Teamleader helps Expocart effectively tie together the supply side and the customer side of their business. How? Read on!
Who? Mike Gadd, Head of Partnerships
What? Online platform to hire exhibition equipment
Teamleader since? August 2016
Challenge? Keeping track of customers and suppliers in a fragmented, evolving market
Expocart, based in London, is a textbook example of a tech startup that was founded no less than 2 years ago. Their company mission? Bringing the exhibition industry into the 21st century. "People still book their exhibition equipment using pen and paper, we're allowing people to book what they need online knowing the prices there and then, with no added extras."
"Our main aim is to help entrepreneurs, which doesn't seem that far off from yours (laughs)."
The company's story started about 2 years ago, when it was founded by Ryan and Jasmine. "They were both working in exhibitions with a digital display that they hired out to stands. They quickly realised it was a very inefficient environment to be working in, and thought they would try and change that."
An industry built on tradition
According to head of partnerships Mike Gadd, the exhibition industry is a rather old-fashioned one. "A lot of companies are merged or have partnerships, or people move within the industry just within different companies. Keeping track of all that is really difficult, especially without the help of dedicated software."
Another challenge is linked to market fragmentation. "There are so many suppliers out there, of varying degrees of competency and quality. We need to build relationships with the right ones. But we also have a huge customer base that we need to take care of."
Software too clunky, simple or expensive
As soon as they started, there was urgency in finding a solution. "We didn't have anything that could tie together the supply side and the customer side of our business effectively. We've got a customer experience team that sits in the middle, so they need to know all the information about suppliers and customers. For them, having one system was vital."
Before discovering Teamleader, Expocart used several other CRM systems that were either tool simple, or clunky and expensive. As Mike puts it: "our previous CRM tool, Salesforce, was terrible. It cost a lot, was clunky and took far too long to try and get your head around."
Along came Teamleader
Expocart then decided to give Teamleader a try, and hasn't regretted that decision since. "Normally, you see this sort of product and think oh, this is great. And then the price turns out to be out of your range or there are significant features you can't work into your business. There was none of that here."
"Teamleader has really helped us focus on our core business, and saved us both time and money. The implementation, the support, everything was spectacular. When you introduce a new piece of software into your company, you can get a lot of people not so happy about changing the way they do things."
This time, there were no objections at all. "This meant two things: the previous system we were using just didn't work for us, and Teamleader did." According to Mike, most CRM systems tend to overcomplicate things. "They try to be too clever, or too concerned about design. Teamleader is very simple and just does the things you need it to do really well. That's definitely what sets it apart."
The features most used by Expocart? "Definitely the deal section and the CRM. A lot of what we're doing at the moment is acquisition: bringing new suppliers in, bringing new customers in. We need to track them along those stages every time to make sure we are getting to the point we need to be, which is either someone buying from us or someone being live in our system as a supplier."
"Oh, and you already had me convinced by the time you told me you had an app. I'm on the road a lot, and now I can quickly look up who the supplier is, who the main contacts are in case I've forgotten, and I can use Apple Maps to just drive where I need to go. In short: I can be very disorganised, but still have the app to get me by. That really was the cherry to the cake."
The future's bright
So what does the future have in store for Expocart? According to Mike, the answer is simple: "We will continue growing in the UK, and eventually abroad. The plan is to grow our supply base, increase our customer base, and continue to improve the technology as we go forward, making it more agile, with the aim of offering customers an even greater choice of what's out there."
Where Teamleader comes in? "Teamleader will continue to be a hub where all the information coming from our website, is accessed by the supply team, the customer experience team and the sales team, making sure those three are all continually kept informed. I'd definitely recommend it to growing tech startups. You've got so much going on and your networks are growing so rapidly. Having something that just keeps it all in one place and keeps things really simple is absolutely vital."
Of course, there's always room for improvement. "If you'd ask us, improved statistics would be a tremendous upgrade. Obviously, it's all good and well doing the work and tracking it within Teamleader, but being able to show it to people, to your founders, your investors, ... That would really be a helpful asset to us."