Digital transformation through our co-founder's eyes
Jannes Van de maele co-founded Bagaar 13 years ago, when digital transformation was still in an embryonic phase. Throughout the following years, he has guided many clients towards a digital transformation, big multinationals such as Wienerberger but also small innovative start-ups like Cowboy and June. From taking baby steps like automating a few services to giant leaps such as creating a whole new business model going from selling a product to an as-a-service offering. It goes without saying that Jannes knows a thing or two on the subject. Time for an interview.
Digital transformation: buzzword or holy grail?
It’s a bit of both. It’s a buzzword but for a reason. Today, we are almost cyborgs with our phones glued to our hands and heads. We do everything online: order food, navigate, communicate, create content, pay with bitcoins ... but behind all those services are companies. They all try to bring you the best possible digital experience. That’s the way our society works today. So, if you want to be a part of this, you have to evolve as a company and be prepared to change the way you do business. You have to move to this more digital world.
Digital transformation is only for very innovative companies, not mine?
Think again! Digital transformation is not about technology but about the way you do business. We’re living in a fast-changing world, people just expect more. Would you accept the COVID testing and vaccination process to be on paper? Of course not! So, governments and businesses must evolve. It doesn't have to be radical. You can start with baby steps.
How can I tell whether my company needs a digital transformation?
Well, I can give you the answer right now, you need it. As a company you have to evolve at the same pace as society. But no need to panic, it’s a process. You can do it step by step. We often break it down in three different stages: today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. Today is all about optimising your daily business. What you do now, but better. Tomorrow is about creating sustainable relationships with all your stakeholders. This is what will give you that competitive edge. They day after tomorrow is where you start thinking about new business, new products, new services. And that is precisely our mission: keeping companies relevant in times of digital shift.
But I like the apps and platforms I work with just fine, thank you.
Well it's not about you, it's about your customer. It’s not about how you work internally; it’s how people experience your brand from the outside. That’s important. You have to embrace the changing reality of people expecting a different experience, a better experience. Get obsessed by creating better services, better products. And always think about how you are going to deliver this experience to your end customer.
For example, we developed an online platform for Remeha, a key player in the heating industry. It allows installers to quickly make a correct design of a heating installation. But it doesn’t only make the installers’ lives easier, there are also less errors being made so the end clients experience a better service. In the end, everybody wins.