"I like finding solutions to challenging issues or building software scripts to utilize Cadmatic for the specific needs of a customer."
Who is Johan Knap?
I was born in the Dutch town of Assen. I grew up with many siblings and family is very important to me. I am a husband to the love of my life, Ine, and since last November, the proud father of our son Nathan. My faith in God is very important in my life and I believe that you should count your blessings no matter what surprises life has in store for you. In my free time, I like to play chess and table tennis.
How and when did you end up at Cadmatic?
I graduated in 2000 from the Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen, with a bachelor’s in electrical engineering. I have an affinity for software: my first acquaintance with software was at a young age when I wrote basic scripts with Commodore64. After graduating, I wanted a job where I could combine engineering and software. When I came across Numeriek Centrum Groningen, now Cadmatic BV, it seemed a good match. I have never regretted my decision. In the first year, I was a junior software developer for CADMATIC Hull and switched to CADMATIC Outfitting support later.
What is your current position and what are your most important tasks?
I am the Team Leader for outfitting customer services in Groningen. Together, we try to serve our clients as best as possible by helping them with their questions, issues and requests. Besides answering direct requests, I also try to optimize the way our customers use Cadmatic. I hope that our customers feel encouraged to contact us; the only stupid question is the one that has never been asked. I occasionally also do customization jobs for customers, from specifications to building software macros.
What are the most typical support requests you get from customers?
Incoming support requests differ greatly: you never know what’s next. This variance makes every day exciting. It’s like doing puzzles, some you know instantly, others require thorough and systematic examination by asking the right questions and analyzing data. Customers can usually find answers to basic questions internally, so when a Cadmatic administrator contacts us, the challenge is often more significant. When the same issue pops up frequently, it is a signal to improve the documentation or the software.
What are the most challenging aspects of your work?
The most challenging part of my work is avoiding tasks piling up on my to-do list. As our customers have tight schedules, our answers or solutions are only useful if provided timely. I am proud to be a member of a global team that has received very positive feedback from our customers. At the same time, I strive for personal improvement in aspects of my work where needed.
What do you like most about your work?
I like finding solutions to challenging issues or building software scripts to utilize Cadmatic for the specific needs of a customer. I have a lot of contact with customers, an aspect of my work I appreciate very much. I like helping them to deal with questions or challenges. It can be done by email, but also by more direct contact via the phone.
The most important reason I have enjoyed my 19 years at Cadmatic is the atmosphere of mutual respect in the company. It is like a big family, which does not mean that everything is perfect because it’s not. In this sense, it is like a real family. There is a sense of a common purpose and a willingness to put one’s shoulder to the wheel, to work together to achieve mutual goals.
Our customer base is growing fast. It is nice to see that the number of Cadmatic employees is likewise growing in all departments. This year already we have several new application specialists that have reinforced the support team. I think part of professional enjoyment is also having the resources to do your job properly.
The typical idea of a software support person is someone who works alone with a headset. Is that accurate?
No, that is not accurate. Most of the time, I do not have a headset on as requests are commonly sent via our online web-based support portal. I do have to work on my own at times, but teamwork is essential. All emails sent to our support team automatically result in a new ticket. Globally, we have a team of 30 outfitting application specialists in many countries. We are responsible for handling all the tickets and other tasks such as training. We have close contact with each other, in weekly meetings, direct contacts, or exchange programs. This makes it easy to consult each other. The support persons on the phone are not left alone: they are backed up by an international team, software specialists from our product creation department and our technical director.
One of Cadmatic's values is succeeding together. What does this mean to you?
Last summer, I went on holiday with my wife and son. From the road, we saw a few shipyards that all use Cadmatic. When I see the amazing end products our customers make, be they yachts, cruise ships, naval vessels, or dredgers, it makes me proud to be a part of the Cadmatic family. I am happy to contribute to our customers’ success. Our driving force and strength is succeeding together, building the future.
PS: Since this article was published, Johan has started a new position as Technical Manager at Cadmatic.