17 January 2018

Meet Leon!

Take on every challenge

Do not shy away from any challenge, be alert to what is happening around you and never stop. These three qualities are of paramount importance to Leon van Oeffel. This real go-getter took on a new challenge nine years ago: on-site sales engineer for MAG45. "By listening to the customer and by continuing to ask questions, I can provide insight into problems and make an appropriate proposal for a possible solution."

It was with this approach in mind that Leon started at MAG45 in 2008, after 13 years of experience in the wholesale sector. At MAG45 he started as a sales engineer in the Customer Service department. At that time the company was still part of Philips, but it quickly started to grow. "They were looking for young talent. I jumped in with my own vision and immediately started working on a number of accounts."

Since Leon began with the company, a lot has changed within MAG45. For example, he was one of the first to go "on site" at the customer to speed up processes and provide support. "I never followed any special training for going on site, it is a matter of gaining experience and following your gut. A real go-getter mentality is especially important." Nearly 30 colleagues have now followed in Leon's footstep and often ask him for tips. "There is no manual for going on site; you just do it. Also, as a sales engineer, it's not only important that you are a good talker, but above all that you are a good listener. By listening to the customer and by continuing to ask questions, I can provide insight into problems and make appropriate proposals for possible solutions. And that is not always easy."

Ten years ago Leon began working for the National Reserves in addition to his regular job. Although this work was on a voluntary basis, you could call him anything but noncommittal; his job was to monitor and secure Dutch territory at times when there was an acute threat. "It has always given me a lot of satisfaction and pleasure. You learn, for example, that you always have to take that extra step. Where others stop, I continue. For example, I have walked the International Four Days Marches Nijmegen three times with the Corps."

Leon has been on site at Thermo Fisher Scientific (formerly FEI) since 2012. "I have set up a partnership by always keeping my word, tackling problems head on, being transparent, and above all having good contact with stakeholders." In the end, Leon has built up such trust that Thermo Fisher employees often think of him as a direct colleague and vice versa. Leon has used this trust to involve more of his MAG45 colleagues on site as well: "Sometimes projects are so large that my colleagues join, but I also regularly encounter technical challenges that exceed my knowledge. By working together with product engineers and engineers from the Research & Development team, but also with different suppliers, I always try to expand my knowledge. This makes my work diverse and incredibly fun. It motivates me enormously to take on new projects and to bring them to a successful conclusion by never stopping and asking the right questions."

Thanks to the growth of MAG45, Leon continues to encounter new challenges, which he is happy to tackle. When he does, he never delivers partial work. "I cannot do anything half. If I start something, I will not stop until it is finished." This is how colleagues and customers know Leon; however this is also evident in his private life. Leon is training his young greyhound to participate in running competitions where boss and dog run together. Together with his wife, Leon also trains his competition horse. "Such trainings require discipline and persistence, but also good cooperation. I can see that also in my work, I intensively collaborate with different parties to successfully tackle every challenge."

Leon's leitmotif is that whatever he does, he does it with great dedication and persistence. A quality greatly admired and appreciated by all those who have the pleasure of working with him.