much from the standard. Other criteria were the long
term maintainability and the upgradability. In December 2009,
they decided to implement SAP and at the beginning of 2010
the works related to process definition, system setup and data
One of the greatest challenges was the time. 170 employees
needed to be trained within this large project in order to be
able to correctly use the new system. The current activities had
to remain unaffected by the introduction of the new system. The
decision to change made at the end of 2008 was followed by
the selection process related to the future ERP software, until March
2009. The SAP international software was chosen due to the
global use of this software. When making their choice, the project
At NMC France the data migration was started in May 2011;
in October of the same year NMC UK was successfully implementing the new “Go live” system; thus, the deployment of the
new system at the Belgian parent company and at two German
subsidiaries occurred before the end of April of the same year. It
was a really huge project considering that it included the transfer of data concerning 5,200 customers, 2,350 suppliers and
7,950 products into the new system. Concurrently, a warehouse
management system was implemented with the same enthusiasm.
“Besides the complexity of actions, one of the greatest challenges
of this reorganisation was to persuade our employees that this
was the best way”, says Alain Thielemans. This process affected
the entire personnel from all the departments: from the department in charge of contract conclusion, planning and production,
supply, finance and controlling, warehouse management and
administration, to the department of transportation, reporting and
IT. The passing from the old system to the new one occurred
without any impediments, due to a new intensive training concept divided in several stages. There is still a lot to do. With the aim
to reach important improvements in the day-to-day business, the
NMC-team continues to work on process simplification. This will
also lead to advantages for NMC’s customers who will take profit
from improved electronic data interchange and last but not least
from faster and more efficient services. 12 - 13
Who is Who?
Change is part of the everyday life of Wolfgang Rau (62):
profession, private life or sport – no day, no meeting resembles
another. A sole exception: he has been working for NMC Germania
for 40 years, of which 38 as independent representative. Being in
charge with large regions from the south of the Federal Republic of
Germany, he loves challenges and novelties in his relationship with
the customers. As sales trainer, he has been sharing his knowledge
and experience in the field for more than 15 years. He devotes his
personal life to his wife, four children and many grandchildren. As
a fervent tennis player from the second division of Germany, he
permanently faces new challenges in the duel with the tennis ball.
>Is there a book on your nightstand at the moment?
I am currently reading the book of the former stock exchange
journalist Frank Lehmann „Über Geld redet man nicht. Was Ihnen
die Finanzprofis verschweigen“.
He was very marked and moved by the birth of his first grandson,
which made him redefine his priorities. Professionally, he is satisfied
with the positive evolution of his collaboration with NMC and of
his successful activity as a trainer. He was successful on both plans,
despite the scepticism shown by certain members of his family, the
customers and colleagues.
>If you had three wishes what would you wish for?
The harmony in my family, a long and healthy life and more
peace on earth.
>What is your life motto?
There is sunshine after every rainfall.
>What kind of music do you like?
My range of musical preferences goes from the soul legend Joe
Cocker, to the German pop singer Udo Jürgens to folk music.
>What did you last see at the movies?
I was very impressed by the movie “Miracle of Bern” because it
contained many analogies with my own childhood.
>What makes you laugh?
I cannot take the snob and the lazy seriously.
>What would you like to be doing in ten years time?
I love my profession and I want to serve NMC and the industry
as long as possible.
>Who would you like to have met in person?
I had the chance to meet Gert Noël. He encouraged me and
believed in me during a difficult period of my life. This impressed
me much and I reserve him a very special place in my heart.
Quality sets marks
Small mark with a big impact: what we have long known
in relation to phones, teddy bears or freezers has also changed
the world of technical insulation materials since August 2012.
Without the CE mark, nothing can be done with these materials
in the 28 EU Member States. As a mandatory administrative
symbol of the EU, this mark certifies the manufacturer’s declaration that the product complies with EU standards. The CE mark is
mandatory, but it is neither a test seal, nor a quality mark or certificate of origin. It is nothing but a passport for pipe insulation. It
allows the sale in all EU Member States, as well as in Norway,
Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. For NMC, it is a welcomed door opener for international tenders and unlimited trade
in the EU. Architects are also required to use the products with
the CE marking, just like those working in trade or crafts. It gives
them not only the necessary legal certainty, but also a concrete
aid in the decision-making process. The mandatory specification
of the product characteristics allows, for the first time, a concrete
comparison of the products, while the premium quality of the
NMC-insulating materials is noticeable at first glance.
Concurrently with the introduction of the CE mark for technical
insulation materials, there was a significant change in the fire
protection area. The previously valid national fire protection
classes such as B1 and B2 in Germany or M1 in France were
replaced by seven single European fire classes. This new regulation gives designers and manufacturers the much needed
security regarding the compliance with fire safety regulations.
This commitment to more transparency is a clear progress for
NMC: the Climaflex® brand has the best fire protection class
in the field of flexible technical insulation materials made of
polyethylene and it is thus particularly recommended for use in
public buildings. In the Netherlands, this proved effective: the
local legal requirements have already established this product
as benchmark of its field.
However, NMC does not rest on its laurels: for even more
significant product certification, the company joined the community of interests of leading manufacturers of foamed plastic insulation materials (CEFEP). It introduced the FEF/PEF
RAL quality mark, which ensures stricter control of product quality and thus significantly exceeds the CE marking requirements. This step highlights the special class of NMC products
in the mass of products bearing the CE mark: these are true
beacons of quality.
16 - 17
Africa – the change lives
Africa is in our fantasy the land of wild animals, endless savannahs and beguiling sunsets. The Dark Continent is actually torn
between poverty and wealth, natural disasters and economic growth,
authenticity and globalisation. However, according to Boston Consulting Group, the omens are nowadays as favourable for Africa as
for China 20 years ago and for India 10 years ago. Over the last
30 years the African middle class has tripled to 300 million people.
The people of this class use their money for consumption and leisure
in their own land. This can be deduced for instance from the rapidly
increasing number of mobile phones, motorcycles and cars.
Kenya has doubled its economic growth since 2009. In the East
African country this positive development is fostered by international
tourism. It creates almost 500,000 jobs and more than one billion
USD turnover. In search for the Africa of his dreams a tourist leaves
up to USD 700 per day in the country. This is how islands of prospe
rity with a booming economy arise in close vicinity to immense slums.
One of them is Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city and a central place for
tourists, economy and administration. The pulsating metropolis with
three million inhabitants is the place of domicile for many offices of
the United Nations, banks and industrial companies. International
hotel chains, shops and classy restaurants identified the potential of
the city and responded to the demand for comfort and consumption
with new subsidiaries. Only a few kilometres away from the centre
of the city, the 120 square kilometre Nairobi National Park offers
the opportunity of a jeep safari, where one can experience at close
range the breath-taking natural spectacle of the giraffes, gazelles,
rhinoceros, zebras, antelopes and lions.
In October 2012 Casino Flamingo in Nairobi was opened as
the largest gambling casino of the country. With its 1,500 square
metres the exclusive building accounts for the development of the
city. The owners have invested more than USD 10 million in the
trend-setting entertainment temple. 160 gambling machines of the
latest generation and 15 gambling tables leave none of the visitors’ wishes unfulfilled. Here up to 300 guests can simultaneously
relax from daily routine, enjoy their spare time and test their luck.
The high quality ambience has also a great visual impact, distinguishing Casino Flamingo from the other 20 casinos in Nairobi.
The subtle luxury in warm savannah colours invites you to stay.
Marble, glass, wood, leather and fluffy carpets give the spacious
rooms a unique radiance. Elegant accents are set by the NMC
decorative synthetic mouldings for ceilings and walls, which discreetly outline the spaces and create cut-outs of light. In a combined effect with the leather armchairs arranged in long rows in
front of the gambling machines, the halls are becoming a bench
mark of the contemporary design for demanding guests from all
over the world. 18 - 19
Get warehouses running
B Change is a principle in warehouse management. The more
fluid the circulation of materials, the better. At NMC, too, the warehouse is the key element for a successful distribution of goods.
During the company-wide migration to SAP the warehouse management software introduced in 1997 was also tested. It was not only
rather old, but it also did not meet important contemporary market
requirements such as the mention of the minimum durability or the
batch management. Since SAP could not achieve the standards for
future-proof logistics at an acceptable cost, the starting signal for a
new warehouse management system was given as early as 2009.
It was supposed to be connected via an interface to the future goods
management system. In July 2011 the project team led by René
Thönnissen opted for the latest software generation of the former pro-
vider proLogistik. During the following months the necessary changes
and measures were laid down in detailed functional specifications.
Despite numerous new components in the system, there was little
change for NMC employees. Of course, it was necessary to adapt
some monitors and processes. Thanks to the support of the NMCteam a trouble-free transition was assured. “Our top priority during
the migration was, as always, the customer satisfaction”, remembers
Bernd Vorhagen, General Manager Benelux. He adds: „As far as
possible customers were supposed not to notice anything during the
migration, but to benefit from the new potentialities afterwards.” Behind the scene there are numerous changes everywhere. Until the
migration the changes in inventory had been registered separately
in the goods management system and in the warehouse management system. That was not only inconvenient, but also led almost
inevitably to slowed processing, differences and non-transparency.
Now the new warehouse management system digitally takes the
lead – it keeps, in the trade jargon, the inventory. It controls the
warehouse entries, exits and relocations consistently via barcodes.
This information standardised according to EAN 128 makes it possible to trace back the history of the goods from the raw material to
the batch of finished products. This also simplifies the communication
between trade partners. Secondarily, the barcodes save a lot of
paper for the accompanying documents and thus support the strict
environmental policy of NMC. The former double recording of data,
so time-consuming and prone to errors, belongs to the past now, the
shipping orders are compacted and the cycle times are shortened.
The gapless inventory control and the always updated key figures
allow a considerably more precise and a need-based control. The
processes optimised this way enhance flexibility. A pleasant side
effect: the costly and time-consuming annual inventory is also a thing
of the past in the Eynatten warehouse. At the same time, customers
benefit directly from the improved transparency: for example, for
mixed pallets they can receive a detailed record of the quantities
and the products contained therein. This simplifies their disposition
and is an important tool for NMC to further develop its competitive
advantages. The new warehouse management system has been successfully operating since the end of February: a small change for the
employees, an important progress for NMC and its customers. Success is not a coincidence
“As for the future, your task is not to foresee it, but to enable it.” The underlying optimism and creativity of this quote from
the French poet Antoine de Saint-Exupéry are representative of
the entire NMC philosophy. Translated into the daily activity of
NMC this principle describes the core concept of the DRIVE3 programme. A ship must keep on course in any weather and cope
with all challenges in the high seas; this is also true for a successful
company that should face all changes prepared accordingly. Customers, markets, technologies, framework conditions and requirements are changing more and more rapidly and profoundly. In
order to successfully thwart this demanding environment, efficient
production processes and innovative products are essential. This is
only possible with a motivated team that is heading with genuine
enthusiasm towards the common goal. The course, equipment
and crew must be permanently reoriented according to the wind
direction and vagaries of weather, exactly like on a ship. This continuous improvement from practice for the practice increases ship’s
and skipper’s agility and force, just like in the case of NMC. Coordinated processes, understanding the task and their own significance for the overall success are just as important as they derive
from changes in thinking and action. “This jointly conceived way
of thinking characterises NMC culture”, says Pascal Dehesselle,
lean project management leader for Insulation and Nomafoam
business activities. “We get closer, step by step, to our common
goal and we rejoice at having achieved each intermediate goal.
Every day, we get closer to the goal and thus become better”.
The starting point was an 80/20 analysis in the PEX sector.
The goal of this sector was to reduce volume of items in order to
improve profitability and production processes. Nowadays it is a
22 - 23
“As for the future,
your task is not to foresee it
but to enable it.”
Antoine de saint-Exupéry
standard for all teams to identify in advance the unsalable items
from the product line. “We simplify and standardise processes,
thus optimising them continuously”, explains Herbert Stadler, lean
management responsible for the decoration business activity. “By
these skilful processes, we increase satisfaction of customers and
employees, and thereby generate new ideas”. Focusing on the
essential helps us identifying in advance the weaknesses and
deviations from the planned result. This offers the possibility to
timely implement countermeasures. An important factor of this
process is the integrated communication within NMC. New
ideas, solutions and processes are developed and implemented
immediately, together with the colleagues, but also in interdepartmental working groups. What is useful applies until a better
suggestion comes. This continuous improvement on a small scale
leads to a noticeable change on a large scale. The positive experience of the employees concerned motivates the others to get
involved. This is also supported by the following statements: “It is
much more fun to work in a clean and well-structured place!” or “Better order and structure improve the results!” The improvements
achieved speak for themselves: for example, by reducing the
stock in the warehouse within the polyurethane sector, a faster response to production errors was possible, and thus waste quota
diminished. Large warehouse stocks and idle running belong to
the past. Changing the settings of machines and processes, we
work more efficiently and safer. The new form of supply with
raw materials based on the Kanban principle is dependent on
stock and the optimised use of materials improves production
processes in these sectors. Success achieved in a short period
of time based on the changes made and on its own contribution
makes everyone have a better understanding of the sense and
scope of the DRIVE3 programme. Identification with this goal
is what Saint-Exupéry speaks about, making future possible for
NMC - the motor of a sustainable business excellence according
to the motto “we will succeed together“. Central theme of the next nmc-LIVE: Contacts
Do you have any suggestions, criticisms or praise for nmc-LIVE? Please write to the editors at [email protected]
We are pleased to receive all contributions.
Editor: NMC sa, Gert-Noël-Straße, 4731 Eynatten,
Belgium, Tel: +32 87 85 85-00, Fax: +32 87 85 85-11
Responsible editor: Hubert Bosten
(Responsible in the sense of the press law)
Editorial team: NMC sa, [email protected]
Text and concept: impetus.PR, Agentur für Corporate
Communications GmbH, Aachen, Tel: +49 241-189 25-0,
Print: leën, Hasselt