Name: Bram Hulsman
Function: Financial Controller
Working since: May 2011
First of all: would you like to introduce yourself briefly? Who are you, and what do you do within Smartwares?
I’m Bram, Financial Controller in the Finance Department. Within this position, I am responsible for France, Sweden, Portugal, and HomeWizard. I manage my colleagues from Finance who are in offices in these countries, and for France, there is someone here at the head office who I manage.
What kind of company do you think Smartwares is?
A young, dynamic company where you can learn a lot and where you get a lot of opportunities to develop yourself. You have to show yourself, but once you are seen, there are many opportunities. For example, if there are projects and you show that you can make a difference, you will be asked for a project the next time.
What are you doing as a Financial Controller: what does your job look like?
It can actually be divided into twelve periods, namely 12 months. We start each month with a regular process. We take care of the processing of the invoices for products sold. At the end of a month, the payroll processing comes in. I prepare these, and they are then paid out. Then we come to the end of the month, and then we look at how we did that month compared to the budget. Have the costs been too high, or is the turnover higher or lower than the budget? Then we roll up the next month.
What do you find so interesting about your work at Smartwares?
The diversity, including contact with the various departments. You always have contact with someone from the Finance department, so you get to know a lot of different people. In addition, Smartwares is an international company, and it really appeals to me that I have a lot of contact with our international offices. We are also a fairly young company, with a lot of young people.
You are also a member of the staff association. How did you end up there?
I was asked in 2016. Then someone left the board of the PV. The variation with my work appealed to me. Every month we try to organize an activity such as bowling or going to the Tilburg Trappers, but also in-house events such as Chinese New Year and Ice Ice Baby, where we use our ice cream makers and blenders and make all kinds of tasty things. That’s nice, then you see your products come back into your activity.
What makes you proud of your work at Smartwares?
I think Smartwares is a beautiful and large company within Tilburg were a lot of people from the neighborhood work, who you often know from other activities as well. First, I worked in Gilze (Smartwares Safety & Lighting was based here before the merger), and then we met here in Tilburg. Very funny was that I knew a lot of people from sports and that immediately made the atmosphere very good. Also, the management is easy to reach, and you really feel part of the team. That gives me a nice feeling.
If you had to explain to your friends what it’s like to work at Smartwares?
Fun, challenging, diverse, and no two days are the same. It’s hard work but also a lot of fun.
You started in Gilze and then came here. So I’d like to go back a bit. How did you end up at Smartwares?
That’s when I started at Elro in Gilze. That’s where I was hired for accounts payable management, booking invoices, and making payments. That’s when Elro’s foreign administration came my way as well. That’s how my job became more and more extensive. At the end of 2016, Tristar and Smartwares, of which Elro was part, merged. And so I slowly grew to the position of Financial Controller.
What makes it so much fun for you to get back on your bike every Monday morning after the weekend to come to Smartwares?
Colleagues, openness, and also the executives and managers: everyone is very accessible. It’s nice and informal, and there’s a good atmosphere. It feels a bit like a big family.