In this interview, we introduce Tom Braak as Area Sales Manager at Stork IMM. Tom is the key contact for customers in Poland, Belgium and several customers in the Netherlands.
Tom has been working at Stork IMM for years and has excellent technical knowledge of the machines, since he has worked in various departments within the company. Furthermore, he knows all about the organization and the external environment.
Tom, where did you start at Stork IMM? And how come you have developed so quickly?
“My first start at Stork IMM was in the assembly department. That is where I learned technical details of the machines and I experienced that the Stork IMM-team has turned injection moulding machines into very efficient and high-quality IMM’s through development and experience over the years. It was a lot of fun back then and it still is.
From the assembly department, I made the step to service department first as a Service Engineer and later on as a Service Account manager.
I think cooperation is very important; there is only one way to be successful in what we are doing and that is together as a team. Teamwork is very important to me. I learned a lot from colleagues and now other colleagues can learn from me.
From June 2022, I moved on to the sales department, which I am very happy with.
It is not hard at all to stay extremely motivated when you get really excited and interested in the product and the people in the company.”
Why this next step to the sales department?
“On the technical level I have experienced a lot. Finding solutions together with the customer really appeals to me and that's what I keep doing in this Sales role.
A large part of my work now is finding the most optimal and efficient solution in projects together with the customer. This is still about technology and I am proud to be a part of this.
Contact with customers on a different level is also a great challenge for me.
As an Area Sales Manager you are the key contact for customers when it comes to new projects and advice. Moreover, optimizations, structural improvements and training are part of my job.”
What makes this role so much fun?
“There is a lot of variety in the different companies we supply to and that is never boring.
I have intensive contacts with the customer and also the technical challenges and traveling are great.
You get a lot of satisfaction from being able to help the customer and you have to be creative to come up with solutions.
I learn a lot and gain a broader knowledge of business management than just technology.
During work, I see many different customers, companies and work methods.
I have a lot of freedom and responsibility, I make my own agenda, analyze my own work and have freedom to contribute ideas and develop plans.
The great thing about our products is that we are able to provide a solution always.
For new projects we can calculate in detail what the energy consumption will be. When replacing and upgrading the machine, we can accurately calculate the ROI.
In the end, it's always about the customer having a highly efficient working machine and being satisfied. In that process, customers can create value with the machine, which gives them space to improve and invest, and we are always ready to help and advice in making the right choices. This takes everything to the next level.”
What is critical for success in the role?
“I am a link between Stork IMM and the customer and I need to cooperate with everyone.
I provide feedback to our organization, monitor progress with other departments and stay close to technology.”
What about the future expectations?
“My focus is continuing and developing the activities that I have taken over from Harry Otten and Wim Brinkman.
We have worked on a positive transfer of customers in the past six months.
I am very grateful to Wim and Harry for their cooperation and also to our Manager Sales, Tony Mekenkamp for his support.
We work together in a leading company that produces fast-running injection moulding machines and we want to make that even stronger together with the entire Stork IMM team.
We need to cooperate at high levels including customers, agents, suppliers and partners.”