Five or so months ago, visualfabriq decided to seriously disrupt Sjaak Langeveld’s golfing routine. We are transitioning from a start-up to a scale-up, and our need for high level management skills has accordingly increased. With his proven entrepreneurial flair, long track record in IT, Marketing and Sales, and keen focus on results, Sjaak is sought-after as an independent interim, project or turnaround manager. He’s joined the visualfabriq team as part-time COO, hit the ground running and is luckily cheerful about the fact that he’s losing out on at least three golfing days a week!
“visualfabriq is a lovely company to work for,” says Sjaak, “We have a lot of fun. There’s also a lot to do! When I started, as you expect in a young company, a lot of the necessary processes and procedures were not properly in place, and none of them were documented, something that is essential for the certification we aim for. As you grow as a company, structure becomes more and more important. So the first issue to tackle was to define and formalise the customer support process, which is now documented, known and followed. Once a customer is live with our SaaS solutions, there’s a clear path to providing support, and we’ve improved communications with the delivery of monthly reports. It’s lovely to see the progress.”
Another key area that has benefited from Sjaak’s experience and expertise is resource management. “Everyone on the team is working very, very hard,” comments Sjaak, “It’s typical of a start-up that you throw yourself into whatever needs to get done, and you are naturally agile just because you are small. But as you grow, how the business’s resources are used on a daily basis needs to be clear and structured, and agility needs to become entrenched in the structure of the business through the carefully considered processes and procedures that you put in place. With proper management of resources, especially of the talent that is in high demand, you can better define priorities and achieve clarity, which makes it easier to satisfy customers.”
With the ability to now offer an improved customer experience, Sjaak has been able to turn his attention lately also to visualfabriq’s growth strategy. “We’re having exciting conversations at this time with potential partners around the world. We’ve already taken on our first South Africa customer, Tiger Brands; and as we look at our potential to expand significantly into the global marketplace, we’re exploring opportunities to engage with likeminded project and change management specialists who offer on-the-ground, local expertise and services to support the international implementation of visualfabriq’s game-changing Trade Promotion Master™ and Retail Solutions. It’s all a lot of fun!”