1 May 2023
Childhood dreams and companies that start in a garret to grow into global players with tens of millions of euros in turnover annually, branches on several continents and hundreds of employees: that is also the story of Inther Group in Venray, the Netherlands, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Today, Inther has become internationally indispensable for the delivery of online retail and e-commerce orders from, for example, HEMA, Coolblue, Estée Lauder, Skechers and Blokker.
Starting point automation software
In 1998 Martijn Herder (52) and Paul Hermsen (54) started Inther (a contraction of INTegrator and the first three letters of their surnames), convinced as they were of their ideas for better, integrated software solutions for companies that operate warehouses with fine-meshed distribution. 25 years later, that conviction has proven to be completely justified. Martijn: "Don't forget that online ordering and e-commerce hardly existed at that time." But progress was made soon after the start and the first projects were coming in. Locations were becoming too small, and more and more staff was needed.
Expansion to international hybrid system integration
Several relocations later, Inther now has more than 300 employees, located all over the world: The company has offices in Moldova, China, Germany, Belgium and the USA and projects are carried out from America to Australia. It is no longer just about supplying automation software. Paul: “We have developed into a hybrid system integrator. Inther designs, supplies, optimizes, and maintains complete intralogistics systems for the collection, packaging, storage, and sorting of goods in warehouses in the fine-meshed distribution. From an extremely detailed analysis in advance, design, realization, and delivery to 24/7 service and support worldwide. Our flexible software is still the soul and strength of the company and of every intralogistics system we build. Data is even more important today than in the past. But even though we still buy and integrate a lot of hardware externally, Inther has also made progress in this regard with its own production of, for example, improved conveyors and innovative robotized order picking systems, such as our GRIPP (Gantry Robotic Intelligent Piece Picker)”.
Inther has been growing rapidly, especially in recent years. “The Covid pandemic has given the entire online ordering process worldwide a serious boost and our customers and therefore Inther also benefit from this,” says Paul. The list of renowned customers is therefore getting longer with new prominent names such as Picnic, BMW and Zeeman. “Even after 25 years and such growth, our strength remains business professionalism in an informal atmosphere. The latter still distinguishes us from competitors – we remain flexible and personally approachable,” says Paul.
The outlook for the future also remains positive, despite a calmer phase due to the current economic conditions. Martijn looks ahead: “We are currently living in uncertain times, with high inflation due to all kinds of increased costs, supply chain problems, and all kinds of social and political themes at play. Consumers have become a little more careful, both with online ordering and purchases in physical stores. As a result, our customers are momentarily also a bit more reserved. But consumers have experienced the convenience of online shopping (and returning) during Covid, and the feared (deep) recession will most likely not happen. In combination with the continuing labor shortage and our efficiency improvements in warehouse intralogistics for both retail and e-commerce, we are therefore positive about the future.”