08-10 October 2024

Antwerp expo Belgium

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Meet Steven Schutter, one of AntwerpXL 2022’s 40 Under 40

Can you give us a brief outline of your career to date?

Steven: I have always been passionate about digitisation and consulting. I began my career at a prominent consulting firm, Accenture, where I worked on various projects related to IT integration and customer engagement. Afterwards I switched to a few smaller consulting firm. One of the notable projects during that time was assisting the national postal company with their first API implementation and improving integration with their customers. Afterwards, I ventured into entrepreneurship and founded my own restaurant reservation company called Tablebooker, which I successfully sold to a sector partner in 2014.

Following my entrepreneurial journey, I transitioned into the logistics industry, focusing on bridging IT and business. For four years, I worked at NxtPort, where I gained valuable experience in the breakbulk sector and developed a deep appreciation for its potential. Currently, for the past year and a half, I have been working at Globis Software, where I continue to leverage my expertise in IT and business integration within the breakbulk industry.

What is your current day-to-day role?

Steven: At Globis Software, my current day-to-day role encompasses multiple responsibilities. Primarily, I analyse breakbulk customer processes and align them with our software solutions to ensure the perfect fit. Additionally, I actively participate in pre-sales sessions, where I demonstrate and convince potential customers about the value of our software. Furthermore, I contribute to the implementation and training sessions for our customers, ensuring a smooth adoption of our software. Lastly, I play a key role in representing our company commercially, engaging with clients and stakeholders to build strong relationships and drive business growth.

What has been your biggest challenge so far?

Steven: One of the biggest challenges I have faced was during a period when I embarked on my entrepreneurial journey while also becoming a new parent, working for a consultancy firm, and pursuing my passion as a DJ. Juggling multiple roles and commitments meant having to balance meetings, take risks, and sacrifice sleep. It was an intense and demanding period in my life. Eventually, recognising the need for change, I made the decision to take the risk and become an independent consultant.

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

Steven: My biggest professional achievement to date was successfully starting my own company, witnessing its growth, and eventually selling it. Within the breakbulk sector, while working for NxtPort in the Port of Antwerp, I accomplished the alignment of multiple companies for digital collaboration on the Bulkchain platform. Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the project had to be put on hold. However, recent discussions have emerged, and I am optimistic that the project will be revived and finalised. I have expressed my willingness to collaborate and contribute my four years of experience to the new project owner.

What are your future career goals?

Steven: As a consultant in digitisation, my career plans and goals remain dynamic and flexible. In the near future, I am focused on building a breakbulk version of our Globis ERP system, specifically tailored to digitise forwarding and agency activities within the breakbulk sector. This endeavour reflects my commitment to driving digital transformation in the industry and providing innovative solutions to meet the evolving needs of breakbulk logistics.

What do you enjoy most about breakbulk?

Steven: What I enjoy most about breakbulk is the immense potential for digitisation in an industry that has traditionally relied heavily on paper and physical processes. I believe there is an opportunity to transform the market by leveraging digital solutions, not just for the sake of digitisation but to streamline operations and enable efficient collaboration among stakeholders. In today’s digital age, students entering the workforce are not being trained to perform manual data entry based on PDF files. By embracing digitisation and finding innovative ways to collaborate, we can make the breakbulk market more appealing and attractive for new entrants. As someone deeply passionate about digitisation, this is why I find the breakbulk sector intriguing.

Would you recommend this as a career to other young professionals?

Steven: Yes, I would highly recommend pursuing a career in breakbulk to other young professionals. The sector is ripe for revitalisation and presents an exciting opportunity for new talent to contribute and drive positive change. Starting a career in breakbulk today can be a rewarding experience with the potential to make a lasting impact in the industry.

How can we encourage younger generations to enter this industry?

Steven: Encouraging younger generations to enter the breakbulk industry is crucial for its future growth and innovation. To attract young professionals, it is essential to showcase the sector’s potential for digital transformation and collaboration. Offering educational programs, internships, and mentorship opportunities specific to breakbulk can help bridge the gap between academic training and industry requirements. Additionally, promoting the exciting challenges and opportunities within breakbulk through targeted marketing and networking initiatives can generate interest and inspire younger generations to pursue careers in this dynamic field.

Any final thoughts you’d like to share on 40 under 40?

Steven: Being recognised as part of the ’40 under 40′ list for three executive years was truly an honour. It serves as a testament to the hard work, dedication, and accomplishments achieved throughout my career journey so far. This recognition not only motivates me to continue striving for excellence but also provides a platform to inspire and connect with other talented professionals. I am grateful for the opportunities that have come my way and look forward to contributing further to the industry’s growth and success. I am excited about the future and the potential collaborations and achievements that lie ahead, both within the breakbulk sector and beyond.

Nominations for 2023’s 40 Under 40 are now open! Enter yourself or a colleague today!

Author: Cyann Fielding, AntwerpXL 2023

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