Eye-level partnerships to improve railway infrastructure for a sustainable future

With over 25 years of experience in the rail industry, Arjan is passionate about improving infrastructure to successfully position rail for a sustainable future and contribute to our society. In the article, he describes how he achieves this.


Who are you?

My name is Arjan Boender. My passion, but unfortunately I haven’t pursued it much in the past years, is the Alps, and that at any time of the year. In addition to my children’s leisure activities, I also enjoy following sporting events on television.

And professionally? What did you do before you came to KONUX?

Before joining KONUX, I had already worked in the railway industry for 23 years. I worked in various areas at Vossloh Rail Services. I started in the dispatching department for rail deliveries to and from construction sites. Subsequently, I was in charge of DB’s “rail circuit”. This involved sending rails that could be reconditioned to the reconditioning plants for reconditioning and remanufacturing and then delivering them back to the DB network. After a few years in strategic purchasing, I moved to sales, where I was responsible for the various services provided by Vossloh Rail Services in the Netherlands.

The experience gained from my first job at Vossloh Rail Services, the scheduling of rail deliveries to construction sites, gave me an insight into many processes in the rail industry. This has sparked a great motivation to improve the infrastructure in various countries.


What is your role at KONUX?

At KONUX, I am an account manager for various regions of DB Netz AG. Initially, one of the tasks was to support customers in the Hanover and Hamburg networks, where we installed the first 650 devices together after concluding a framework agreement in 2020. In addition, the goal was to make KONUX known in other regions and networks of DB Netz AG. From this position, I also accompany the activities on the Dutch market.

The task is exciting because you have to deal with different mentalities, personalities and structures in Germany and the Netherlands. In different situations, you also have to deal with various tasks on the part of the customer. This then also allows you to gain a broad understanding of the customer’s different approaches.

Which skills are important?

It is particularly important to be able to find the right balance between arousing the customer’s interest in the product and not making “empty promises”. It is also important to build a relationship of trust so that even critical issues can be discussed openly and honestly with the customer.

What enables you to be at your best? 

A very strong motivation is to work in a young company in the sector of a future-oriented means of transport, to be able to participate in the improvement of the infrastructure and to make a big contribution to helping the railroad to a successful future. Especially in the case of the Netherlands, I am very motivated to make a difference in my home country.

What helps you to be successful?

The very good relationship with your supervisor, who always gives you full support in all areas.

You played a vital role in building relationships in the North Germany region. Can you talk a little bit about that? What are your core principles when working with our customers?

As mentioned above, it is of quite great importance to build a mutual relationship of trust with the customer. It is important to understand the customer. This applies to their operational tasks and challenges as well as to the customer’s (organizational) structure. It is also good to understand where the counterpart is in the organization. Basically, I always see myself as a partner of the customer. Because we have a common goal that we want to support. Of course, there are different roles here, because we want to sell something and the customer should be enthusiastic about our product. But the important thing is that the customer recognizes added value for himself and is therefore willing to pay something for it. But it should always be a relationship at eye level.

You have extensive experience in the rail industry and worked at Vossloh for several years before joining KONUX. What is special about your current job? What makes working at KONUX different from other employers in the industry?

The special thing about my current job compared to my previous jobs at Vossloh is that KONUX’s services are upstream of Vossloh’s services for the customer. My experience from 23 years at Vossloh comes in very handy here. The work at KONUX differs mainly in that some of the products are still under development. It is a great challenge to work on the products together with a dynamic team and to constantly develop the portfolio to meet the needs of the customer. The open and communicative corporate culture at KONUX is very helpful here.

What advice would you give to colleagues considering a move from an established rail employer to KONUX?

Bring the experience from the railroads and bring it to the development of KONUX products to work together to improve the infrastructure of the future.

If you are eager to move a lot quicker, work flexibly, and take fuller ownership of projects that advance railway – this is  the place. But be prepared to work with more uncertainty in terms of processes and ways of doing things. We are doing many things that have not been done before and you’ll be part of figuring out how to bridge the two worlds – the start-up world and railway world, which can be challenging at times. 

What else should they know?

 That you join a very international team where the company language is English. 

What do you love most about your job?

Working in the rail sector. It’s a “small” world where you often see each other again. 

An example for that:

In the early 2000s, I organized a delivery to the Netherlands for a rail supplier. In the process, I dealt with various parties and successfully completed the project for the customer. After more than 15 years, during which I was not professionally active in the Netherlands, I met people again who were also involved in the project at that time or had also heard about it. 

And what are you looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to helping the rail sector ease the challenges of increased capacity needs with helpful products.


What are you geeky about:

I really like it when a job is well thought through and prepared in advance so that when the job is actually done, there is little unpreparedness and the job itself can be done expeditiously.

What was your longest/most interesting train ride so far?

The most interesting train ride so far was the return trip in the mobile milling machine from a night shift in the Netherlands. The job site was about a 1.5 hour drive from where the milling machine was parked.

And what is your favorite KONUX value?

Grit: Since the rail sector is a rather conservative industry, certain processes take time. Here, in addition to perseverance, resilience and also the ability to deal with setbacks are required. The right consequences must be drawn from the setbacks in order to approach the tasks ahead strengthened and with renewed vigor and passion.


Share this post