Let me introduce myself… My name is Jan Vandevelde, a highly motivated young man with a no-nonsense attitude.
I studied Economics – Modern Languages, after which I studied for translator English-Spanish. In 2000 I decided not to pursue my studies and start my professional career.
Transitioning from a “digital world” into Waste Management
I started my career as a Customer Service Representative at Mobistar (the second largest Telecom operator in Belgium). For almost four years I tried to provide a solution for each problem my customers had. I wanted to know every small detail about the network, the technical limitations and the reasons why a customer could or could not do something with his mobile. I digged through our applications and software to learn if the source of the problem was because it was technically not possible or our company wouldn’t let a customer do something from a management point of view. This eagerness of mine resulted in an above average knowledge and experience for which I was seen as a role model. My management noticed that and saw that I had potential. In the years after that I grew into several positions, first as Customer Service Coordinator, then as a Team Leaderand ending up as a Quality & Coaching Coordinator. For 9 years I’ve improved myself and learned the ins and outs of Sales & Marketing.
Since I started working fulltime I always had some side-projects in my spare time like blogging, building websites, promoting my sites, doing some affiliate marketing which all contributed to an increased knowledge of the Internet Marketing world.
After 9 years it was time for me to change courses and take my experience elsewhere. And guess what,… I ended up in a completely opposite world… Waste Management!
I was recruited as a Project Manager Sales & Marketing for an international Waste Management company called van Gansewinkel. Imagine the challenge, going from a paperless desk policy, where everything is automated and digitalized, to an industry where customer contracts are still classified by hand in huge walls of classifiers! Major change of scenery!
But it’s just that “back to basics” kind of feeling that made it exciting for me. I immediately started developing streamlined processes and work methods that would reduce manual actions. Just scanning the contracts and saving them in folders on a shared drive with a specific naming convention was already a huge win in productivity.
And then came the chance of a lifetime: the company wanted to replace their CRM-software!
Because I had experience with a CRM implementation (Peoplesoft) at my previous company, my manager introduced me to the implementation team. As from the start I could make suggestions, give idea’s, discuss strategies and have them try to automate as many processes possible and they listened.
The choice was made that it would be Salesforce.com!
During the rollout I was asked to train end-users in Belgium and France, while my colleagues trained end-users in Holland. We trained about 500 end-users from different departments and having completely different roles, functions and processes. That period was incredibly FUN!
For four years I have been working with Salesforce.com, training and coaching end-users and in october 2013 I joined Corporate ICT to become a Salesforce Administrator and got Certified in april 2014.
This is even more fun! Now, on top of training people on new features and developments, I get to play with the system! I’m behind the wheel (together with my colleague admin of course ;- who is also my coach and sparring partner)
I love this CRM so much, I keep playing with it in the evenings, on weekends, just to learn more about the platform and it’s possibilities.
I guess the playing with the system and a lot of studying paid off. I passed my Salesforce Certified Developerexam on the 13th of october 2014. And to start 2015 I passed the Salesforce Certified Advanced Administrator in january 2015. In september I transitioned to Salesforce Certified Lightning App Builder and in january 2016 I passed the Salesforce Certified Sales Cloud Consultant exam. Since then I’ve made it a good habbit of doing a new exam every year at a minimum in january, to start the new year of with a Bang! So a year later in january 2017 I passed the Salesforce Certified Platform Developer I exam, which is my first exam that tests my apex and visualforce knowledge!
This is my personal blog on which I share my personal experiences and thoughts.