Teamleader users take the floor: Ghent-based theJurists is a legal consultancy firm, specialising in ICT law and intellectual property. An important field of expertise for growers and starters alike, helping to protect what makes them unique. Speaking of growers: theJurists are on the verge of opening an office in Amsterdam. Paris, Berlin and London are on the agenda for this year. Partner Karel-Jan Vercruysse: "Teamleader let us protect its brand; and we found the perfect system to go international with."
No growing pains
Karel used to be active as a student-entrepreneur. "Just like some people at Teamleader. We already kept in pretty close contact then, and the mutual trust only grew from there." It was early 2014 when the CRM system was first discussed. "We needed something to remain in control over our projects, and oversee communications with all parties. After all, we only get to see our colleagues in Brussels 1 day a week, and for our future partners abroad it will be even less."
theJurists firmly believe in consultation. "There's no flying solo here. The step towards the new system was made together, after testing a lot of different packages. Accounting software, an agenda planner, a project management tool; the problem was that they all worked seperately from each other." The philosophy behind those tools was often flawed, as was the price/quality ratio. "We were treated like a classic law firm, a path we have always refused to follow. Unclouded communication is an important factor for us, no need for too much judicial mumbo-jumbo."
Step by step
All the while, Teamleader beckoned. "Everything was linked through 1 platform, we just made the transition from one day to the next." Karel-Jan had to adjust: "I worked with very little structure, keeping everything in my head, so to speak (laughs). But you can't keep working like that. Eventually, you have to make the switch." Project management has fared well. "Take brand protection for example. A client goes to our website to apply and receives a confirmation directly from the system. We do our initial brand research, the results of which are then approved by the client, which leads to a more thorough inquiry, a possible certification, and so forth."
A huge time-saver
Each department has its own plan of action with accompanying timeline. "Every client gets a response within 48 hours, the inquiry is finished within 3 days and the invoice is sent out before the end of the week." That last step might seem evident to some, but ... "It really isn't. A bunch of authorised bodies, such as government agencies for intellectual property rights, stand in single file for a piece of our revenue. That's why I wanted a list of customer payments to keep a clear view." The system's benefits make themselves felt on the workfloor as well. "We work more independently while simultaneously reaching the essence of things quicker. No more losing time with meetings about the best way to approach projects and their updates."
The human factor
Last but not least, the system forms a safety net during periods of absence: "I was out of the running for a while after I became a father. My newborn needed extra care. So my colleagues took over primary obligations." Which worked out fine: "Although we find ourselves amid a full reorganisation, with new people and locations, it still needs to feel like 1 team." Personal contact is of the essence. "That also rings true for Teamleader, certainly right now, as they grow ever more professional. A nice sit-down once in a while, talking to the same trusted crew: we're happy to work with them."