Navigating the Professional Journey: From Bike Mechanic to NetSuite ERP Consultant – Meet Mark’s Inspiring Career Path
Embarking on a Non-Traditional Path
When I started college in 2005, I quickly realized this was not the way for me. I was mostly interested in the practical side of things, not so much in the theory behind. After just half a year of college I stopped and started working. I was convinced there would be other ways to learn and become experienced in my professional life. This was back in 2006 already. From there, my journey started to where I’m now.
Pedaling into the Workforce
In 2006 I started my first job as a bike mechanic. I was very passionate about cycling, riding races in the weekends and working on bikes during the week. In my free time I started building some websites. For a while there was my own website about cycling, and a website for a fundraiser project I helped with. At this point, IT started to interest me already.
After a few years as a bike mechanic, I switched to a distribution company, of course also in the cycling industry. I started in the warehouse/assembly department of the company, but quickly found my way into logistics. I reckoned a few things could be made easier, the assembly process could be more efficient, and after some of these improvement ideas were actually implemented, I was promoted to the role of logistics coordinator, still working hands-on on day-to-day tasks within the logistics department, but also trying to improve where possible.
Navigating Industry Shifts
Then came 2013, and the distribution company went bankrupt. Fortunately I was picked up by a new company who could use my logistics experience. This company produced and sold cycling shoes. Lake Cycling used to be a US based company, but two entrepreneurs from the Netherlands took over the company and brought it back to life. I came in at the very start and had the opportunity to help shape the company’s logistics. One of the essential steps was the selection of an ERP system. This is where Netsuite came into my life. In my previous job I worked with Microsoft Navision, but for Lake Cycling we needed something more flexible and, as we traveled around the world much of our time to meet colleagues located in China and the US, accessibility to the system was very important.
After a short selection round, we chose Netsuite as our new system and ERP Fastforward (who became Fast Four and is now part of Zone&Co) as our implementation partner. The main reasons why we selected Netsuite in those days, still stand true today. Scalability, flexibility and a true cloud solution.
I took the lead on the NetSuite implementation for Lake Cycling, working in tandem with Hylke Sluis of ERP Fastforward. We implemented all Finance, Order-to-Cash and Logistics processes. This was my first experience with Netsuite as a user and afterwards, as the system administrator.
From 2014 to 2019 I worked in various logistics roles, within manufacturing and transport, where I gained a lot of first-hand experience on all these processes within various systems. In 2019 I got back in touch with Hylke Sluis and met the Fast Four team of by then 35 consultants in Amsterdam. Hylke convinced me to make the switch and become a NetSuite ERP consultant specialized in logistics, and this turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made.
Journey with Novutech
Since then, I’m part of the team which is now Novutech. Since my start in 2020, I have worked on 5 implementation projects within the manufacturing, software, retail and e-commerce industries, as well as on various optimization projects at our existing customers. From 2022, I also joined our pre-sales team, demoing NetSuite in general to prospects, or setting up specific tailored concept demos to show what NetSuite can do for them.
With the on-hand experience from my previous jobs and all the knowledge I gained within NetSuite, I can transform our clients business processes into solutions within Netsuite so they can improve their way of working and be prepared for the next steps in their growth.
With this work I get a look into the kitchen of some very interesting companies, all with their own processes and way of working. Meeting new people every year and building a relationship with customers gives me a lot of energy and motivation. With every new project I learn more and this allows me to bring this experience to the next project.