Jack | Sales Office Manager
My job as Sales Office Manager is a combination of head of inside sales and head of field sales, which means that I run the inside sales department and am the Project Manager’s superior.
No day is ever the same here. The work consist of, among other things, answering emails, making and following up on offers, selling projects and working them out for production and logistics, updating price lists, giving advice over the phone, receiving customers at the office and visiting customers across the country and internationally, giving presentations and tours of the premises, updating the calculation tool. Too many tasks to list them all, really.
A couple of times a year, I visit our business partners in Canada. Horticulture has been developing enormously there. Marijuana for medicinal purposes was legalised in Canada in 2001 and the production and sale of marijuana for recreational purposes in 2018. On the back of this legalisation, many certified producers significantly ramped up their businesses. The new greenhouses used for marijuana cultivation are much more advanced and contain a lot of our systems, such as the StabiMax Twin rail mechanism (StabiMaxTwin) and our ValkScreenVision screen system. These are complex projects that take a long time to build. That’s why I regularly fly over to Canada to check in on the projects there and make sure everything is going well, to answer questions, and to invest in our relationship with our customers there.
Over the 34 years that I’ve been working at Van der Valk, a lot has changed. When I started here in 1988, there were only two departments; B.P. van der Valk Kassenbouw and Van der Valk Systemen. I started out at the systems department in a portakabin. The current warehouse and office building were still being built at the time. Van der Valk discontinued its greenhouse building operation in 1992 to focus entirely on developing, manufacturing, and supplying ventilation mechanisms and screen materials. Van der Valk Systemen grew further into a key supplier to greenhouse builders and screen fitters. Over the years, a lot has been done to automate processes, both in the office and in the factory. In 2009, a second unit was set up alongside Van der Valk Horti Systems: Van der Valk Solar Systems. This unit concentrates entirely on the manufacturing and supply of solar assembly systems for the solar industry.
What I enjoy about my work is the contact with customers, representing the company at trade shows, the travelling, the responsibility, the variety, and the contact with the various departments at the company. Always innovating and scaling up projects in this industry is what makes my job so interesting.
Van der Valk is a genuine family business, with an informal work atmosphere and really nice colleagues!