At the end of February, Thomas Poelmans, international recycling expert and director of NAMé Recycling at the Belgian headquarters, visited Limbe and Yaoundé. He talks about it in this interview.
What was the purpose of your field visit?
I visited Cameroon from Monday 20 February to Friday 24 February. The aim was to evaluate the progress of our project in Cameroon in its fields of activity after 1 year of operations. My personal goal was to see how we can be even more efficient in our operations and finalize our operational and budget plan for 2017 together with Roblain.
In addition, this visit allowed me to visit a new site of NAMé Recycling that we are opening in Yaounde.
What were your first observations?
I started the week by participating in a team meeting in Limbe. These meetings take place every Monday and provide a summary of the past week; What has been done, what worked well, what went wrong and set out the objectives and priorities for the week ahead.
I was impressed by the professionalism of our team in Limbe.
What other points were raised during your visit?
The first thing we attacked was the data collection because during the first year, we noticed that there were inconsistencies in the figures on the tons collected, stored, exported, ... In order to solve this matter we improved the reporting system and inserted additional control mechanisms.
Secondly, with Roblain we were able to discuss our objectives for 2017 and look at the organizational system to be put in place to achieve these objectives. This includes the reorganization of the site in Limbe because in about 2 months we will be hosting new sorting, cleaning and grinding facilities in a second warehouse and we have to maintain an efficient process.
So I was able to inspect the works to prepare our second warehouse in Limbe.
Have you had the opportunity to visit partners, clients?
I was able to meet a local brewery. Together we were able to discuss our collaboration and make it more efficient, for example by putting containers for collection directly at our customers.
You mentioned earlier the opening of your new site in Yaoundé. At what stage are the operations?
I visited the warehouse and it is almost finished. Here are some photos I took of the new site.
Roblain is currently recruiting a team to start operations in early April. So far we have already found a local manager and a few people to support him.
The new team was trained in Limbe about 10 days ago. During this training the teams were able to exchange their working methodology and there is a good dynamic that is in place.
Overall, how would you rate this visit, what is your feeling?
I think I can describe this visit as very successful because it has enabled us to develop an action plan, to adapt our approach according to the lessons learned from the past year and to prepare ourselves for the next few years. I would like to thank our team for their wonderful work every day, as well as all our partners and investors.
I came back from this trip very optimistic about the future of NAMé Recycling; we are making huge progress every day.