Since the implementation of Baseplan Enterprise at Hystandard Handling Equipment in 2007, we’ve had great pleasure in regularly interacting with their Financial Controller, Harry Koffke.
Baseplan wanted to pay a small but heartfelt tribute to a true gentleman, and a great business colleague, Harry Koffke, who retired June 5, 2016.
In speaking to Harry, two things quickly strike you; first is his calm and genial demeanor and second is his passion for a varied and interesting work life.
Harry began his professional life in 1968 at the age of 19. He worked in retail while also studying (through correspondence) for a degree in Business Studies, before settling down in Accounting.
This led Harry into the mining sector where he worked in financial analysis, budgeting and planning for the majority of his career, before later joining Australian Associated Press (AAP), in 1985.
Choosing to leave the large corporate sector, Harry then worked for a number of smaller companies before joining Hystandard, in 2006.
“I saw a fair bit of the world through my work in the mining sector and working for AAP – there were a lot of great things to learn there,” Harry recalled.
“I think the whole thing for me is that wherever I’ve gone, I’ve learned something new and that’s been really good; I’ve done many different things and different roles and it’s been a learning curve all the time…even today, here at Hystandard in the few months before I’m going, I still learn things.”
“I’m also happy to teach as well, especially younger people, and encourage them to be more analytical, to challenge what they hear and use their minds.”
Harking back to his earlier days at Hystandard, Harry admitted it was a challenge to move into a different financial field, however having Baseplan had helped tremendously with the transition.
“I’d never done a set of books before, but Baseplan has pretty much got all that covered so I found that the transition here, going from planning to financial accounting, was not that painful thanks to Baseplan – once we implemented it,” Harry said.
“When I first came here in 2006, we had an American UNIX-based accounting system which was text-based and it was horrible and suffered from a lot of inherent database problems – re-linking of files, re-indexing of files – the system would lose track of customer’s invoices and the line items on the invoices, so you constantly had to do rebuilding of the data to keep it all together.”
“Finally, when we got rid of that and moved to Baseplan, life all of a sudden became a whole lot better and since then life has been pretty well easy.”
Now in retirement, life will no doubt be even easier – not that Harry is setting down his tools and kicking his feet up.
“I would like to do some sort of volunteering, not only to do something community-based, but also to get out and keep my hand in socially; otherwise you can become a recluse – you’ve got to stay in touch with people.”
“Hystandard has been a very good company to work with and I’ve enjoyed my time here,” Harry concluded. “I’ve been lucky throughout my life to have good companies to work for and good people to work with, so it’s nice to go out from the working environment leaving a good company with good memories of good times.”
Farewell Harry – all the team at Baseplan wish you all the best in your retirement!