An interview with Patrick Roos, Senior Account Manager.
21 years of Intercel! What have you seen in that time?
“Before I joined Intercel, I worked in a small battery factory in Haarlem and regularly came across Intercel there as a competitor. They sold a unique sealed lead acid (SLA) battery that did not need to be refilled periodically. I was immediately interested in this and not long afterwards I started working at Intercel. We experienced rapid growth thanks to these unique products. It was, of course, a different time and we were only in the wholesale business, even selling consumer products. Developments in the market, especially in industry and uninterruptible power supply (UPS), created even greater opportunities. Batteries specifically for security and fire alarm systems had my full attention at the time. Because we were present at many trade fairs at that time, we were able to tell our story well about the sealed lead acid batteries. Immediately after this, a strong growth market for cyclic batteries arose and accelerated our growth even further.
Currently, I am focusing mainly on the rehabilitation industry.
I keep up with the latest developments and trends, which we use to respond to them with our advice and product range. I dare say that I am well informed about what is happening in the chain and what is important within the rehabilitation market. This enables us to offer the right energy solution. In short, I have been working for Intercel for 21 years with great enthusiasm. It’s never boring here with all the markets constantly on the move.”
“You don’t have to have the best battery, but the one that can perform best under the given conditions.”
What is the most enjoyable thing you have experienced at Intercel?
“For Intercel’s 30th anniversary we went to Mallorca together with our partners. We really did a lot there; going out, challenging bike rides, eating out and catamaran sailing. The atmosphere was fantastic, very special! Every year, Intercel goes on winter sports for those colleagues who want to. I can’t always come along, but travelling with colleagues is always great. Everyone can and may participate, from beginners to advanced skiers. You can imagine that this creates hilarious situations.”
How would you describe the vibe at Intercel?
“A real family business and we really work together. When I started, the director himself drove the forklift truck to unload batteries. Now, of course, the size of the company has changed that. But the atmosphere has remained the same. You really work together with your team and you face challenges together. You are never alone. It might be silly to say, but Intercel feels like my company.
You work mainly in the rehabilitation sector, what stands out there?
“I work mainly for manufacturers and dealers of mobility scooters, wheelchairs, patient lifts and stair lifts. In that sector, you see that companies have problems finding the right batteries. This is exactly where a number of colleagues and I have specialised and built up significant expertise. For example, there was a manufacturer with the problem that the batteries failed too quickly. In consultation with the customer, we carried out a comprehensive analysis, looking not only at the battery but also at the associated battery charger, the application cabling and the DC/DC converter. In doing so, we not only look at what the manufacturer considers important, but also at the wishes of their end user. In this way, we arrive at the right advice and the optimisation of the application.
Furthermore, fast delivery and a wide range of products are becoming increasingly important. With our wide range and large stock we have a solution for every application, which we can deliver quickly.”
The rehabilitation industry and batteries. What transition is being made there now?
“Lithium batteries are relatively new for rehabilitation applications. Manufacturers are more reluctant for several reasons, such as legislation and regulations or tender requirements. Dealers experience this differently and have been active in selling our certified lithium solutions for several years. We have been selling lithium in the rehabilitation market since 2017 and they are still working perfectly. This shows how good our lithium batteries are. They solve problems such as loss of capacity and intermitted charging excellently, because lithium batteries suffer much less from these problems. I expect that other manufacturers will become increasingly convinced of our lithium batteries because of their long service life and other product characteristics.
Soon the REHACARE, what is your goal?
“The REHACARE is the largest and most well-known rehabilitation trade fair in Europe. All the leading manufacturers and dealers present their products and services here. I will be speaking to many business contacts there, which is useful, but above all very enjoyable. If anyone does not have an admission ticket yet, we will give them away for free! Intercel’s participation in trade fairs works great for me. I gain a lot of information and can really pay attention to our customers. My goal for this trade fair is to draw attention to the Cellpower lead carbon batteries in addition to our lithium batteries.”
Lead carbon, can you tell us something more?
“Lead carbon batteries are an innovative product, they have many characteristics of the lithium batteries, but often easier to apply by our customers. It is a very reliable lead-based battery, by adding carbon the battery can withstand deep discharges or many small discharges and also extremely many cycles. Exactly what is required in the rehabilitation sector”.