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Ilke

Supply Operations Manager 

What is your role within TME?

I’m Ilke, from Belgium, and I’m now a Supply Operations Manager here at TME having joined as a Supply Analyst nineteen years ago. It’s a really interesting area and it’s something I thought about during my studies in Applied Economics. It was either Law or Business and I’m glad I chose business as I really enjoy my work here. 

How and why did you join Toyota?

Just after I graduated I took a student job with TME. They were going through a big expansion programme and after two weeks asked if I would take a full time role and that was the start of my career here.  

Can you briefly describe your journey through Toyota until now? 

My first role was in inventory control in logistics, so working on pan European service parts and accessories. I was responsible for parts for our European Manufacturing Centres when we started working directly with over 700 suppliers, so it was a busy time, travelling to suppliers and to our plants. I was promoted to Specialist, then Senior Specialist, and then I asked for a rotation a change of job to Purchasing to broaden my career. There I was buying all the products related to vehicle chassis, and working closely with or R&D, designers and Chief Engineers across Toyota.
I went to part time for a few years to fulfil a personal ambition outwith TME, and I was supported in that, and also when I decided to move back to full time as I missed it so much. I came back as a Profit Leader working with the engineers and developers in Japan helping to make sure that we could build the designs for cars within cost specifications. Then in 2018 I was promoted again to Purchasing Accessory Manager, where I now have team responsibilities as well as my purchasing role.

What's it like to work at TME?

Everyone will help you. When I started working here I immediately felt that it was a good place to work, and the values and the international culture were very interesting. The different cultures we have here are a great advantage and help you understand different ways to work and helps me to push my own boundaries.  
Everyone will help you. When I started working here I immediately felt that it was a good place to work, and the values and the international culture were very interesting. The different cultures we have here are a great advantage and help you understand different ways to work and helps me to push my own boundaries.  

What do you enjoy most about your job? 

Toyota is a big brand but it’s more important to me to see what’s behind the brand we’re like a family here and I’m proud to be working with a company that is looking to the future too, with our move to a mobility for all company.
We know that we need to change with the global environment and that’s a brave decision to take to change direction like that but we take the right decisions when we need to. I’ve actually helped a few people join us and they have even followed me into Purchasing. I’d recommend working here to anyone with ambition and a willingness to get involved.

What three words best describe working at Toyota? 

Analytical, Results driven, Development.