You know you have been in the construction industry for a long time when the industry re-names you. John Van Ruitenbeek, commonly known as John Van in construction and equipment circles, said his full name was shortened for simplicity, but not by him.
“The industry did that to me,” he said, adding that he welcomed the new moniker as a hallmark of the ongoing relationships he has built during his 33 years in the business.
The well known industry veteran, previously with Briggs Construction Equipment, is now forging new relationships after recently joining Sennebogen. Constantino Lannes, president of Sennebogen LLC, officially announced that John Van has been appointed as vice president sales and marketing.
“We are very fortunate to have John Van join the Sennebogen team. His knowledge of the product, the dealer perspective and his drive make him a perfect fit for our organization.”
Van was already familiar with the company as Briggs Construction Equipment had successfully represented the Sennebogen line since 2002.
“We were the first dealer Constantino visited when he became president and we have maintained our relationship since then,” said Van.
He further indicated that it was this very relationship that helped guide his new career path after Briggs Construction Equipment closed its doors.
A New Direction
Although he had a number of options available to him, Van said none were as interesting and attractive as joining Sennebogen, a company he had come to know since its introduction to the North American market 10 years ago.
“The brand has almost 60 years of experience worldwide and as a direct result of the quality of the product and the people, it grew rapidly in North America and quickly established itself as the market leader.”
As a Sennebogen distributor, Van had gained a great deal of confidence in these machines while he was selling them for the last eight years.
“The opportunity to join a quality organization with a quality product was very appealing. So is the overall business philosophy of the company,” he said.
Meeting Walter and Erich and the other members of the Sennebogen family and having recently toured their new facility in Straubing, Germany, also helped Van in his decision-making process.
“They are the type of people that everybody wants to work for. The entire company has a family-type atmosphere and that type of environment attracts the best employees,” he said pointing out that these people are in the field daily.
“The quality of Sennebogen employees is second to none. They understand the machines and their applications. This is important as they can answer questions on the spot. When I was on the other side, I always felt comfortable when the Sennebogen factory people were with me on a sales call. These are true equipment people who are well respected.”
Another influencing factor for Van is Sennebogen’s long-term commitment to the North American market, exemplified by the company’s new office facility, parts warehouse and technical training center at its headquarters in Stanley, N.C.
“The facility really demonstrates the company’s commitment to the North American market. I have dealt with companies before that have come and gone, but Sennebogen has proven its commitment to this market. This is very important to its customer base, to its distribution channel and to its employees,” said Van.
Adding Understanding to the Process
Lannes said that Van’s background as an equipment dealer will add to Sennebogen’s ability of serving its growing distributor network, which has been the foundation of the company’s success.
“Since I came from the dealer side I can understand the challenges that they face on a day-to-day basis. As I understand their issues we, as an organization, can help resolve them very quickly. In conversation with Constantino, my goal is to practically resolve any issues before the dealer even knows it is one because I can anticipate the things that will need to be done,” he said. “Sennebogen is experiencing a lot of growth and with growth there can be some growing pains. I will be working to streamline the way we do business with equipment dealers to focus on keeping a fast response time.”
Despite the new position and the new title with Sennebogen, Van said that he will not be changing his name back any time soon unless the industry re-brands him again.
“The way I will do business is essentially the same. However, I will be doing it with people and a company that I have come to respect, know and trust,” he said. “Joining Sennebogen allows me to stay with a product that was working for me as a dealer. Now, I will be taking that experience and duplicating it all over the country. The brand is here to stay.”
For more information, call 877/309-0099 or visit www.sennebogen-na.com.
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