Meet the team : purchasing departement

We need tasty and high-quality raw materials for our delicious dishes. Our purchasing department orders all the ingredients, materials, and packaging from carefully selected suppliers. Jo, Karlien and Petra are happy to explain how this works. A conversation about harmony, well-chosen treats, and slips of the tongue.

What is the responsibility of the purchasing department within the company?
Jo: “Our main task is to provide sufficient goods for the customer (in the case of Umami), and to provide sufficient raw materials and packaging for production (in the case of Deliva). We use Lisa, our ERP package, to ensure that our goods are available at the right time and the right place.All orders are placed by Karlien and Petra. In case of any issues, they will also contact the customer in good time and try to offer solutions.” Karlien: “Purchasing hasn’t been part of our remit for very long, but it has meant we can work in a more streamlined way. The purchasing and sales functions complement each other perfectly. We are much more aware of the raw material ‘bottlenecks’ and we can be more proactive.”

Can each person briefly explain their tasks within the team?

Petra: “Karlien and I perform exactly the same function. We are a link between the group of companies and both the customers and the suppliers. We place the orders and take care of the communication.”

Jo: “I am responsible for the procurement policy. So I look after the overall process, such as price agreements with the suppliers, the contracts and so on. But I also work closely with R&D: when they need new raw materials, for example, I search for the right supplier with the best prices.”

Why did you choose to work for Deliva? 
Jo: "I was not unhappy with my previous employer, but I was ready for something else. Then Thijs, an ex-colleague, let me know there was a vacancy at Deliva. I felt positive from the very first meeting. The company’s vision really appealed to me. After that, things went very fast. I signed my contract in less than a week. What also struck me was that they looked at whether I fit in with the team most of all. A totally different approach than ‘what are you good at?’, which is usually how it goes at other companies."

Karlien: "The range of tasks became too large for the two of us. So the search was on, specifically for a colleague that we would click with. And here we are. We are really happy with Jo!”

This click, is it the secret of your team?

Karlien: “I think so, it is very important, after all. We complement each other. Petra and I have been functioning in tandem for years. Because we know each other so well, sometimes we only have to look at each other to know what the other person is thinking. During corona, we left our Teams open all day. It meant we didn’t have to talk all the time, but by hearing the other person on the phone to customers kept both of us in the loop. And it still felt like we were working together. Jo hasn’t been here that long, but to be honest: it feels like he’s been here for much longer.”

Jo: “I feel the same. I noticed early on that we have a lot in common in the way we work and think. As I said, we’re well-matched!”

Do you work closely with other teams within the company sometimes? Which teams? How does it work?
Petra: “We are actually in contact with almost all the departments. We share an open-plan office with twelve colleagues and that’s real progress. It means we can respond quickly and look for solutions immediately. You can speak to your colleagues directly, instead of having to e-mail or call.”

Karlien: “We help each other. There’s no finger-pointing when there’s a problem, but everyone tries their hardest to look for a solution. You never have to deal with anything on your own.” 

Jo: “The communication is very open and honest. If something is wrong or you don’t want to be disturbed, you can just say so. People understand. It’s not usually so ingrained.”

Is your employer a good employer? What makes working here so great? 
Petra: “Our years of service say it all, I think. The atmosphere among colleagues really is very good here. I also feel the company makes a lot of effort to make sure everyone feels at home here.

And the canteen is great, of course!” (laughs)

Karlien: “It’s dangerous! Because we have worked here for so long, we know exactly what treats everyone likes!”

Jo: “There is a lot of consideration for the employees’ wellbeing here. You can speak to Hans and Marleen anytime, they are very kind and involved. They look for solutions when something is wrong, it’s a very reassuring feeling.”

Do you get together for activities outside of work sometimes? If yes, what do you do?

Karlien: “Oh yes, not just with our team, but also with some other colleagues. Those moments are usually unplanned. We might try out a new restaurant, for example, or have a drink at a pavement cafe. And every now and then we party, of course.”


Do you have any funny team anecdotes? 

Jo: “For a long time, there was a container of green tea just sitting there. Apparently, a phone call came in one day about needing A LOT of tea very urgently for the asylum shelter, because those people like to drink it. And it had to be green. There was another phone call after the container had been delivered: apparently there had been a miscommunication with the residents, because they only drank black tea. Oops!”

Petra: “Sometimes the job is all about blood, sweat and tears. Things go wrong, because it’s hectic. It is important to let off steam every now and then. Karlien’s daily slips of the tongue help us to do just that.”

Karlien: “Hey! (chuckles) It’s true though. Sometimes we are on the edge of our seats so much that a silly slip of the tongue brings the laughter. But once we’ve cleared the stress, we’re back to being serious!”

Fun Facts

Who keeps morale up in the team?
Everyone does their bit.

Who cracks the most jokes? 
In our office, no doubt: Peter Goossens and Maurizio.
Who has the best taste in music? And who has the worst?
Jo: “Petra.”

Petra: “We are Qmusic listeners, while the rest listen to StuBru. Come to think of it: we’ll probably have another ‘Christmas clash’ this year: Karlien and I prefer listening to Christmas songs during the festive period, not the old classics of pop. We once pitted two radios against each other in one office. Let’s see what this year brings!”
Who can you always turn to for good advice?

We very much rely on each other.

Who has the craziest hobby? 
Karlien: “Jo! He runs marathons and does canicross, which is running with your dog on a harness. Jo sometimes even runs to work from his home in Zonhoven. But we will not be intimidated by his sportiness. Our exercise is sports of the mind!”
What hobbies do the other team members have?
Karlien: “I also want to be very sporty and say ‘spinning’, but that’s more like an obligation. I do spend a lot of time with my daughter and my dog. I also love good food.”

Petra: “Same here, going out for good food, or a city trip. Or walking the dog.”

If there is an award for the best team in the company, why would you be the winners? 

Jo: “I don’t think we need to win, everyone at Deliva is a winner.”

Karlien en Petra: “Come on Jo, that’s a bit cheesy! No no, let our entire office win. Because it’s such a great place to work!”


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