A SHORT HISTORY OF NEARLY EVERYTHING ABOUT STARWARE
To know how Starware became what it is today we need to go back to the beginning, back to the time when the story started.
The early years
The story starts back in 1992 when we (Marc Roelofs and Roland Stilting) were still at school, following one of the first dedicated ICT studies in the Netherlands. Back then ICT was a completely different world: A PC was the tablet of today, DOS was king of the operating system, we were taught to program in Turbo Pascal and C++ and wrote our papers in Word Perfect 5.1.
We were always busy tweaking and upgrading our PC’s with new components and one day got the idea to make a business out of it. Therefore, with the help of our families, because we weren’t even 18 so we couldn’t own our own business yet, we started Starware.
These first years we managed to grow to a respectable hardware and support company. Back then Starware’s operations were; assembling our own machines, supporting our clients in setting up LANs and developing custom software solutions for them. As the hardware division grew to it’s peak in the early 2000’s, our focus shifted towards managing the supply chain surrounding the business. Therefore, we developed our own tools to manage our small warehouse and optimize our flows.
The times are a-changing
After 9-11 we suffered from the economic downfall and the rise of the standard hardware sellers as DELL and HP. This caused margins to shrink and transform the business. We knew adapting was key to survive.
We discovered that combined knowledge of logistics and ICT was scarce. Moreover, we’ve always enjoyed tweaking the logistics and supply chain aspects of operations. Therefore, we soon landed our first large 3PL clients in this niche market. We helped them setting up a Business Intelligence system ‘Avant la lettre’, this enabled standardisation and measurements of logistic processes across customers and warehouses.
After this had become a success we further specialised ourselves in improving and customising ICT systems in supply chain. Continuing, we’ve build output management systems, integration software and add-on’s that are still used today. Secondly, we’ve helped 3PL’s implement features for their customers that were beyond their wildest expectations.
In 2009 the trend of moving from in-house developed software to industry standards took the Supply Chain world by storm. Again we were faced with a changing market that challenged our future existence. We were quick to learn the benefits and possibilities of one of the Largest Players in the industry: Red Prairie. We specialised ourselves with their software & setup and adapted our own tools to enrich their products even further. Simultaneously, traditional reporting tools where overshadowed by the rise of Big-Data solutions. A natural transition for us was to become a Qlik partner. Currently, we use our reporting and supply chain expertise to create beautifully usable dashboards.
Besides the technical side of things we are always busy trying to improve ourselves as a company. We’ve embraced methodologies like SCRUM, KANBAN, AGILE and LEAN. We are heavily influenced by Ricardo Semler and companies like Basecamp (formally known as 37 signals). Our organisational structure is as flat as it gets. We believe in our cross functional teams and put common sense before strict rules and procedures. We’ve also became huge fans of Apple, we think they make the best hardware on the planet for years and equipped all our co-workers with their tools. A small investment, knowing that the equipment we use is always top-notch.
That’s our Story
Well that’s more or less where we are now 25 years later. As always we are looking at all new developments and we keep helping our trusted and loyal customers to keep perfecting their supply chains.
It’s what we love to do !