Day-to-day business printed circuit board: Robert Loboja

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He recently celebrated his 20th anniversary with us and has been with ILFA for almost half his life. But he has retained his ambition and inventiveness throughout. So it’s time to pause for a moment and ask Robert how he has experienced the 20 years of work and the day-to-day business with the printed circuit board: “It’s sometimes amazing how time flies,” he begins looking back. “But I can still remember my start very well. And I can say both ILFA and I have developed very nicely over the years.” In summing up, we naturally want to know a little more.

From quality inspection to head of sales: Robert has been at ILFA for over 20 years and “lives” the subject of printed circuit boards

Robert started with us in 2002 as an employee in quality testing. There he tested the function of printed circuit boards and used AOI (automatic optical inspection), flying probe finger tests and adapter tests to ensure that the final products were flawless for the customer. “Especially in the beginning weeks, I had an insane amount to learn,” Robert openly admits. “I wanted to understand and be able to do everything right away, my ambition was aroused.” That was his entry into the world of PCBs, but of course it didn’t stop there.

In 2011, a position in engineering became available and from then on Robert developed prototype layouts and came into direct contact with our customers. As a true “networker”, he has helped build many customer relationships and provided intensive advice on technology topics. But he also pushed a lot of things internally, such as the optimisation of our rigid-flex PCBs or the development of a process to be able to change the base material of our hybrid PCBs in X/Y direction. Furthermore, he was significantly involved in the introduction of our “No Flow Technology”.

So it seems only logical that six years later, with his accumulated knowledge and his growing customer relationships, he switched to sales, which he is now completely responsible for as Head of Sales. During his several years in sales, he has built up and intensified new customer relationships and is, of course, still on the road a lot today. “Due to Corona, the number of customer visits naturally decreased significantly at first, so you have to find other ways to stay in contact,” he describes his challenges. “I had to switch more to telephone, e-mail or video conferencing. That works very well with existing customers, but it can be challenging when it comes to acquiring new customers,” he says. “You need ideas and good arguments to stay in the customer’s mind. For me, sales means being very close to the customer, actively listening to him and offering him a solution that makes his job easier. This works best by showing the customer what we can do. That’s why I work according to the principle ‘Do good and talk about it’,” he gives us an insight into his sales activities.

As a true networker, Robert’s areas of operation naturally also include trade fairs and congresses.

And how does Robert prefer to spend his free time? “My passion is sport. I actively play football and basketball. That’s my balance to my job and my family,” he admits with a smile. “I’m married and have two children, so you have to plan your free time carefully and create some space for yourself.

And what will happen in terms of sales at ILFA in 2023? “Since this year, we have been attending more industry trade fairs and networking events,” Robert reveals. “It is finally time again to enter into more intensive customer dialogue and to show presence. We want to further develop existing customers and win new customers for our technological solutions.” He has also initiated a number of things internally, including reorganising the sales team. His challenge is to further expand ILFA GmbH’s market position: “On the one hand, we will continue to push our core products flex and rigid-flex printed circuit boards on the market, and on the other hand, we will consistently pursue our technological growth in order to optimally serve future customer needs.” Of course, we don’t want to slow him down in his enthusiasm and wish him every success in his sales activities.