Interview


Meet Willem, our oldest employee at the moment.

Meet our oldest employees at the moment. Read along and see how different visions and era's are coming together on the STULZ workplace.

Profile

  1. Willem Jansen
    • Job function - Past: Service mechanic, now: Service department (in-office)
    • Age - 69 years old
    • Hobbies - RC cars, playing cards, gardening, cycling, traveling, culture & art.
  • How did you end up at STULZ in the first place?

    Willem: 35 years ago I met someone through my previous employer who had already worked for STULZ, and knew that STULZ was looking for staff at that time. Joined the company on 1 July 1985. After an interview, I was immediately hired along with another colleague, but his time here lasted, unfortunately only a period of 14 days.

  • How many years have you been working at STULZ?

    Willem: 35 years

  • Have you always worked in the same position?

    Willem: I started as a service technician, always out on the road, only since recent years I am stationed within the office. The position of service technician was very independent at the time, this was because there was not much knowledge and no other technicans in the company at that time, so you could not easily dicsuss a problem or issue with a colleague. You really had to solve it yourself.
    I joined STULZ when there was just a wave of layoffs, at that time there were no fewer than 80 people active within the company. A large part of these were carpenters. This was because STULZ also built IT rooms itself at that time. Over the years there were on average around 50 employees, just like now (54, ed). When I just started working there, the service was only about 5 people big plus a handful of assembly guys. So if you look at it nowadays, this has increased a lot.

  • What is the biggest "gaffe" you have ever made at work?

    Willem: The biggest gaffe I ever made is that I thought I fixed an airconditioning unit properly, but when I turned it on, it crashed. To be honest it was my own fault, I wanted too do it quickly, because there was some pressure behind it. After the crash of the unit, I had to pay a visit to the upper management and had to explain what went wrong. They were obviously not so happy with me, but at the end, they understood. The most important thing was that we were able to restore it. I had learned my lesson, that you always have to pay attention to what you are doing, a mistake is easily made.

  • What characterizes the atmosphere within the organization?

    Willem: I never experience any real problems with my colleagues. As a service technician work was mainly "lonely" because you spend a lot of time outdoors and driving through the country. It was normal that you helped your new colleague on his way when just started working, after that the colleague went further on his one and then it was only the question whether the new colleague was satisfied or not satisfied, you really had nothing more to do with it. Time within th eoffice was limited, so in terms of mutual contact it was not as intensive as, for example, my colleagues which are working in the office. So yes, you can say that, over the years, I have never had any problems with my colleagues. But when we are talking about the contact with the colleagues from the service, I always noticed the solidarity with each other, there was always room for a joke. We were always one despite the fact that we did not see each other very much, at that time the mobile phones arrived which resulted in better contact with each other. Issues were resolved at a faster rate because of the good contact we had. A very close group so to say. What is very important to me is that you always treat everyone with respect. I look back on a very beautiful time, learned a lot, and done a lot.

  • How can you tell that STULZ Groep B.V. has been around for 60 years?

    Willem: When I just started working at STULZ, they had just started their own production facilities in Germany, before that they got the machines mainly from Italy as an importer. This is a small example of how STULZ has been developed over those 60 years. Even if you look at the machines that are now of very high quality, certainly if you look at the competition in the market. Another aspect in which I really notice that STULZ is already 60 years old is that the head office in Germany is very invested in innovation and development. For example, the new factories in Italy and Spain. STULZ started out as a cuddly little company, but has now really grown into one of the major players in the market.

  • If you look at the changes within the organization over the years, what stands out the most?

    Willem: Firstly, the development and growth of the company in service and production. Secondly, the growth in the equipment and thirdly, the growth of the staff.

  • In your opinion, what is really "STULZ"?

    Willem: STULZ stands for development in its products and knowledge. STULZ can be proud of the equipment and the knowledge they have.

  • What are the challenges within the organization?

    Willem: Continuing to believe in our own products. I have been working here "just" for 15 years and I realized then, STULZ wasn't challenging any more for me on a personal basis. I already decided to quit and had even found another company where I could start working. This was because STULZ was no longer able to meet my (renewed) wishes. But just before I made the decision to actually go away, STULZ contacted me and we both came to the conclusion that we really couldn't live without each other, so we decided to move further, with the end result that I have enjoyed working there for almost 35 years now.

  • Do you think the company, will last to exist 75 years, or even 100 years?

    Willem: I do think so, I'm not afraid that STULZ will not. As mentioned before, the organization is focused on development and innovation. I think that this will make the difference to last more then 100 years. We are ahead of the competition, I am convinced of that.

  • What would you like to tell to the future employees?

    Willem: Always have respect for each other. Together we are strong, and not alone. I miss that now in my position at the office, I hardly get outside anymore, and that is of course a pity. But now and then I like to make an exception for that and still go outside. Whether I am working or not, I always try to help my colleagues who are working when they come up with a question or an issue. And that is also what I want to tell to the future / new employees: help each other, whenever and wherever, again, together we are strong.

  • Do you have a nice anecdote? (from the workplace)

    Willem: At a certain point many younger colleagues here at the office said: "I want to talk with the old one (me), he knows everything about everything". It was nice to hear that appreciation. Many colleagues often ask me things. But I only think that's good, that's how we all learn and it keeps me focused. "The stupid the question seems, the nicer it is to answer it." There are no stupid questions, not asking the question is stupid.

  • If we have to wake you up at night, for what would that be?

    Willem: Well, I hate that ... I love to sleep! Its a difficult question, I am very happy, I have everything I want. But if I had to choose something, a nice trip, a nice drink, or possibly a nice opera, etc., you can wake me up for that.

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