Interview with accountmanager Jaap van der Velden
The Cartec team is like a large family. There is always something to tell. In the "people" section, we ask a colleague about his or her work, but also about dreams, trends and what we just always wanted to know about them. This is ...
Who are you and what is your job?
“My name is Jaap van der Velden. At Cartec, I am responsible for account management in the commercial department, with the main task of establishing and maintaining customer relationships.”
What really gives you joy at work?
“Working at Cartec is very pleasant. Together, we are building a future! The best thing about my job is the versatility. One week you are at the office and the other week you travel around the world. In the end it’s all about making the Cartec brand bigger together.”
What does a typical workday look like?
“I actually have three types of working days. For me, an ‘office day’ is a day with a lot of arrangements around current orders, requests via email and telephone. Also answering questions via Whatsapp means you’re constantly busy. You also have a ‘meeting day’. Then I participate in various meetings, for example in the field of commercial choices or introducing a new product or concept.”
“Furthermore, there are also typical working days that are devoted to a customer visit ‘from’ or ‘at’ home, as we call it here. For example, to evaluate and look into the future with the customer. But we also have introduction days and workshops. And then you suddenly have to present and demonstrate to a large group of end users.”
How did you end up in this business?
“Well, that’s quite a long story; do you have a minute? Cartec flows through the veins, as you can say. During my high school period in 2004, I already joined the Saturday workteam at Cartec. After high school I immediately started working full-time at Cartec and in the following years I got a lot of affinity with the company and the different departments. Now I have been working for some time in the commercial department, especially the sales side. That is where my passion lies and what I’m good at.”
What skills are especially important for your job?
“In the first place, you have to be able to listen carefully to customers. They have experience with the products and receive feedback from the end users. It is important that we translate the wishes from the market well, so that we can find the right solution together. You also need to be able to switch and react quickly. Because of the growth that Cartec continues to experience, you sometimes have to say no. That might be difficult, but in the long-term you will benefit by staying focused.”
“Of course, knowledge of the product range is also very important. It seems logical, but I’m talking about everything: from cleaning supplies to a part of a machine, and from thirty different types of microfibre cloths to special blades.”
How do you stay on top of emerging trends?
“Because the world seems to be getting smaller with shorter supply chains, you have to keep up. The market changes, work processes change, car paints change. So Cartec must move along too. I stay up to date through social channels, but certainly also through the daily customer contact all over the world. We can still say that we are a trendsetter!”
What do you particularly like about your job?
“The fact that Cartec develops, produces, processes and sells unique Dutch products all over the world. It makes me happy to be part of that chain. And especially if you can convince customers and end users to use our products.”
What is your greatest skill?
“Finding solutions together with the customer. That process can be very versatile, from sourcing a new product to developing a fun promotional campaign.”
What is the best advice you can give as an account manager?
“It may sound very commercial, but I suggest you use all Cartec products for the different treatments. These are precisely developed and coordinated by our specialized R&D department. This gives you ‘The best Car Care Experience Possible’ and that’s what we stand for!”
What do you like about Cartec?
“That everyone in the Cartec family is equal. We desperately need each other to deliver the best result to the customers. I also like to sell a homogeneous product, a product with specific properties that is only available from us. Of course, that means that the entire chain must be well coordinated.”
What are you most proud of?
“That after all these years we still conquer new countries with our products and concepts, such as Switzerland and Italy recently. The Italian market was hard to enter, but we did it! And by ‘we’ I mean our team, but also the customer who entrusted his company to us.”
What is your biggest dream?
“That Cartec products will be available all over the world soon. And that we grow in a healthy way, without losing sight of the human aspect of Cartec and our flexibility.”