Interview with Anneke Vogelsang, CJH Cranes, South Africa for Woman&Cranes


Today we are going to interview Anneke Vogelsang, working at CJH Cranes, South Africa. Strategy to do good business, keys to have success, how is important the support of your man, all this you can find in this article.

Let’s introduce your company. What about you team? How many women do work with you?
The company I work for is CJH Cranes, Equipment and Plant (Gauteng) Pty Ltd. Hans Vogelsang, my hunsband, started this business in December 2009 as a sole proprietor. I joined the business in February 2010. We are a team of 7 people, 2 office staff (women) and 5 field staff (men). The office staff are 1 office supervisor and myself. This business has been reregistered a company in September 2013.

Tell me please about your start in this sector? Why did you consider to do the carrer in crane sector?
My hunsband, Hans, has been in the crane industry for over 15 years. He has worked for companies like Grinaker LTA, Barrow Construction and Eqstra (formerly known as Terex Africa). I joined the company to support Hans with admin, human resources and finance matters. Together we have made a huge success complementing each other in our different fields. Before joining CJH Cranes, I worked for various companies in the finance, human resources, admin, customer care and executive departments. I had to learn all about cranes very quickly; it is a very interesting field. One time, before I knew how cranes operate, I asked him what size engine operates a crane, he just laughed and laughed….a crane operates with power.

What kind of specialized courses / studies / knowledge is needed forworking in the crane sector?
For field staff I would suggest electrical, mechanical, lifting machinery, rigging and health and safety training. For office staff I would suggest administrative, human resources, managerial, and financial training.

3 tips for young people who want to work in the crane sector?
Field staff.
Must not be afraid of heights.
Must have technical background.
Must be physically fit.
Office staff.
Good product knowledge.
Good communication skills.
Good administrative skills.
TV and other social media report the news of crisis of economy and in crane industry also.

What is your approach about it? Did you introduce any new strategy in last 5 years?
I keep an eye on the market, but do not stress easily. I am more of a relaxed and supportive person. Our strategy is not new, but we believe the following issues is the reason for repeat business:
1. Open and honest relationship;
2. Communicate on a frequent basis;
3. Send a technician out within 24 hours of breakdown;
4. Competitive pricing;
5. Excellent service delivery;
6. Good, reliable product;
7. Good product knowledge;
8. Team work;
9. Supporting each other in our roles;
10. Follow ups;

Vantage points of female entrepreneurs?
In the crane industry, women are mostly in the office, supporting their men in the field, ensuring that all paperwork run smoothly.

The keys/ guidelines of success in your personal/working?
Always support my man.

Women are good at multitasking, how do you reconcile work and family? how much time do you spend with your family?
It is sometimes difficult to multi-task and divide your work life from your family life. However, we are a kick-ass team and support each other both in work and family life. I work mostly during the mornings. My support staff in the office make sure everything runs smoothly in the afternoons so that I can take care of our son.
My life is balanced; I am very blessed.

Aside from work, how do you like to spend your free time, do you have any hobbies?
Aside from work, I love to read books, something light from authors like Jodi Picoult, Nora Roberts or Danielle Steel. We also have a caravan and a boat that we use for family break aways.

Short questions:
Individual or team? Individual.
Tea or coffee? Coffee.
Classic or casual style to wear in the office? Combination of the two.
Pop or rock music? Pop.
Your favourite parfum is…Lady Million from Paco Rabanne, a gift from my sweet man.
Glamour or Forbes journal? Glamour for relaxing moments.

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