Five years of Cierpa! An interview

Cierpa Software celebrates its fifth anniversary. Founders Mathieu van Loon and Dirk Jan van Lente look back on the early days and share their dreams for the future.



Dirk Jan: “Cierpa was founded five years ago, but the origin of the software goes back 15 years. That’s when Mathieu and I started developing software for a consultancy firm.”

Mathieu: ”In those days, everyone used technical, useful tools, jam-packed with figures. But who needs a 15-column figure overview? Nobody wants to work with that. During the developmental stage, several consultants guided us: they didn’t strive for technical overviews but needed an easily manageable tool that actually supports people at work. That’s how the first version of the OEE tool came to light.”

Dirk Jan: “We laid the foundation for our improvement tools at that time. We created really great stand-alone applications. They performed well, and we built a solid customer base. But what was missing was the integration of those tools.”

“We had all the building blocks for an integral improvement suite, they just needed to be connected” – Mathieu van Loon

Mathieu: “Our true dream was an integral improvement suite that spanned the entire improvement process, from measuring, improving, standardizing, speeding, fastening: everything about LEAN and TMP needed to be supported. We already finished most of the building blocks, we just needed to put them together.”

Dirk Jan: “When we decided to go our own way in 2014, we focused on integration, accessibility, and usability. We put a huge emphasis on R&D: every euro earned was reinvested, to make sure all systems could understand each other, and to ensure we could offer an easy to use, fully integrated improvement suite.”



Mathieu: ”We are super proud that we still work with our very first customers. There’s not much turnover. It’s a sign that our products really connect to practice and adapt well to customer needs.”

Dirk Jan: ”That’s really unique. We only gain customers, and rarely lose a customer. So we have a tremendous appreciation for our core customer group.”

“It rarely happens that we lose a customer. That is really unique. We’re really appreciative of that.” – Dirk Jan van Lente

Mathieu: “We still re-invest all profits. Also, we still spend a lot of energy on R&D. Customer feedback, expanding on functionalities, innovative plans: our software development is always on the move. And it’s really great that we’re connected with a software bureau that specializes in usability. That means we have access to a flexible and large group of developers and specialists so we can implement improvements quickly.”

Dirk Jan: ”At the moment we’re also working on a new ERP solution, to chart both improvement processes and company processes easily. There are many ERP solutions out there, but they don’t understand LEAN. We can actually connect LEAN management; we’re quite unique in that respect. We’re now developing and testing our LEAN ERP with a selection of pilot customers.“

Mathieu: “And we just finished our digital quality control pilots. That will also offer big savings, specifically for food companies, as good digital quality control addresses the large legal pressure surrounding food safety.”



Mathieu: ”I’ve noticed that in The Netherlands, and surely at Cierpa, we are frontrunners on software design and the support of company processes. That gives us significant opportunities abroad.”

Dirk Jan: ”We’re already active on multi-sites in other countries, but we’d like to expand. And we want to reinforce our working relationships with several consultants.”

“It’s time to start growing in the market.” - Dirk Jan van Lente

Mathieu: “There are also many opportunities with improvement consultants. We aim to fully support consultants in their improvement process; our software should make their job more appealing.”

Dirk Jan: “It’s time to start growing in the market. We’ve invested a lot of time in the development of really great products, now it’s time to broaden our customer base.”


Cierpa Software enables you to improve your organization continuously. LEAN manufacturing changes your work floor processes towards better and faster results and ultimately reduces any waste. With our LEAN software for companies, it’s possible to manage this ongoing process quickly and easily. Our Cierpa improvement consultants can also offer help.

Techniques and methods like 5S audit, Kaizen, OEE and the underlying LEAN thought principles are at the very core of our software suite. With Cierpa OEE, Cierpa Kaizen, Cierpa Quality, Cierpa Competence and Cierpa Assessment, Cierpa Software really speeds up all your improvement processes!

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Five years of Cierpa! An interview