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Jonathan de Smet - Participant 2017-2018

For the first time ever, the way I resolve daily problems has huge implications on a balance sheet.


Jonathan de Smet’s main task was to organize and optimize logistics for Lhoist’s products from the exporting port in Chile to the final customer.


As Lhoist had to externalize all aspects of its logistics, Jonathan was tasked with reviewing the subcontractors, the routes and the storage capacities for the lime products. “I had to change certain things related to the port, the warehouses, the trucking companies, the chemical analysis company and the client to manage operations”.

How he benefited

As Jonathan has a background in engineering, he had always worked in technical positions and had never been exposed to customers, subcontractors or regulatory organizations. Thanks to all the support he received from his colleagues and from Lhoist, he has now developed a much better understanding of international companies. “I learnt a lot about many aspects of the quicklime business: purchasing, importing, subcontracting, financing, billing, negotiating, casting, pricing, performing strategic and commercial analysis, security, regulatory and technical aspects”.

The company – Lhoist


Established in Belgium since 1889, the Lhoist Group offers a wide range of mineral, calcic lime and dolomitic lime-based products. It has expertise in a broad range of sectors such as the steel industry, refractories, the environment, construction and civil engineering, agriculture, glass and chemistry.

It has successfully expanded the business to the United States (80’s), Eastern Europe (90’s), and now to Latin America and Asia. The Group operates 90 mines in more than 100 countries.


Jonathan’s profile matches our company values: he has respect, courage and integrity. His commitment to quality, growth and improvement inspire people to strive for the same. Jonathan is clever and possesses a clear vision of the business as a whole. Combined with his technical background and creativity, he often inspired me to think outside the box to find innovative solutions and exceed our customers’ expectations.

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