Where the action takes place: Kaatsheuvel in the Netherlands is home to the DMK site where Uniekaas specialists process ripened cheeses. Here, timing is everything. The challenge is to have the cheese ripened to the right degree, at the right time, in the right quantity, ready for delivery. That means the 155 employees need a great deal of specialist knowledge about ripening processes, packaging options and supply chain management. Armed with that expertise, they can supply sufficient quantities of the right cheeses, aged between 4 to 50 weeks, in time for the 2023 Christmas season, for example. They are already preparing, staggering the cheese according to its age so it is ready at the right time. But beyond that, customers are able to make a selection from the whole range of cheese products, in any shape and variety. That has become even more ambitious since the launch of the latest offering Uniekaas kookt, which involves three varieties of grated cheese with herbs, along with three other products: Flakes (shaved), finely or thickly grated. For the head of Uniekaas Kaatsheuvel, Ron Krekels, the main factor in guaranteeing the company’s continuing success is his team. “We can only manage these challenges together. That’s why, for example, we’ve introduced regular coffee sessions where the management team discusses suggestions for improvement with all the production staff.” And at Christmas, the management team serves lunch in the cafeteria, dressed up in Christmas outfits. “That is always a great event,” says Krekels. The second recipe for success is focusing on a strong partnership with local retailers, both for the private label business and the Uniekaas brand. The key word is customer focus. Uniekaas aims to establish long-term contracts with its retail partners and consistently uses the team’s knowledge, experience and tradition in category management, marketing and sales to make the matured cheese ranges even more successful.
“The customers expect us to provide top quality 365 days a year. We can only achieve this with a perfectly coordinated team.”