Founder check-in Thijs van Eerden
SKEPP stands for Office as a Service. Its basis is Officelisting, which connects tenants and landlords. With Officeplanner, 100% flexible fit-outs are added. Started in the Netherlands in 2014, and is now active in eight European countries.
Few changes lead to many changes
I really liked the first founder story. Through the founder stories, you can describe how you got somewhere and what has happened in the long run. I received a lot of positive reactions and many people told me that they enjoyed reading it.
When Melvin and I took the lead at SKEPP, we thought we would have everything done by changing a few things. Two years later, we completely changed almost everything because we wanted to put our mark on the company and fully stand behind its vision. But it’s all done in small steps and considering what’s best for the team. For example, we created dedicated workspaces (of course in a flexible way) for each team. A space where designers get inspired and can work with different samples and materials. A space where developers can work in peace. And a space where sales and account managers can have calls.
Many new people joined along the process, but some people also left. In a nutshell, we have made many choices and put back responsibility on people who are good at a specific role. This has enabled us to take professional next steps. Together with the team, Melvin and I were able to get a lot more composure and structure. We are now much more focused on where we want to be next year instead of where we need to be today or tomorrow.
One of these things is that we separated Officemanager (formerly known as OfficeKit) from SKEPP. After a long search, we found Robin de Jong as the business founder. This in itself brought us a lot of peace because it wasn’t an easy process. Now that Robin has joined us, Melvin and I have more time to focus on strategic challenges at SKEPP and strategically advise Officemanager on its exciting new journey.
In five years, all office designs will be completely flexible!
Now, we are busy getting the positioning of SKEPP tighter and more clear. We are in the middle of this process together with our strategic partner INC. During these strategic sessions, we think well about strategy, proposition, and future steps to achieving our ultimate goal. In the next five years, we want all of our office design projects to be completely flexible. This means that we’ll offer a fully adaptive office fit-out and no longer talk about “let’s just put a wall here”. We believe, in fact, that your office furniture should be plug-and-play and have the ability to change with the needs of the future. That means easy to install, easy to move, and easy to relocate.
Besides our local market in the Netherlands, we are also active in the German market, but this wasn’t always a smooth process. At first, everything we did in the Netherlands was simply replicated in Germany. But of course, that doesn’t always work. That’s why we decided to focus only on meeting boxes: in Germany, it’s called Raum-in-Raum! We want to become the Raum-in-Raum expert of Germany. For meetings, calling, online meetings, and much more, we firmly believe that this fits perfectly with SKEPP as a company. In addition, purchasing a meeting box is a sustainable choice, which is becoming an important topic on the agenda of organisations.
Choose your bets wisely
Over the past six months, I learned that you should never bet on just one horse and trust that things will work out perfectly. The search for a suitable business founder for Officemanager was quite a long process. Another example is taking a step back some time because since I was leading the sales team before, I used to do a lot of sales myself. More recently, I have come to realize that I like it better when someone else from the team closes deals because this will benefit the organization more in the long run.
One year from now, I hope that everyone will understand our new positioning and that we have updated our website to also match our new proposition. Next to this, I foresee team Germany keeps growing with consistent growth in turnover, and the processes have improved, and we have become more professional in Germany. But above all, I hope that we will be able to convince many more clients to choose an office design that can easily be adjusted in the future. Lastly, I think it is super important that everyone at SKEPP enjoy going to work every day and doing what they love!
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