Teamleader users take the floor: ChallengerZ from Antwerp lets SME's and self-employed professionals surf away on a wave of volume discounts. Instead of just one-time group purchases, their business revolves around custom negotations and long-term solutions. Leasing contracts, fuel cards, energy, telecom, copiers, office supplies... Overheads go down, the trusted service and quality levels remain high. Raf Hectors, co-owner and operational manager: "We work independently, objectively and commissioned by the customer, which makes us pioneers."
ChallengerZ is a young but surefire company. "At my previous job, I saw firsthand what switching to an ERP system entails. When it was supposed to take only 1 year, the consultants worked on it for 3. A good learning experience to strive to do better." Teamleader popped up quickly. "From day 1 I wanted a clear view of our revenue, cost structure and the whole prospection process. You can't afford to lose sight of any prospects, a tiring ordeal." Yet administration needed to be kept to a minimum. "We're both CEO and secretary at the same time (smiles)."
Minuscule details matter
Raf discovered the system through an earlier customer of Teamleader. "A clever software package with well-thought-out features. Amazing that a couple of twentysomethings developed such a thing. We're so enthusiastic that we offer it to our own customers." Co-owner Peter Macken joins the table: "It fits our current needs perfectly, although I'm not the IT type myself." Raf: "Yesterday we had a networking event, and all the business cards we gathered were immediately entered into the system. But Teamleader holds much more of our important customer data: negotiated fuel prices, number of employees, different kinds of telecom contracts..."
ChallengerZ works with a lot of different subscription formulas, Raf explains: "Customers are automatically billed quarterly, it's just a matter of clicking the right articles. First we did payment reminders manually. That changed when payment times kept increasing. Now we notice they're improving again thanks to automatic reminders." Peter adds: "Customers also react faster when there's some sort of problem, so no guesswork for us."
But the ChallengerZ never stop thinking about improvements. "We're working on a platform where customers can follow their purchases online. It's fun to know that Teamleader could easily integrate with such a platform." Time is money. "When Peter is not at the office, I take care of his agenda. We draw up statistics regularly such as the number of cars we negotiated this year. And our targets tell us periodically how far we are with regards to our accomplished ambitions, and which deals take priority."
Ambitions and suggestions
As Peter is busy making phone calls, Raf has another small suggestion: "We want to keep track of our incoming invoices, that would add even more transparancy to the revenue. An integration with the accounting package is first on the list, no matter what." Bound for a complete integration? "Marketing is also up for revamping, we really want to keep our customers updated through testimonials and offers. Plus, we'd love to educate ourselves about the efficiency of those mailings." All in all, Challengerz keeps focusing on their core business. "That's our motto. But these are not just hollow words, thanks in part to you guys."