On June 9, 2021 we introduced our new CEO: Paul Thomassen Cremers. Time passes quickly, so now we can look back with Paul on his first 100 days as director.
Paul, you didn’t come in brand new, did you?
That’s right, I’ve been a supervisory director at SRC since last summer. I aspired to such a role for a while, supervising a management team and asking the right questions at the right time. And I noticed that I really liked that role, but after a while my fingers started to itch. I heard about all the issues involved, but my role was limited to supervising.
So when at the beginning of this year I was asked to put my feet back in the clay, I said yes. I missed the daily contact with colleagues, and being able to follow up on the questions I asked.
What is your impression of SRC after a little over a year as a supervisory director and now 100 days as CEO?
I see SRC as a thirty-year-old startup. It is a small, well-arranged company, which has a very nice product, actually a gem in the market. Strangely enough, during my introductory meetings as a supervisory director, I noticed a great deal of humility in many colleagues. While I realized that our software is something that a lot of companies need. We are a true lubricant from customer to supplier in various industries – food, retail, DIY. So I’m now also trying to make a small culture shift happen internally. At SRC we can be very proud of our products.
How do you do such a thing do you think?
I think I should lead by example. I don’t run fancy management programs, but I’m keen on the content. If you compromise on efficiency, you’re fooling yourself and others. At the same time, I am also jovial to deal with. I like self-mockery and humor, that’s my style. And that’s no trick.
At first I thought this could be much bigger, but in fact this is it: having one-on-one attention for each colleague. A new CEO is always exciting for people, especially one with maybe a little too much bravado, big mouth and Drenthe accent. But it is my authentic style with the aim of holding up a mirror to people. And it already gives me great satisfaction to be able to do this work.
I also hope to achieve that everyone also feels safe at SRC, that they realize that everything is possible, and that they also dare to make mistakes together. That people know they are valued.
And if that all works out, where will SRC be in a few years?
I see that happening in two ways. Firstly, we want to transcend national borders. We already have a footprint in Belgium, but it is still missing in Germany.
Secondly, we look at where we can offer added value per sector. Over the past 30 years, we have built our reputation in industries such as retail, consumer goods and real estate. You can use our solution in the do-it-yourself sector, and we will realize that. There are still many sectors that could benefit from our solution. Certainly if it contains many products, product attributes and a certain complexity, because that is what we are good at.
What does it take to realize that?
As in any company, there are some issues that need to be tackled, and I’m going to talk to everyone about solving those issues. That also means that the role I now fulfill is much more enjoyable than that of a Commissioner, but of course some things take some time. I now really like being the manager who is not above the others but is a cooperative foreman.
And as for yourself, where do you take the pride in being the foreman of SRC?
I take pride in where the company stands and how the people stand for it. For example, regaining pride in the proposition that SRC can offer the market in a number of areas. In terms of technology, SRC is perhaps the best kept secret of Hoorn or North Holland, it is sometimes jokingly said here. It is precisely in the interplay of a number of competencies that we have in-house that our proposition is a gem, or perhaps a diamond. And of course every diamond still needs to be cut to perfection. That is a process for the coming years. We will grow steadily from the belief in our own strength.
Which keywords are right for you?
Reliable, robust, a promise that is kept. No pompous marketing talk, but simply fulfill the agreements that are made. Those are the first that come to my mind.
Nice, I think that covers it a bit.
Yes I hope so.
Yes, it does, thank you Paul.