Stories of the unsung heroes in maintenance who support and sustain our world.

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Meet Dirk van der Laarse, ERP & IT Manager at Horizon Global South Africa

Pretoria, South Africa

Dirk van der Laarse has worked and lived in South Africa for his entire life. He is dedicated not only to his role (ERP & IT Manager) and his company (Horizon Global), but he is also dedicated to improving the well-being of people living all across South Africa. When asked why he loves what he does he shared:

“I guess it boils down to that need that many of us have – to make an impact. To affect people’s lives. It may sound a bit over-the-top, but never underestimate the exponential effect that small changes in the right places can make.”

Further, one of our Customer Support Managers, Anthony, has gotten to know Dirk through their work together. He told me:

“Dirk has been serving Horizon Global South for around 4 years. He is the main champion for the implementation of an Industrial ERP Manufacturing system and IT infrastructure planning. He supports and oversees Production Planning for two facilities, as well as Capacity Planning and Performance Measurement. Dirk has refined his team’s maintenance process, taking workflows from a simple messaging app to a fully functioning CMMS. Now, Dirk is continuing to optimize his team’s performance through professional team management. As the model for innovation with CMMS rollouts, Dirk is planning to advance his legacy to other facilities around the globe by proving how technologies will help revolutionize their business in production. Already, Dirk’s leadership and strategic maintenance model is making waves!”

Dirk van der Laarse, thank you for everything you do. Your vision for change and desire to improve the lives of all is inspiring.

How did you get started in maintenance?

I grew up in the city of Pretoria and studied Industrial Engineering. My role at Horizon Global is actually my first job! In the automotive industry, there are a lot of customer-specific requirements – many of which require good preventative and reactive maintenance processes. On top of this, it makes sense for a business to quantify risks related to equipment breakdowns and plan their preventative maintenance budget and resources. Looking for opportunities to improve our business, I decided to make Plant Maintenance my focus!

At work, we like making peoples’ lives easier! I believe that in South Africa we can solve so many challenges with the clever application of new technologies. I know that my role is to drive this to the best of my ability – we can engineer ourselves into the future!

Further, South Africa needs growth. That means more small-to-medium businesses need growth. To grow, they need support. Good processes and systems are key to this equation.

dirk van der laarse, upkeep

What is one of your proudest achievements?

I’m honoured to play a part in engineering students’ lives – introducing them to industry challenges and solving problems with them

What is one thing you wish people knew about your job?

It may sound cliché, but “change” is the only constant!

Thank you, Dirk!

Dirk was also a winner of the Biggest Impact Award in the 2019 UpKeep Awards. Learn more about his win here!

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