Ralph LEENDERS

say what you do and
do what you say
since 2012

'I KNOW FOR SURE: THIS IS WHERE I WANT TO STAY!’

Ralph Leenders was brought up growing and cultivating. He grew up with his parents’ horticultural business and nursery and later took over from them. But due to health problems, Ralph said goodbye to entrepreneurship. “Muddling through is not my style, that’s why,” says Ralph, who later handled the purchase and planning of garden plants for two German DIY store chains with 320 branches.

SAY WHAT YOU DO…

After his German adventure, Ralph knocked on Legro’s door to join the Sales Support department. With so much experience, he was very welcome, of course! That was in early 2012, and in the eight years that followed, Ralph developed into an expert and valued colleague within Legro He mastered all the aspects of the Sales Support department, and because of his entrepreneurial experience, he knew better than anyone the perfect way to help customers. “Saying what you do and doing what you say is a wise lesson – actually for everyone at Legro,” says Ralph.

READY FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT

In 2020, however, Ralph found he was ready for something different. He decided to leave Legro. Ralph: “I wanted to return to the nursery world and then started working as a manager at a propagation company that handled strawberry and asparagus plants and rootstocks. I was in charge of everything. My work covered an area from Venray to Venlo. That involved a whole lot of driving. A wonderful job! Soon I was away from home for about twelve hours a day, and I even took necessary work home with me. I kept that up for a year or two, but to be honest, I started to miss my familiar work environment, colleagues, the canteen and my own region more and more every day. In 2022, enough was enough and I knocked on Legro’s door again. I was very welcome back, thankfully!”

PUTTING OUR SHOULDERS TO THE WHEEL TOGETHER

With even more experience, but above all with even more passion and enthusiasm, Ralph returned to Legro in his familiar position as Sales Support employee. “And I was very happy to be there again! It is precisely such a journey that really teaches you what a special company Legro actually is. First of all, the lines of communication here are super short. If you want to know or discuss something, the doors are always open. It doesn’t matter if you want to speak to a forklift driver or a board member. I think it’s great to work at a large international organisation where there is little hierarchy and communication is open. The same goes for the collective mentality that prevails at Legro: everyone wants to put their shoulders to the wheel together and get the best results for customers.”

UNDER A LOADER

Ralph has a nice anecdote about Legro’s down-to-earth attitude: “I remember well this driver who arrived from England with his truck to pick up an order. A while later, he would be going on holiday to Europe with his caravan. To save costs, he thought of placing his caravan in the empty truck for the trip to the mainland. He wondered if he could leave the trailer at Legro to pick it up a few weeks later when his holiday was starting. I asked him to walk over with me to our managing director to discuss it. After the necessary hunting around, we found Franc in overalls tinkering under a loader! Is that your managing director, the driver asked me, very surprised… He couldn’t imagine it, but he was happy that his caravan could be parked here.”

SCHEDULING AND TIMELY DELIVERY

Ralph: “The will to work hard and always deliver the best to customers, that’s what has made Legro great. Working at Legro, also when it comes to Sales Support, requires a pragmatic and flexible attitude. By now I know so many growers – large and small, regional, national and international – and I have experienced so much, that I know what they need. Growers are all similar, in a way. At the moment, you can see that the larger growers are getting even bigger at a rapid pace. For them, planning and timely delivery are crucial because otherwise the entire business will grind to a halt. Also, due to a change in weather or, for example, pieces of equipment at growers’ locations, the desired delivery date can change on a dime. We respond to this the best we can. They depend on us, but we depend on them as well.”

ALWAYS AN ALTERNATIVE

When a customer places an order with Legro, it is up to Ralph and his colleagues to check whether the order is right. Ralph: “We want to make sure that we deliver exactly what customers need. And that’s not always the same as what they order. Once we’re sure it’s right, we coordinate the production, planning and delivery. We’re in frequent contact, so we know customers very well. That makes the work fun and creates mutual respect. We always try to meet their wishes, but we also respect our internal agreements and rules. You have to, otherwise everyone would go crazy! By notifying customers well and keeping appointments, it is workable for everyone. Saying ‘no’ once in a while is also part of it, but then we always suggest an alternative.”

GREEN LIVING ENVIRONMENT, HEALTHY FOOD

The contact with customers and colleagues is what Ralph likes most in his job. Ralph: “What also appeals to me is that our products make an important contribution to producing a green living environment and healthy food. Every day, working together with production, transport and the customer, we look for the best way to get the best product to the customer at the right time. In doing so, I see us as an extension of the nursery.”

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Home
  1. Sjef & Lisette
  2. Janus & Nicole
  3. Frank & Anton
  4. Ralph
  5. Arjen
  6. Juni
  7. Juli
  8. Augustus
  9. September
  10. Oktober
  11. November
  12. December