Richard Oosterhoff, DSM-Firmenich: ‘The merger is a huge boost for our supply chain thinking’

Richard Oosterhoff

The merger between DSM and Firmenich was finalized on 9 May 2023. The Dutch health, nutrition and life sciences company and the Swiss flavour and fragrance manufacturer are now focusing on nutrition, health and beauty together as a new company: DSM-Firmenich. ‘The merger is a huge boost for our supply chain thinking, as it has brought together a make-to-stock approach with a make-to-order approach.’ An interview with Richard Oosterhoff, Head of Operations of the Taste, Texture & Health division (TTH).

The TTH division makes ingredients that ensure that, as a food producer, you don’t have to choose between taste, health and sustainability. You can make these three aspects go hand-in-hand with DSM-Firmenich’s ingredients and solutions. Oosterhoff is responsible for the division’s operations, from planning to logistics, service and quality. ‘Our division has 40 plants worldwide. Together, we generate €3.1 billion in business. Around 4,000 employees work in operations and supply chain. That does not include procurement, because that is centrally organized at our company.’

What has the merger meant for your business unit: Taste, Texture & Health?

‘For us it meant that DSM’s Food & Beverage division was merged with Firmenich’s Taste & Beyond division. Firmenich Taste & Beyond developed specific flavours for specific customers, so it was all make-to-order. The strategic direction in the company was that of customer intimacy. Taste is emotion; that determines your customers’ brand identities. Because of this business model, Firmenich’s supply chain was well developed.

DSM Food & Beverage, on the other hand, produced food ingredients. In other words, functional food: we add nutritional value and sometimes flavour to products. For customers, the products have much less emotion and, moreover, we don’t make them specifically for one customer either, so production was largely make-to-stock. The strategic business direction was operational excellence. DSM is very good at creating standards and continuous improvement. … … …

Want to read more?

SCM Q2 2024

Get your digital subscription of 
Supply Chain Movement No. 53 Q2, 2024 now! >>