Meet Harrie Huisman – founder of ZoomBIM
Harrie Huisman’s interests are as versatile as the applicability of his company’s product, the WEM platform. An accurate yet creative pioneer who now finds himself facing a new era in his fatherhood life: And this is meant literally, as being a father to his daughter as well as being the founder of his company ZoomBIM. Meet Harrie Huisman.
“I’ve had many roles in my career” Harrie explains. “I’ve been a sound technician, a machinist for Xerox printers, I’ve given management trainings in my early twenties, and I’ve coordinated marketing related activities.” Until Harrie saw an opportunity and started his own business: “I quit my job at Postkantoren and started my own business called ‘Bureau voor interactieve media’ - short BIM (agency for interactive media). Postkantoren was one of my first clients.” Harrie tells enthusiastically. “It was a fascinating time to build my business: Digitization and multimedia was a big hype and the internet-era hadn’t really started yet.”
Making smart decisions quickly
In 1998 Harrie and his former business partner Roel Lakmaker decided to unite and “ZoomBIM – connected solutions” was born. The company delivered interactive presentations at exhibitions and events for clients such as Siemens NL, Electrolux NL, Postkantoren BV and KPN. ZoomBIM developed from being an interactive multi-media media supplier to a marketing communications bureau, producing company videos for 30-40 clients in 2000-2003. However, “If you want to survive in this sector, you have to make smart decisions quickly. You have to continuously ask yourself if there’s still a market for your product in the future, when continuing on the path you’re at. We decided that we had to change our direction.”
“I needed an instrument to create smart business solutions for my clients.”
“2004 was an important year for us.” Harrie notes. The company was commissioned for a frontend development project for a company called Medic Info. “That’s how we ended up doing what we do today: We were instructed to build an application as support system for efficient health care consultation.” With this project, Harrie found his passion for building process solutions: “Basically, such a practitioner thinks in a flowchart process: from anamnesis, to diagnosis, to treatment plan. Our approach back then was to create a functional design of the application, build it, and then test it. It was very important that the process owner was closely involved in the development process.” However, the development process did not always go according to plan. “That’s when the idea came up to offer a webbased application, with which the process owner was empowered to build applications himself. That was the start of WEM.” Harrie proudly explains.
Next to WEM, ZoomBIM also continued with their full-serviced custom made web applications. Thereby, the WEM platform was also internally used as instrument to develop applications, fast. Two years ago, Harrie got introduced to Rob Schilperoort by a common business partner. “No matter how great the intention of WEM was, it wasn’t a ready-to-market product, yet. Rob immediately addressed these kind of obstacles and helped us stepping out of the pioneering phase.”
Re-defining his role in the company
Recently, the founder of ZoomBIM entered an important new phase in his professional as well as his personal life. “Just like my daughter, ZoomBIM had grown into a young adult and is now more than capable to independently continue and create its own successful future. For me, this means I have to redefine my position, within my family as well as within ZoomBIM. That’s challenging and exciting at the same time!” Since March this year, Rob Schilperoort was appointed new CEO of ZoomBIM. He is taking over the company’s commercial responsibilities and will lead it to exponential growth and large scale market conquest. Harrie is very happy with the arrival of Rob. “Now I can focus on what I like most, finding new business solutions for our clients.” He further elaborates: “Diving deep into problems, investigating and clarifying them until finding optimal solutions and doing this in co-creation with the client - that’s what I enjoy most. I’m in a luxurious position, because I can focus on doing what I enjoy most. Since WEM is now well elaborated, I’m now finding leads for new business solutions, that are not yet viable or ripe, but for which WEM offers an answer.” Harrie is still very enthusiastic about his work: “I’m still fascinated by the business potentials WEM makes possible. I’m now working on the development of solution templates, for example. Imagine, how widely this can be used!”
A truly versatile man
Harrie was born in 1958 and has been married for 27 years. The couple lives in the Pijp in Amsterdam. Their daughter Benthe recently moved out. In his free time, Harrie likes to ‘make’ stuff, such as creating his own furniture, producing his own wine, or creating delicious dishes in his kitchen. He likes to be outdoors and is culturally interested. “It’s complete coincidence, but my company as well as my daughter are in the same phase of having grown into young adults and continue independently. My wife Winnifred and I are still working, both with great pleasure. But we also want to spend more time on, for example, visiting theatre performances and music shows.” They like to travel to their favorite country Italy, enjoying the country’s cuisine and rich culture. However, if Harrie would have to choose where to immigrate to, he would go to Vancouver, because of its beautiful nature and the area’s versatility. “Just like me!” he laughs.