"Decospan brings out the entrepreneurial spirit in me"

As a company, Decospan is all about values. Literally. The company lives and breathes what it believes in and has even found a unique way of presenting its values as a mural on its outer walls. But Decospan also inspires people who work there and we want to share these wonderful stories through our Decospan job stories feature.

Two years ago, young professional Julie Vanwonterghem (25) got her very first job with Decospan in Internal Sales. Just like the symbolic butterfly above the entrance to the Decospan buildings, Julie has truly undergone a metamorphosis over the last two years. She is now part of the team implementing a new ERP package, she looks after part of our export market and she has become a vital link in her close-knit team. "Decospan really pay attention to my ambitions."

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A challenging start

The power of Decospan as an employer is rooted in five values: passion for wood, sustainability, respect and honesty, excellence and entrepreneurial spirit. All our employees engage with these values and that creates a unique dynamic. Our values also have an effect on your professional drive – and that was definitely the case with Julie Vanwonterghem. After an intensive immersion in the world of wood veneer, Julie immediately took responsibility for the Spanish-speaking customer market. "A challenge is the best way to get started", as she puts it. "But it helped me to hone my communication skills and so I got the hang of multitasking in no time."

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Entrepreneurship

As Julie developed in her job, her ambition kept pace. Fairly soon, I felt that I was able and willing to take on more responsibility. I was drawn to the export market because you have more autonomy in building customer relationships there." Julie made no secret of her ambition and after her latest appraisal, the company expressed its full confidence in her. "That really gave me a boost to really go for it", she says. As well taking responsibility for Australia, New Zealand, China and Eastern Europe, Julie is now also helping to keep the Axapta project – the implementation of a new ERP package – on track. "My line manager, who was initially the driving force behind the Axapta implementation, asked me to track the meetings and test sessions with the aim of standing in for her during her maternity leave. That was my opportunity to show what I was capable of." In other words, anyone who demonstrates entrepreneurship by actively contributing to Decospan will be rewarded with attractive career opportunities.

Happy employees = happy customers

So, is this range of tasks actually achievable for someone who only left school a couple of years ago? "There's definitely a lot to learn", Julie laughs. "Also, I'm someone who will always go the extra mile for customers, but I think you have to do that. Making customers happy is what our job in Internal Sales is all about and that means you really have to be able to cope with stress. But Decospan is fully committed to making sure that its employees are healthy and happy at work. It offers sports sessions, a fitness studio, lots of fun team events and even unexpected treats like getting together for tapas after a long Axapta session. Being able to let off steam together like this also creates a real feeling of team spirit. Wendy, Caroline, Johan, Sebastien, Liesbeth, Vera, Laurie, Joyce, Richard & Sophie: there may be eleven of us, but we are all part of one team."

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Wood lovers, heart and soul

And have you now also come to share that other crucial Decospan value of being passionate about wood? Julie: "Absolutely! Now I've seen how much care and attention goes into manufacturing our sustainable products, I've really come to love it. And I also pass that respect on to my customers. I regularly convince them to adapt their orders to make sure as little as possible is lost during cutting." Working at Decospan has actually turned Julie into a wood lover, heart and soul. "Working here every day in such a warm, wooden interior has made me a real fan. I'm moving house soon and wood is definitely going to take centre stage in my new home. (laughing)"

If you're interested in more job stories, we'll be sharing a very different look behind the scenes at Decospan in the very near future. Keep you posted!

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