Hi, my name is Sandor Csatlos. I’m the founder and CEO of MILAV software agency, and co founder and director of ParkUpKeep. And this week I got the wonderful pleasure of interviewing Jip.
Jip is the ‘father’ of ParkUpKeep— an application we started together with Jip and Zoran Stojanovici.
Jip came with the innovative ParkUpKeep idea and brought his industry knowledge to the table. I brought my extensive experience in software development, while Zoran played a big part in the design and creative.
So without further ado, let’s get started.
Now Jip, could you introduce yourself in a few words?
Of course, it’s my pleasure. My name is Jip Peper, the founder of ParkUpKeep. I studied Human Resources, but later I became interested in Business Administration. I spent years working for a social enterprise, because I found my own strength as well in motivating and developing other employees.
After all, I chose to work as an entrepreneur.
Who inspired your way to end up in the adventure park business?
Well, fortune brought us together with Hans-Peter in a mountain climbing camp around the year 2000, which led to more trips together even in France.
He was the man who came up with the idea of bringing this form of entertainment obtainable in the Netherlands, therefore the other co-founder of Klimbos Netherlands is him. It took 6 years to open our first park, but it’s located in a fantastic area, so totally worth the time. The feedback was so positive that we expanded our branch to three more locations within a few years.
As far as I know, your former adventure parks laid on simple-belay systems, but you replaced them with continuous-belay systems due to an accident. What was the reason behind that?
We opened the Klimbos Nederland 12 years ago in Apeldoorn. This one was built by a French manufacturer who guaranteed safety by using self-belay systems. The other three locations were opened in 2012 with the intervention of the same company.
Later that autumn, an article was published by the ANWB (The National Automobile Club) that said self-belay systems are risky. Since the mentioned club counts more than 5 million members, this article had a huge impact on us. In fact, that’s the reason behind the replacement of self-belay systems to continuous-belay systems, which we’ve done within two years because safety is a priority for us.
Besides, the claim culture is rising even in the Netherlands, which means the least possible risk is unacceptable and should be excluded during recreational activities.
Moreover, the insurance companies are increasing the level of requirements and premiums from time to time. There are more than enough pros beside developing a digital tool for systematic maintenance that helps.
I always considered you as a pioneer in the digitalization of the industry because of your innovative ideas to improve your business by digital solutions. What was your motivation?
I learned that at least three key concepts were applicable in our type of business: namely – customer journey, safety and personnel costs. The personnel costs could be reduced, while the quality could be increased and kept under control by optimizing the first two and applying digital solutions.
What inspired you to come up with an idea like ParkUpKeep?
The ParkUpKeep mainly focuses on systematic organization related to safety issues. In recent years, we faced a number of incidents due to the lack of safety that had a major impact on our industry.
Our guests rightly expect a safe environment, following the American example that the claim culture is rising. I’ve also seen the difficulties in maintaining security without an advanced system. I would say the solution is in digitalization.
Why would you say it’s a useful tool for the industry?
As a matter of fact, our industry needs an integrated application for maintenance, planning, reservation and cash register to reduce the error rate. However, there are also good applications for handling reservations and cash registers, such as Recras.
I’m convinced that an app for planned maintenance such as ParkUpKeep would bring a significant value for the further professionalization of the industry.
What’s your latest project?
At the beginning of 2020, Hans-Peter and I sold the climbing forests and started a new adventure with my son. We bought an activity restaurant in the heart of the Veluwe (Netherland), which has to be completely renovated first.
After that, my son can do business to his heart’s content and I will observe from the sidelines.
A restaurant like this is the perfect combination of having a meal and burning calories right after that by exercising, or just having a calm lunch while your child plays around. Our place offers a mini golf course, an amusing playground and a small single track especially for children, to spend a nice time here.
Check the link below to see our website: