‘Our workday is always varied'

Curious about what the employees of our quality assurance (QA) department do on a workday? In this blog, we zoom in on one morning at the QA department. 'What does our day look like? We never know that beforehand. Our work is super varied and we work together with all departments within Huijbregts.'

Starting with a stand-up
It's Tuesday morning at 9:30 am. Time for the daily stand-up of the Huijbregts Q&A team. Present today: Maartje Cuppen, Helena Hernando Pastor, Cezarina Craita and Tomas Beket. 'During such a stand-up, we look back on the previous day,' says Helena. 'This way, we know what is still open and we can get a good start on the new workday.' Meanwhile, Tomas' phone rings several times. This is part of his role as a technologist. 'I am, as it were, the ears and eyes of QA on the work floor,' he explains. 'If something is going on, they know to find me and my colleagues. Afterwards, I consult with the rest of the team again.'

Check, double-check
During the consultation, the four also discuss other matters. For example, whether there are things happening in the lab and whether there are tests and audits on the schedule. 'With every change, we do another test. This can be a new mix, but also a new package or a different quantity,' Maartje explains. In addition, all incoming raw materials are tested, and the finished products do not leave without a final check. Today, there are 36 new mixes to be tested on the program. Does that sound like a lot? 'We've had even more than 100 before,' Maartje tells.

Observing on the work floor
Another point of discussion: the times when a password is added to the process. This means that there is a test moment somewhere in the process. It can only be continued if someone from the QA team has observed this part of the process. That person then enters the correct password, so that the work can continue. 'If we notice that the same thing goes wrong multiple times, we can take a look on the spot to see what's going on,' Cezarina explains. She spends about 40 percent of her time on the work floor. 'I notice that this gives the production employees a sense of security. They know that we are ready, observing and helping.'

Learning every day
After discussing the topics, Maartje has to quickly join a Teams meeting with the Spanish colleagues. She has been working at Huijbregts for more than 20 years and can therefore guide the Spanish location well. Her own colleagues also benefit from this knowledge, says Cezarina, who has been with Huijbregts for a few months. 'Everyone here helps me so well! I love that I learn and develop every day. No workday is the same here.'

Answering customer questions
An email from a customer with a question or request can suddenly change the schedule. Yesterday, for example, Cezarina got to work on a question about a bag that wasn't sealed properly. 'That's why I made an A4 sheet with clear instructions on how it should and shouldn't be done. These will be placed in the canteen and will be displayed on the large screens later. The customer is also very happy that we show that we immediately do something about it.'

Helena is often found behind her computer. For example, to prepare audits, but also to work on process and quality improvements. 'On the one hand, we deal with things that are happening right now, on the other hand, we also want to work on quality in the long term,' she explains. 'A large part of our work also consists of administration, recording what we do. This is extremely important for quality checks. Someone may say that they have checked something, but it also needs to be properly documented according to laws and regulations. We play an important role in that as well.'