Kees Kuiper about working at Hammer Market Intelligence
Kees Kuiper is a MI Project Lead on the Hammer team. Hammer is a boutique consultancy specialized in providing market intelligence for strategic decision making. Based in Arnhem, Hammer serves a wide range of clients including family-owned companies, investors, and multinationals. We asked Kees about his career at Hammer.
Can you briefly introduce yourself?
My name is Kees Kuiper, I’m currently 30 years old. Like several of my fellow colleagues I have a connection with the Radboud University in Nijmegen. During my five years of study, I completed both the BSc. Business Administration and the MSc. Strategic Management.
After graduating in the fall of 2017, I was searching for a job within the field of consultancy to start in the last quarter of that year. During that time I got in touch with Hammer where I started my working career as junior market analyst. At that point in time, Hammer was really in the start-up phase: the team was small and nothing was set in stone. Today, the situation is completely different. We became a visible and well-structured company with a solid trackrecord, serving clients all over the world. I’m extremely proud of the development and progress we made over the past couple of years.
How did you developed as a professional?
At Hammer you learn to execute projects based on the market intelligence cycle. From the very start I gained responsibilities in all aspects of market intelligence projects. I was instantly involved in thinking along about scoping and design, data collection, analysis, delivery and status updates with clients and suppliers. At our organization, you immediately become a full member of a project team, which ensures a steep personal learning curve.
Reflecting on my personal growth, I really improved my problem-solving and analytical skills. Our projects often involve complex challenges and require an innovative approach or solution. Next to that, I learned to manage my time efficiently and quickly adapt to changing circumstances. In a project-based environment it is essential to prioritize and adapt. Finally, I improved my interpersonal and communication skills, which is crucial in understanding clients’ needs and effectively delivering solutions.
In summary, my journey as a professional at Hammer has been a continuous processof learning, adapting, and evolving.
What do you like most about working @Hammer?
I sincerely like the team I work with every day. I believe we have an exceptional group of smart and talented people, each possessing a diverse range of competences. Our flat organizational structure facilitates learning, discussion and collaboration. This structure also creates a dynamic and friendly atmosphere in which everyone can develop its own skill set.
In terms of the work itself, I truly like that I get the opportunity to work for a large variety of companies. Our clients vary from small to large, from nationally oriented to globally oriented. One moment we are working on a project for a listed multinational, followed by a commercial due diligence project for a Dutch private-equity company.
Due to the fact that we execute a lot of projects, I also get the opportunity to meet a lot of new people. Depending on the project our contact person on client side differs. Sometimes we directly align with the management team, in other situations with the marketing organization or corporate development.
What defines the Hammer way of working?
At Hammer, our goal is to support data-driven decision making. We provide companies with market intelligence to support strategic decisions. Examples are strategy and business planning, geo-expansion and the development of competitive strategies. One thing our clients have in common, is that they often operate in a B2B environment. In such environments data is highly challenging to obtain and generally not available in reports.
After working six years in this field, I’m still amazed how many key business decisions are being made on gut-feeling, or without a solid foundation.
I strongly believe that the ultimate objective in a project isn't just delivering data or information: it's about making data actionable. During the initial scoping phase of a project, we invest significant effort in understanding our clients ‘intended use’ for the market intelligence they request. We aim to unravel the core question: what specific actions do you intend to take with the insights we provide? This approach ensures that our efforts result in meaningful deliverables for our clients.
What are your main responsibilities as project lead?
As project lead my main responsibility is to guide projects from start to end. Also, to guide, motivate and support other colleagues who are actively engaged in the project team. Besides that, I actively contribute to the businessdevelopment activities of Hammer.
Last quarter, I focused on supporting a strategy project for a leading food-ingredient player. Our objective was clear: to enable strategic decision-making. To achieve this, we conducted a fact-based, bottom-up market assessment, incorporating multiple validation steps to ensure the accuracy of our insights. Our ultimate aim was to not only gather valuable insights but also to secure buy-in from stakeholders through different workshop sessions. Our final deliverables enabled our client to get better understanding of their external environment and craft their future growth strategy.
I look forward to contribute to more market intelligence projects in the future!