15 years with the ITL family – Thorsten Labusch

Thorsten Labusch is based in ITL’s German office in Pinneberg and recently celebrated 15 years with the company. Recently announced as VP of Sales & Business Development, Retail & Kiosk Thorsten has been looking back on his career so far with ITL.

I joined Innovative Technology’s German branch, Automated Transaction GmbH back in 2001 and was responsible for creating a Technical Support and Repair Department in the Pinneberg office, just outside Hamburg. The office was purely sales, so I was the first member of the support team and with the introduction of the new Euro across Europe I was very busy in the early days assisting NV2 and NV4 customers with the currency upgrade. While everyone in Germany was excited to see the new Euro currency it was a big change with lots of people worried about what it would mean for the Country.

The adoption of a brand new currency across the whole continent was a huge milestone especially for the cash handling industry and it was definitely an exciting time to work for the company helping everyone switch over to the new Euro.

Over the next few years, the company in Germany grew significantly, with a lot of new colleagues joining the team. We soon outgrew our existing office building and moved to a larger space in 2004 where I was involved in the office layout planning with Sales Director, Marcus who I have worked with since joining the Company. I was still heading up the support and repair’s team, now made up of 6 staff, until 2007 when I moved over to the Sales team to help promote our products. Using the product knowledge I had gained since joining the company I was responsible for our Gaming, Amusement and Vending customers across Eastern Europe. I remember travelling to Russia a lot, maybe 20 times a year and even celebrated a couple of birthdays in Russia. Our NV7 and NV8 validators were a huge hit across Europe so there was a lot of customer visits as Operators looked to install bank note validators into their machines.

The UK Product Development Team was now releasing new innovative cash handling equipment every year and these new product introductions meant a lot of time on the road, visiting customers in the German speaking countries across Europe, demonstrating our latest units. With our Head Office in Oldham, England I became a frequent flyer on the Hamburg to Manchester flight, travelling regularly for customer and communication meetings. I still travel to the UK regularly. I can talk to colleagues daily over the phone and we even have video conferencing facilities but none of this compares to actual time in the UK office. Seeing the latest product prototypes and taking to colleagues in the development team is invaluable, so I try to visit the UK office as regularly as I can.

In 2012 the Company began to develop products for different markets and I took over responsibility for generating new business in the Retail & Kiosk Sector. 2012 also marked 20 years of trading for Innovative Technology and colleagues from the UK, Germany and Spain enjoyed a trip to Amsterdam for a weekend of sightseeing and fun to mark the special milestone. It’s always great to get together with colleagues from our European offices and we all had a great time celebrating in Amsterdam.

Following yet more expansion in 2013 Automated Transaction’s Germany became Innovative Technology – Niederlassung Deutschland – the official German branch for ITL and I was promoted to Senior Business Development Manager, Retail & Kiosk.  Whilst happy with the promotion Senior implies old in German  – maybe they were trying to tell me something!

I have just celebrated my 15th year with the German office, I’ve progressed within the company and seen a lot of growth. We’ve got a really good team, made up of several long-standing colleagues like myself and a few new faces as we continue to grow. ITL is a nice friendly place to work, it’s like a big busy family and that’s why I’ve been with the company for 15 years – it’s not easy to leave your family!

Earlier this month I was promoted to VP of Sales & Business Development, Retail & Kiosk and now head up the RK sales team. I’m excited for the future and this new challenge, hopefully the best is yet to come.