Jeroen Schutz joined JLM Lubricants several months ago and it’s fair to say his feet have not touched the ground. He is clocking up the air miles, but for an exceptionally good cause – supporting JLM distributors around the globe and building relationships with new customers.  In his first interview for JLM Drive, we get to know him a little better.

Tell us about your experience in the automotive aftermarket

The automotive aftermarket is in my DNA! I started out as a sales support employee and worked my way up to European Sales Manager for a brand which was bought by ams-OSRAM AG. I then headed up the largest part of the Osram Aftermarket in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland leading a team of 7 salespeople.

What attracted you to this sector? 

It’s dynamic, fast changing, never easy, never boring, and full of opportunities. Your client always has another supplier, so you have to be on your game. I enjoy every challenge and every opportunity.

What qualities and skills have contributed to your success? 

I am renowned for my ability to analyse data and bring the key outcomes into practical solutions focussed on delivering growth and in the first stage of analysis, removing the barriers to growth so we can recharge or refocus the sales plan. I enjoy collaborating with people and leading teams with diverse experience. And of course, I enjoy the sales’ process. Starting with an analysis of data, moving to discussing the key outcomes with a partner or distributor and then developing the sales plan based on tangibles and aspirations. I am a good listener and am told I work in a way that delivers a win-win scenario for all. I am easy going but little escapes me, which is useful when analysing sales figures for example, looking for the answers that explain underperformance, flatlining or growth.

What appealed to you about joining JLM? 

I had heard good things about JLM as a brand. It was clear from the earliest conversations that whilst JLM is very much a global brand, they work closely with distributors in their local markets, providing a level of support I have not seen with any other organisation.  JLM has a strong vision. It is a robust brand in a competitive market. These were reasons alone to say yes when Gilbert offered me the job. I can now see why JLM is such a positive and indeed disruptive brand in an established sector which is incredibly exciting.

What does your role entail? 

A key task is working with JLM distributors to help them realise the full potential in their territories. The end goal is of course more sales with the emphasis on repeat purchase to build long term, sustainable growth.  My ongoing task is best summed up as guiding and working with distributors to unlock more profit from our products with the emphasis on low hanging fruit and on longer term projects. How can we build this great brand together is at the forefront of my mind as is determining how I can add value to a distributor or a new user by unlocking my experience and expertise for their benefit. The JLM product range lends itself well to these objectives given they are trade trusted formulas with a focus on performance, repair, and prevention.

Tell us about your travels

My travelling for JLM began in Germany where I established a major new business account. From there I flew to Greece to visit workshops with our  JLM partner Digiparts. I also supported them at the Autosalon Thessaloniki. I was back home for a few days and then flew to Portugal where we recently opened our new JLM office. JLM was exhibiting at the Expo Mechanica show so I was at this event every day with Gilbert and the Portuguese team. It was then on to  Slovakia where our local partner AWD Auto was exhibiting at the Auto Salon Bratislava. I then  supported our UK distributor Kalimex at the three-day Automechanika show at the NEC in Birmingham. There is more travel scheduled to visit our distributors and also for exploring new markets. I enjoy travelling which is useful!

What has been your biggest accomplishment to date?

There is no single accomplishment. It’s more that the JLM distributors really value the fact that I am willing to  travel to their domestic markets to support them and to offer suggestions that will help them grow their JLM business. However, I must say how pleased I am that we recently rolled out the JLM concept to many top tier workshops in The Netherlands. These workshops are adding to their revenue streams using JLM additives as part of their service offering. It’s working really well, and we are in talks with other third parties to do something similar.

What do you enjoy the most?

I really like meeting with our distributors and also talking to their clients which are mostly professional technicians – the people who use the JLM products. Listening to their positive feedback is great. This motivates me to work even harder. JLM products are exceptional so promoting them through all channels is something I enjoy. 

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