Faces of cleverbridge – Angela Blume

Get to know Angie Blume, one of the founding members of cleverbridge. She gives us a glimpse into her experience throughout the last 15 years at cleverbridge.

What do you think it says about cleverbridge to have retained its very first client for the past 15 years – and so many other long-term clients?
If you ask our sales team, they would tell you that one of the major USPs of cleverbridge is the people and the service you get, which is true. But I think there is so much more to it!

I think clients are very happy with the solution itself and the momentum we’ve achieved and retained throughout the years to always improve and have one of the best – if not the best – ecommerce platform in the market.

The client services team is highly responsive and solution focused. We have a diverse, multicultural team with a can-do mentality ensuring that our clients are happy, not just up to the signing of the contract, but throughout the entire client journey at cleverbridge.

How has clevebridge grown over the past 15 years?
Looking back, this is incredible. I remember being part of a very small start-up, in probably one of the ugliest buildings in all of Cologne. We were just seven colleagues working to create something great for the ecommerce industry.

It was a very family-like environment in the early days, work hard play hard! We went through so many growth phases during the last 15 years that it is hard to recollect and name all of the changes we have endured. I still have very fond memories of the times when we moved to our first “shiny” office on Brabanter Strasse with a super Italian coffee machine and a grill on the roof deck that was fired up whenever the sun was out.

Professionally, the teams evolved from ‘let’s try this’ to a more focused type of work environment.

From seven to over 300 people; from two offices to five; from two languages in the checkout to over 30; from shouting requests through the room to processes and KPIs… It has been an interesting, innovative, international, funny, never boring, always inspiring, often exhausting, and sometimes frustrating ride… But in the end, always worthwhile.

How do clients affect cleverbridge’s success?
Well of course, we would not be anything without our clients working with us and believing in us. Our clients grow with us, and us with them. They inspire us to constantly improve ourselves, the platform and the business in general.

What has changed the most about cleverbridge over the past 15 years?
Way more structure and processes – I used to be able to shout across the room from one desk to the other if I needed something fixed on the fly. This changed a long time ago, but it brings back good memories when I receive a same-day solution from one of our developers.

The start-up character is definitely gone. During those times I was begging for more structure and processes… However, now I sometimes wished certain things could be changed or achieved quicker without having to go through long processes and compliance checks.

How do employees affect cleverbridge’s success?
cleverbridge would not be where it is if all these great people would not have joined the crew at some point. We have incredible talent in the company and amazing and loyal characters. People have to trust the company, and the company has to trust each individual with regard to their knowledge and expertise.

If you ask employees what they think is the best thing about cleverbridge – the answer is usually “the people.” This is also the reason why so many great friendships (or even couples and marriages ;-)) evolved for many colleagues within the company. And business is about people – always. It’s a very special place.

How has cleverbridge’s culture contributed to its success?
As said in the previous question – business is about people. At cleverbridge, values are very important to us. Some of our core values are respect, communication and team spirit.

We live an open-door policy at cleverbridge, questions and exchange are not only ok, but encouraged. Also, I think that cleverbridge has always done a great job in hiring people that fit the culture and share the same values.