Anouk ter Laak Associate Partner Boer & Croon
'Every place I enter, my 30 years of experience are very useful. With my analytical mind, I quickly see what needs to change and I immediately make a plan. The most important thing is to get to know the people who have to implement our plan. I am result-oriented and I find it most important that when I leave, the changes I have implemented are really embedded in the organisation. This could be a complete transformation, a process optimisation or cost savings.'
Anouk ter Laak has joined Boer & Croon as an Associate Partner. She will put her 30 years of experience in leadership positions within the food industry to use on an interim basis.
'If you want to take a company from A to B, you must first scrutinise all the processes.'
Anouk started her career at Procter & Gamble after studying Political Science and Communication Science / Business Administration (UvA).
'That was an exceptionally good learning experience, where I learned, in a structured way, to tackle challenges, define actions and achieve results. I have benefited from that throughout my professional life. After six years, I switched to Douwe Egberts, then part of US-based Sara Lee.
I started as Marketing Manager in a quite unique collaboration with Philips. We developed and later introduced the Senseo concept. Following that, I became responsible for the Douwe Egberts Gifts loyalty programme. At the time, over 4.5 million customers faithfully saved up points for years and then, once every few years, went to a sort of shop warehouse in a dreary industrial park to collect their gift. Over a million loyal DE consumers came there every year to redeem their points for gifts.'
'Under my leadership, we developed a new shop and café concept to establish a true brand and coffee experience in the centre of several (mid-)large cities, where customers could enjoy the best coffee and at the same time pick up and look at their gifts. I, as General Manager, developed the loyalty programme with 100 staff and 11 shops in this set-up and subsequently managed it for several years.'
After this, Anouk moved to The Foodservice, the B2B division, as General Manager in Belgium and as Vice President Marketing & Sales. Here, Anouk proved herself to be an inventive transformation manager. Within her functions, there was always a necessary transformation. She ensured that processes were optimised, ERP packages were implemented and commercial department worked more efficiently. She reduced costs in the chain and achieved consistent growth.
The right people
´For the last two years at Sara Lee, I combined two functions. That went well as I operate efficiently and decisively, and always pay a lot of attention to building my team. I am as good and strong as my team, so I always make sure I gather the right people around me.´
Efficient operation and happy people
After 15 years at Douwe Egberts / Sara Lee, Anouk searched for a final responsibility position where she could oversee the entire chain: from purchasing to production, supply chain and finally sales. This is how she ended up at Royal Cosun, a conglomerate of five food companies with over 2 billion in turnover. She became a board member of Cosun and CEO of SVZ, where she worked on a complete transformation. She optimised the supply chain and warehouses, streamlined all processes from procurement to sales, implemented SAP across all SVZ's divisions and optimised the footprint of the factories.
´There was a strong focus on sustainability. SVZ purchased fresh fruit and vegetables and processed them into purees or concentrates, eventually making it into products like ice cream or fruit juice. Our sustainability policy focused on sustainable farming from the fields to the factory, efficient operations and happy people. Our customers want a product that is sustainably produced. Importantly, the ingredients we supplied met the customer's sustainability criteria. In my commissions, I also focus on sustainability, alongside commercial matters and HR.´
´I started talking to Boer & Croon this year. They have a good name in the market. What really appeals to me is that as an Associate Partner, you are part of their close network. There are many opportunities to work together in all areas. ´
Anouk lives in Amsterdam. She has two sons studying in rooms nearby and a daughter studying in California. To blow off steam, she likes to go to her little farm in Drenthe, with a few hectares of woodland. But she also enjoys the city Amsterdam: ´If you walk outside to a pub or a restaurant, you always meet nice and interesting people.´ Furthermore, Anouk likes to read and does a lot of sports, such as running and cycling.