The Meet Our Team blog series gives you an inside look into our team members’ careers, exciting new projects, history with KFI, and a general introduction to some of our key players! We hope you enjoy this, and many more blogs, that give you a better idea of the people behind the operation here at KFI.
Our seventh highlight features our Chief Financial Officer here at KFI, Pieter Lesterhuis! Pieter has overseen all financial operations for both TriEnda and Penda for nearly four years. Learn more about his role below!
Q: What is your job title?
A: Chief Financial Officer for Kruger Family Industries.
Q: How long have you been with KFI?
A: Nearly four years.
Q: What do your day-to-day responsibilities look like?
A: My daily responsibilities include all aspects of the enterprise’s well-being, which not only involves managing the enterprise’s finances but also includes ensuring appropriate risk management is undertaken in both the US and Mexico. My responsibilities range from finance, accounting, real estate, insurance, legal, and information technology. On a daily basis, I support various operational decision-making efforts and am deeply involved in partnering with various other verticals such as supply chain, operations, marketing, and sales in order to offer advice, counsel, and provide a voice of reason. My involvement in operations includes understanding our business model, and the industry, and being able to leverage this knowledge to constructively challenge the commercial and operational teams. I work to ensure that business decisions are grounded in solid financial insights on a global basis and clearly focused on contributing to our long-term strategy.
Q: What is your favorite part of working for KFI?
A: My favorite part is the culture and the people. Due to our ownership structure and being a family-owned manufacturing conglomerate, KFI has a longer-term view of the overall success of the organization to scale our platform. This allows us to utilize our deep industry experience, operating assets, and exceptional people to build an enterprise based on a long-term vision and appropriate end market diversification to leverage our strengths and unique value proposition.
Q: Can you share a project that your department accomplished that you feel proud of?
A: Although there are a number of accomplishments that we as a team should be proud of, the most significant, I feel, is the fact that collectively KFI has successfully implemented a fairly complicated ERP instance as part of our overall digital transformation in record time. This speaks volumes and supports the fact that today we operate as one enterprise, one team, one company, and one culture. This is clearly supported by the tremendous backlog with top tear clients in a multitude of end markets such as the automotive, consumer, battery packaging and grocery industries. Continuing our operations and financing this growth and diversification during the recent turbulent times as it relates to human capital, supply chain and global economic and political instability has proven the strength of our enterprise and the dedication of our colleagues.
Q: How does your department embody KFI’s values?
A: Our department continuously focuses on moving the needle, getting things done and addressing the issue, and fixing the problem. Examples of this include asking ourselves how we can be more efficient with our time and better support our colleagues throughout KFI and creating best-in-class IT and Accounting / Finance departments. Comparatively speaking – KFI runs with a minimal finance/accounting and IT team. Our success has been built on efficiencies driven by the digital transformation, continuous improvement, and communication internally to support our colleagues throughout the organization at our plants in the US and Mexico. The team is operationally focused, process-oriented, and growth-driven!
Q: What is your favorite memory from working at KFI?
A: My favorite memory consists of the fact that KFI was able to pull together and successfully diversify our end markets and continued to prosper in arguably the most difficult economic environment many of us have seen. Seeing the entrepreneurial focus, broad and deep dedication and personally having the opportunity to support the growth and diversification, as well as all the colleagues I have the opportunity to interact with on a daily basis has been excessively rewarding.