The first online customer

Willem Stemerdink

Willem Stemerdink is the online manager for his association

ZooEasy has existed for ten years now. The customers of ZooEasy are spread over the entire world: from a bird breeder in Australia until a dog breeder in Sweden. There are sold over 15,000 stand alone software programs to hobby and (semi)professional breeders, and nowadays over 40 breeding associations and herd books are using ZooEasy Online. How did the first association came to ZooEasy?

Dutch Association for Stabij- and Wetterhounen
The Dutch Association for Stabij- and Wetterhounen (Nederlandse Vereniging voor Stabij- en Wetterhounen, NVSW) celebrates their 65th anniversity. In the past the association had its own database in a homemade MS DOS program. This worked out well, until the manager of this program became ill and the program was no longer supported. They then tried the data manager of GCS, but that was also stand alone software. It was a lot of work to spread this information to all the members. Willem Stemerdink of the NVSW says: “We met Erik Reudink before on dog shows, so we had met before. As we needed another program and heard that he worked on an online version of his software, we contacted Erik. We started out with ZooEasy Stand Alone, and soon after that we changed to ZooEasy Online.”

“I like to help at hunting training”
Willem Stemerdink lives in the east of the Netherlands. He and his wife Ieke have two Stabijhounen. “My favourite part is the character of the dogs. Let me put it like this: they don’t deny their roots. The Stabij has their own opinion. My wife likes that about them too.” Although the dogs are particularly of his wife, Willem does a lot with them too: “I help out at hunting training. I let them exercise with retrieving, searching, pulling a drag track, and more. They have been bred for that purpose once.”

Rare and endangered species
Willem Stemerdink speaks enthusiastically about the Stabij: “This dog is getting more populair. There is an increased demand for puppies. Because the Stabij is a rare breed, the mating selection must be very precise to spread the genes.” The Wetterhoun is even more rare, it is an endangered breed. Willem: “There is a discussion about the Wetterhoun to choose for lateral crossbreeding of lookalikes. A gene population research has been started in order to crossbreed a new dog. However, it takes about 15 years before the bloodlines of this new dog will become a full Wetterhoun again. It is a hot issue right now, but introducing a new dog will be the begin of a healthier breed.”

“Members like it when a picture is included”
The use of ZooEasy Online helps the association to keep record of the health data. A fifth of all the members has their own ZooEasy Online account. Willem: “The members use ZooEasy especially to find a male dog for a new litter. What male dog looks good, how is the inbreeding? The members make their own trial breeding pair. They also like to see the show results of their own dogs. They like it when a picture is included on the dog’s data.”

Good cooperation
Willem Stemerdink is the manager for ZooEasy Online and he also registers new members in the online software. “The program is not so difficult, it just takes some time. I also answer the questions of our members, but usually they do not have questions. The program is very clear to them. If there is something I do not know, I can always ask Jan Vissinga of ZooEasy, which is always a good cooperation.” Willem knows one thing for sure: “If it is up to me and the members, we will be a customer of ZooEasy for a long time. We are satisfied. At the moment ZooEasy works on a way to make the stud request automatically, and with that feature the program will be even more complete.”

Willem Stemerdink met honden

Willem Stemerdink: “My favourite part is the character of the dogs.”

You can now read the complete series about the foundation of ZooEasy:
The interview with founder and director Erik Reudink.
The interview with Jacob Miedema, the very first customer.

ZooEasy: how it started

Erik Reudink, ZooEasy

Erik Reudink, director and founder of ZooEasy

ZooEasy has existed for ten years now. The customers of ZooEasy are spread over the entire world: from a bird breeder in Australia until a dog breeder in Sweden. There are sold over 15,000 stand alone software programs to hobby and (semi)professional breeders, and nowadays over 40 breeding associations and herd books are using ZooEasy Online. But how did all this start?

A bunch of flowers
Erik Reudink, director and founder of ZooEasy, looks back at a special time. “In 1993 I studied at the HTS (technical university of applied sciences). One day a friend asked me to make a pedigree for his dogs, because I have a background on information technology. I liked the idea, so I learned to program this software. I got a bunch of flowers as a thanks for my first software program ever.”

Erik wasn’t completely satisfied for his first attempt, but he got the hang of it. Then there was a second opportunity: “A friend of the badmintonclub was keeping birds and pigeons. I rewrote the first program for dogs and adjusted and renewed this for birds.” His friend was very content with this software, and suggested that Erik should sell this breeding program. After the first advertisement in a club journal of the NBvV (Dutch association for bird lovers), the rush started. “It was a big hit. In just one year time I had got 500 paying customers and the company started.”

From pastime to professional company
The hobby of information and computer technology grew into a professional company. In 2001 the name ZooEasy was born. “My nephew Karst started at the helpdesk and every now and then I was hiring programmers to improve the software. In 2005 ZooEasy grew internationally, when my other nephew Bram started out intensively on the German market.” At this moment ZooEasy works with several parttime employees. ZooEasy mainly uses Skype to keep in touch with all the contacts, such as the developmentteam in India.

Since the beginning of ZooEasy, much has changed. Erik: “The biggest difference is the professional approach we have now, in comparison with the hobby in 1999.” For instance, ZooEasy now uses more shared knowledge and there is a manned helpdesk. Furthermore, ZooEasy has bought a stand to visit more shows and events, to get in touch with more customers. Erik: “What I liked best, was to speak with customers who were happy that the ZooEasy products meets their needs.”

Aquarium
In the ten year existence of ZooEasy, much has happened. One of the funniest moments Erik experienced, was during a telephone call for the helpdesk: “I asked the customer, what’s on the screen? The customer answered: “An aquarium.” It took a while for me to realize that he didn’t refer to a screensaver, but there was an actual aquarium on his computer monitor.”

Proud
Erik: “I am proud of everything we have done so far. We will keep improving our products to provide the best service to all our customers.” ZooEasy is pleasant, friendly, but professional and grown up by good service, annual renewals and excellent product support.

You can now read the complete series about the foundation of ZooEasy:
The interview with Willem Stemerdink, the first ZooEasy Online customer.
The interview with Jacob Miedema, the very first customer.