Unisign Machine Tools » Kelly Gubbels

Kelly Gubbels

“Unisign gave me the opportunity to expand my role.”

My Unisign story: Although Kelly Gubbels (36) officially joined our Sales department as a secretary, her role has expanded significantly in the two years she has been with Unisign. ‘In addition to my secretarial activities, I also support our sales and CRM processes.’

Kelly studied Tourism Management in Eindhoven and for a long time worked at a corporate travel agency. She explains: ‘I dealt with business travel requests for companies like Unisign. Now I’m at the other end of the table, arranging all travel requests for colleagues in our Sales, Assembly and Service departments.’

Kelly’s previous employer did not extend her contract during the COVID-19 pandemic. She initially completed 6 months with Unisign through an employment agency. Now she’s already clocked up 2 years of service. Kelly: ‘I’m part-time and job-share with a colleague. I started out as a secretary and became increasingly involved in sales support. I then also began taking care of updates for our CRM system. I came to enjoy these tasks more and more. It’s exciting to continually expand my knowledge of these processes and be able to contribute to them in a meaningful way. Unisign gives me total freedom to do this.’

Kelly supports Sales Manager Alex te Baerts in a variety of ways. Kelly: ‘I’ll request status updates for projects, attend weekly Teams meetings with our agents, add requests for machines to the agenda for the enquiries review meeting… and more. For each enquiry, I’ll check whether we need any additional information from whoever is making the request. The Applications department will then develop a technical proposal, I’ll put the quotation together and Sales will take care of the negotiations. I’ll document the entire process in our CRM system, so everyone can keep track of what’s happening.’

Kelly doesn’t mind that she’s only one of a handful of women at Unisign. She enthuses: ‘I feel perfectly at home here. My previous job in the travel industry meant the majority of my colleagues were women. I used to work in my brother’s cafe, alongside a number of women as well as men. I did actually miss working with men and I’m glad to have this again at Unisign.’

Although Kelly has no technical background, she was aware of what CNC machines are used for. ‘But only in relation to carpentry. My partner works in interior fitting and CNC machines are also used in this line of work. I can now confidently talk a bit about this myself, for example at parties. I’ll explain we manufacture large CNC machines for metal working, such as for machining front axles for trucks or masts for forklift trucks. A bit of company promotion can’t do any harm, right?’

What Kelly loves most of all is being given the opportunity to develop her skills in sales support. Kelly: ‘I feel privileged to now follow the process up close, from the minute a enquiry is received. It’s amazing to be involved in this. An Indian company recently sent us a enquiry through our website and I brought the details of this to the enquiry review meeting. Alex and our agent visited the company a few weeks later and an order for two new Unitwin machines was signed a short time after that. Things happened at an almost astonishing speed and it’s exciting I get to see all of that.’

The year 2021
In 2021 when Kelly joined Unisign, the first COVID-19 vaccinations were given in the Netherlands and the first curfew was introduced. The year was also marked by extreme climate events, such snow and ice, forest fires, record-breaking heatwaves and widespread flooding in the province of Limburg. In politics, 2021 saw the longest time it took to form a government on record, including turmoil after leaked notes about politician Pieter Omzigt. Trump supporters stormed the Capitol as Joe Biden became the next American president. Max Verstappen won his first F1 world championship title (with more to come).

Kelly continues: ‘The best compliment I had was when the company asked if I would increase my hours.’ From January onwards, my weekly hours will go up from 20 to 24. This really is the best job I have had so far. Unisign has this loose, informal way of working. I can easily approach anyone I need to talk to, including the managing director. And my input is genuinely heard and appreciated.’ Kelly smiles: ‘Did I mention I really love it here?’

Most of Kelly’s free time is currently taken up by her three children. Kelly: ‘I have a son aged 11, a son aged 6 and a little girl who’s 4. Clearly the youngest two still need a great deal of looking after. I love baking cakes and my children don’t mind this at all. I also love to meet up with friends for meals or going out with them. I don’t currently do any sports, but our kids and dog make sure I easily get my 10,000 steps each day.’

December 22, 2023