Woodworker Jef Schrauwen was one of Teamleader's early adopters, and has gained more overview and control over his business because of it. Read the full story here.
Who? Jef Schrauwen, business owner
What? Exclusive, handmade and tailored front doors
Teamleader since? December 2014
Challenges? Preserving structure and overview, a centralised source of information
Atelier Schrauwen is fully committed to designing, crafting and installing authentic, exclusive front doors and windows. This family of carpenters boasts 125 years of experience, and their passion for the craft was passed on from generation to generation.
"Just like many other SMEs, Schrauwen has taken huge steps towards a digitised working environment."
Today, the company is led by Jef Schrauwen. He’s still fueled by the same passion and love for craftsmanship, but is armed with a contemporary motto: "Atelier Schrauwen offers doors with the charm of the past, but the comfort of today."
This isn't just the case for the product: just like many other SMEs, Schrauwen has taken major steps towards a digital working environment. Founder and business owner Jef Schrauwen: "Today, we plan and draw everything digitally first, before we actually get to work. And while customers, sales figures and other data was formerly managed with disparate Excel files, this is now all combined in Teamleader."
Doubling in staff calls for better planning
Atelier Schrauwen’s interesting growth story is a testimony of its success. “Last year, we were just three. Soon our eighth employee will start. A doubling in staff - which of course comes with its share of challenges.”
"Challenges, but we also see them as opportunities." Jef remains in charge of the technical aspect, but orders, planning, stock management and other tasks are now delegated to co-workers. This way, he has more time to focus on what he's good at.
"Teamleader is now the backbone of our business: from managing customers to sales figures and other data - it's all in one tool."
Soon, someone will be in charge of all communication. "As the structure is there - with Teamleader as backbone - this transition will be really smooth. Even before this new hire will start, she'll be able to follow instructive online webinars that allow her to get acquainted with the software."
Lack of overview and communication
Schrauwen also works with eight freelancers, so effective communication is absolutely vital. Before Teamleader, that was more difficult. We had no overview of people's calendars, didn't know who was doing what and how much time we spent on every project."
"Before Teamleader, communication wasn't always great. "We now have more insights and know how long we spend on projects."
The main bottleneck? Overview. "Who is working on what? How are the numbers? How much did we sell, did we reach our targets? Are our investments paying off? We didn't have answers to any of those questions - or at least had to spend time looking for them."
At the end of 2014, Atelier Schrauwen decided to try Teamleader. "A consultant had already told us about the tool. Up until that point, we had been using Excel files and the classic building software - which was far from ideal for our company. So we'd been looking for quite a while already." (smiles)
Above all else, Jef Schrauwen appreciates the level of control it offers. "By nature, I like to be in control. Teamleader allows me to do that without having to be an obnoxious manager. As you can check the numbers and profitability of your efforts at all times, you're always up-to-date and you don’t need to worry."
"Right now, we mainly use the CRM-, Invoicing and Deals module. We'll soon start using the new & improved Project planning as well, once the new hire is up-and-running."
Integrations with other software
Schrauwen uses a couple of other tools as well. Software that connects with Teamleader, which is also a major advantage for Jef: "Outlook, the LinkedIn-plugin, our accounting tool, ... These tools can all be connected to Teamleader at nearly zero effort, and you can get started right away. Last week, we closed an agreement to create a track and trace system. Our main prerequisite? That the software would integrate with Teamleader. This allows us to keep track of budgets and working hours in the project module."
"That level of customer centricity is what defines Teamleader."
The Teamleader Marketplace, which was launched just a week ago, looks really promising to Schrauwen. "I think it's very clear, user-friendly and helps to solve problems we face. That's the beauty of it: the underlying idea starts from a problem customers face, and not from who's building the software. Not from the question: what will we build today? That level of customer centricity is what defines Teamleader."
Schrauwen believes Teamleader has a bright future ahead
"If you ask me, Teamleader will in part be responsible for the growth of many other SMEs throughout Europe."
Any last words? "Teamleader is doing damn well. When I started using Teamleader, they had about 400 customers, today there's over 5000 businesses throughout Europe that use Teamleader every day. It's amazing to see a Belgian company achieve that - and I'm proud to be a part of it."
"If you ask me, Teamleader will in part be responsible for the growth of many other SMEs throughout Europe. As a business, how could you be anything but proud?”
Would you like to be part of this success story? Try out Teamleader for free for 14 days!