Meet Emile Boshoff : Our new Production Manager

15 April 2020

We’re delighted to welcome Emile Boshoff to the Woodbender team. Emile joined us on the 1st of April and has taken up the position of Production Manager. We caught up with him to find out more about his love for woodwork, what inspires him and what he’ll be focusing on in 2020 on a personal and professional level.

What does your role at Woodbender entail?

To empower and grow a team with a set of tools to equip them with autonomous management. It is essential that the team is shown to plan,organise, lead and control to meet their full potential and grow the company to a next level of success.

What attracted you to this role at Woodbender?

In my 1st year at University our class went on a tour to Cape Town to see the companies that is affiliated in the timber industry, we visited Woodbender , I found that Woodbender has a unique way of working that I have never seen before and felt I would love to explore this field. When the opportunity arose, I could not resist. This role provides me the opportunity to explore a developing industry, working directly with new and creative designs as well as empowering a team to world class manufacturing principles to seek their full potential.

What makes Woodbender different from other places you’ve worked?

The family orientated passion for people and products as I have never seen before. It is a specialised company with a skill that is unique to its market and the potential to grow internationally.

What has your career path looked like leading up to this new role at Woodbender?

After finishing my National Diploma in Wood Technology at NMMU Saasveld, I was employed at a small sawmill in the Knysna forest area, beautiful and remote with the mountain breeze blowing through my hair, I started off as a fresh student that thinks he knows all there is to know out of University, but reality hits hard. I started off doing capacity models and time studies. When I was employed permanently after 3 months I was given the opportunity to manage the wet-mill in succeeding I manged the maintenance team and finally the drying operations, where timber is being dried for different clients and industries.

Swartland Investments gave me the opportunity to join their team as the Superintendent of Col Timbers that manufactures skirting, cornice, workbenches, trestles and picket fencing. I was then given the opportunity to start a brand new factory that manufacturers external doors and succeeded in 300 doors per shift in one month. After the success of the door factory I was given the opportunity to become the wood technologist of the factory that optimises the raw material to usable material for finished products for doors, windows and finished products. There I managed the material between the sawmill and optimiser factory for optimal use and minimal waste. I grew myself by taking the whole factory as its manager for the last 3 years.

Which Woodbender design is your favourite?

I absolutely love the Kariba chair as it is, simplistic, beautiful, supportive, comfortable and has a futuristic minimalist design. It is a design that has multi functional uses. I would love to own one.

What are three career lessons you’ve learned thus far?

  • Be Firm
  • Be Fair
  • Be Empathetic

Who or what is your biggest inspiration?

My father as he is my role model and sports icon. He taught me to be calm in all situations, never waste a crisis, use every opportunity life throws at you and be fair and honest even if it means the other person does not deserve it. Life lessons from a Springbok cyclist. He is my inspiration, a normal working class blue collar that put 2 children through school and university even if my parents had it narrow.

What do you like to do when you’re not at work?

I love to ride my bicycle.

What did you want to be when growing up?

I always loved to design and draw and that pulled me in to the architecture field of interest but realised it is not only drawing and designing that fills me with happiness but combining it with working with people. So when I joined the Woodbender team I believe my dream has come true with the combination.

What is the one thing you can’t live without?

I cant go without having a laugh and sharing a joke, earthly possessions only gives the soul pleasure for a second while a memory lasts forever.

What three words describe you best?

  • Passionate
  • Confident
  • Fair

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