I am a business-savvy IT specialist. I'm a CTO with a history of working in the telecom and marketing / advertising industry.
I have 12+ years of working experience in the Netherlands, and 8+ years of working experience in Germany.
I am skilled in building and leading (agile) development or sales teams; marketing; SEO; SEA; PHP / JS development; Web Design and Web Applications.
I speak and write Dutch, English and German fluently.
I have founded several companies in the Netherlands and in Germany, and was CEO.
I can audit and overview most businesses in a very short time, both the technical and the business side, and see where the challenges are. I then solve those issues using the available or new technology.
I have a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com.) from Saxion Hogescholen.
Other roles that could describe my skills are development manager, scrum master, product owner, CEO, or CIO.
Promostore is one of the largest supplier of promotional products (merchandise) in Germany.
I am responsible for marketing, the web site promostore.de and the in-house built ERP-system -- with a team of PHP programmers, internal and external. Examples of projects: we expanded the functionality of the ERP system to include automatic invoices, order intake optimization, separating invoices and delivery orders, and sending orders to suppliers through APIs. Also we are expanding the PIM functionality to have the best product data in the field; including multiple languages and printing options. For the Magento web site we increased the loading speed significantly by optimizing the code and make changes to the system configuration (PHP version, caching, 301 redirects, optimizing database queries, redis, http preloads etc.) I changed the internal development workflow through better GIT branching and deployment conventions. Also I initiated migration from in-house hosted E-Mail (Exchange) to Microsoft 365 and Sharepoint. Other projects included search engine optimizing (SEO) of the Magento web shop, improving various code changes such as including breadcrumbs on landing pages. Projects in progress include a web to print tool (logo costumizer).
I started and founded Pinkcube GmbH mid-2012 in Berlin, after having co-founded Pinkcube BV in 2009. Pinkcube GmbH grew out to be one of the challenging players in the promotional products market. Started with no employees, a small office space of 15m2 and growing to a team of 8, an office on the Karl-Marx-Allee and € 1.5M revenue in 2018. We did this by setting up the best web site in the industry (based on Shopware), and very active innovative Adwords advertising. Selling promotional products to B2B customers through dedicated web sites for product groups. These products are printed with buyer's company logo, and then drop-shipped from manufacturers directly to the customers. As founder and CEO I was responsible for hiring a good team, Adwords campaigns, developing the vision for the web stores, payroll, administration and financing, and have learned almost all there is about starting and running a company in Germany. Pinkcube GmbH was sold to Promostore in 2019.
At Online.nl, a division of T-Mobile, I was responsible for the Online.nl web site front-end, and Online.nl registration platform. That was the system to let new customers order DSL connections through online.nl. I managed and advised in functionality, usability and all technical aspects. Examples of this were thinking out solutions to make registration work automatically, together with the backend-team. We made sure registrations of new customers was as smooth as possible. This included using API's to our backend-systems and other vendors like TPG Post to retrieve post code data. On the front-end site of things, I was responsible for the customer-facing of the web site online.nl, and all marketing outings done there.
We started a company selling promotional products (B2B) through dedicated web sites for product groups. These products were printed with buyer's company logo, and then drop-shipped from manufacturer directly to the customers. We have rebuilt the process from the ground up. At first using 25+ web shops for each product category, later rebuilt to an advanced custom made platform built on Magento.
Pinkcube originated from our own frustration. During the time we had an internet agency (Flits Internet Professionals), we wanted to order promotional products ourselves, we noticed how difficult that was. There were many providers. The range was large and opaque and there was a lot of difference in quality. Unfortunately often this was noticed only afterwards, along with an invoice with all kinds of unforeseen costs (Setup costs? Packaging costs? Shipping costs?). Ordering a promotional item was a time-consuming job. Moreover, there was little certainty about the end result, when it was delivered and the final costs. We thought that should be better, and improved the whole process as one of the first in this market segment.
Started a web development company during my bachelor studies, which grew to around 15 people. We were a small team developing web sites for small and medium sized companies. In 1999 / 2000, many business had not yet thought about having a web presence, and we provided those. At first mostly HTML business-card-type sites, and later on very sophisticated e-commerce and CMS platforms, mostly using open source frameworks such as Joomla, Typo3, Wordpress and Magento.
As CTO I was responsible for "everything backend". My partner did sales. I also designed web sites using Photoshop, and helped my team convert those into working HTML / JS / MySQL packages. Also I advised clients on how to integrate the web into their business; worked as a web consultant helping our clients improving their revenues using internet.
At Viavisie, a division of Aegon, I was a financial planner and mortgage broker, visiting employees of larger companies at home. I made reviews of all clients' possessions, assets and debts and available pension funds, and summarized all of it in a comprehensive report. That way I was able to advise my clients on investment strategies.
We started an early e-commerce startup to provide local "brick & mortar" office supply-shops with webshops complete with article database from national distributors like Ingram Micro, Intercambio, TechData, Landis, Datelcom, McDos, and Holland Pharma. Focus areas were office supplies, office furniture and office hardware (pc's, printers etc.). These products would be delivered to the customer directly from the distributor -- through drop-shipments. We built the whole e-commerce system from ground up, using PHP and MySQL. This included database connections with up to ten distributors; creating a product base of more than 100.000 products, of which our customers could choose product lines to resell. These resellers could enter their profit margins in their backend system; Shoptower made a margin on every product sold through the channel. As it turned out, we were way too early developing this way of business channel, and ran into many challenges we were unable to overcome all -- which later drop-shipment office suppliers did not run into and became more successful than we were.
Dynabyte was a well-known family-owned chain of computer shops, with stores in more than 50 dutch cities. I have worked there since I can remember, but actively, mostly part time during my studies - since I was 17. I helped customers buy and install hardware (Soundblaster cards, graphics cards, etc.) in their 386'es and 486's. IRQ, DMA, Vesa local bus, A long time ago...
As the stores were owned by my family, you can imagine I grew up using every imaginable (pc) system, starting with Commodore 64's, Amigas and Atari ST's, and every 286 / 386 / 486 there was, and started programming in BASIC, Amos, Stos, Visual Basic etc. I worked in almost every of our Dynabyte computer stores in almost every dutch city as a "roaming" sales representative; mostly in Enschede, Assen, Groningen and Zwolle.
The four-year hbo course in Small Business & Retail Management prepares for entrepreneurship, entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs. It is a course characterized by individuality and complete integration of theory and practice. The job profile of the course was set up in collaboration with small and medium-sized enterprises and is described in competences. By granting the Small Business & Retail Management diploma, Hogeschool Enschede states that the candidate has fulfilled the levels of competence that were set. The examination consists of a series of assessments with the following elements:
- (Self) Management
- Trade-specific Techniques and Trade-specific Skills
- Quality and Logistics
- Finance and Administration
- Economics and Law
- Business and Commercial Communication
- Personnel and Organization
- Automation and Information Skills
- Strategic and Innovative Entrepreneurship