Germany Ferry

Distributor Spotlight: CSK in Germany


Name: Karl-Heinz Kluwetasch
Company: CSK (CAD Systeme Kluwetasch)
Connection to Zuken: CADSTAR distributor based in Germany
Location: Kiel, Germany


I understand that I am the first person to write a post in the distributor spotlight on the Zuken blog. It’s all very new to me, in fact I didn’t know exactly what a blog was until the people at Zuken explained to me. So I’ve been asked to write a bit about myself and my company CSK.

CSK – the company behind the MRP-Link
I set up the company back in 1994 and we are all about CADSTAR. Selling CADSTAR, supporting CADSTAR and delivering our own CADSTAR integrated product the MRP-Link. And we do well, we’ve even been given the European CADSTAR distributor of the year award a few times. Although the office is based in Germany, we sell and support CADSTAR in Austria, Denmark and many more countries. We have also more recently moved into Poland.

The main focus of our business is on maintenance of CADSTAR and helping the users get the most out of the software. To be honest, most of our customers are the high end advanced PCB designers working on complex designs. In fact very few just use it as a simple design platform. Supporting companies with more advanced design needs is where I want to see the company focusing over the next years – 15 years to be specific, that’s before I can finish up for early retirement.

In addition to supporting and selling CADSTAR, we also provide our own software, the MRP-Link. You might have heard of it, it was launched a few years ago. But there have been a lot of advancements since then. It’s a comprehensive unique component list and BOM management system which works directly with the new CADSTAR ODBC database. Customers are usually the big companies with a big PLM/ERP system; that said, it can also be used as standalone system.

About Me: Karl-Heinz Kluwetasch of Kiel, Germany
I was born in Gutersloh, very close to Paderborn, so nearly all my life I’ve lived in Kiel by the north coast near the beach in Germany. It’s a great place to live and really nice for my children, who are all grown-up now.

From being a boy, I wanted to be a shipbuilder. In Kiel in the 1970’s there were over 30,000 shipbuilders so it was the kind of job a boy would aspire to do. Then I started to realize that it was hardwork in a harsh environment and I got interested in electrical stuff. So I went back to college to retrain, get better grades and then came out to become a radio technician. But then I saw something in the newspaper which was talking about computers in the army – now this sounded exciting. So I signed up and joined the army and got involved.

After a while I realized that I could make double the money doing the same stuff for a private company, so I left and went to work for IBM-Partners. I was still not happy, after leaving one big organization to join another I decided that it was time to set up and go alone – start my own business.  It didn’t work to start with, I set up a company with a few other people and we made a loss, and had to quit. Then I started working with CADSTAR and I knew this was the way I wanted to take my career, so I established CSK. This was the best decision I could have made, because our sales volumes increased since then, year on year.

I like my work, and I am quite happy to be computer based, even when the hotline is busy! I am lucky too, the company is in the same building as my house – it’s a very big house, a full 312 sq meters, with 120sq metres for the business. When my kids were young I decided that this was the only way I could get a work life balance. It’s hard establishing a new business and you have to put the work in. I was always away from home and missing them growing up. By moving the work to my home, it meant that I could come in the house in the afternoon and help the kids with their homework and then go back to the real work of supporting my customers in the evening. Now my two children are grown-up, I am finding it harder and harder to stop working in the evening – my office is becoming more and more like my living room.

So that’s all from me, I hope you liked it.

Favourite food: Steak and baked potato, greek gyros
Favourite drink: Warsteiner beer
Hobbies: Gardening, dancing, walking on the beach

Contact Details: Karl-Heinz Kluwetasch