As VanMoof grows, keeping all teams around the world aligned and on-schedule is more important than ever. Demand Planning Manager Arene Chou explains how she makes the impossible happen.
VanMoof always seemed like the perfect fit for me. So many people from so many countries – that’s what gives me energy. Seven years ago it was just a start-up, but you could already tell there was so much potential. It was definitely an environment where you could take on a lot of challenges.
As Demand Planning Manager, I make sure we have everything we need to build our bikes. And in the seven years I’ve worked with VanMoof, demand has increased massively. The Electrified S2 & X2 have thousands of components, so I work closely with the Amsterdam operations team to make sure all parts are in the right place at the right time.
In the early days, we were still operating like a ‘normal’ bike company, working with standard parts and suppliers. We’ve focused on building and developing our own supply chain over the last ten years. Now, we work with hundreds of custom suppliers, most of them outside the bike world. It’s completely unique for the industry.
Because I’ve been here so long, I’m really involved with VanMoof’s mission to get the world biking. I know all the people across the company, and I know our product inside and out. It means I can usually find creative solutions really quickly, no matter how complicated an issue looks from the outside. I still ride my original VanMoof T-Series – as a reminder of how far we’ve come.
In Taiwan, it’s very common to say ‘yes’ all the time, without always thinking about how you’re actually going to make it happen. The Dutch style can be much more direct. I’ve definitely learned how to say ‘no’, and how productive that can be.
Taiwan is one of the world’s manufacturing capitals, and part of our company culture definitely comes from that – the dedication to getting things right. But we’re so much more open than the traditional companies here. Everyone is free to challenge management and bring ideas to the table. You don’t get that anywhere else.