Obviously, sales figures say something, but they do not say exactly how a company – or in this case Adfinity – grows. This is why I talked to Maarten to find out the secret behind that growth.
Maarten van de Sande is Business Unit Manager at EASI. Ever since he started his career at EASI, he has been working for customers who work with Adfinity, EASI’s accounting software.
Why is it that Adfinity keeps growing at such a pace?
Maarten: I think this is due to various factors. In my opinion, the major part of our success can be explained by the fact that we keep innovating to stay ahead of the competition. We constantly keep questioning ourselves and do not hesitate to adapt to the demand of the market.
In addition, we also provide our customers with support from A to Z during and after onboarding. During these moments, our consultants try to tailor the package to the needs of the customer and also look for points for improvement. This is highly appreciated by our existing and new customers.
What is the current size of the team?
Maarten: Actually, Adfinity has welcomed quite a few new colleagues in the past few years. When I look at Flanders, we really have been able to build a strong basis at our main site in Leuven, but we also invested heavily in reinforcing our teams in Genk and Ghent. As a result, we now have good bases for easily helping our customers. I believe that our number of consultants has almost tripled in two years’ time, from 11 people in 2019 to 29 people in 2020.
How does that work in practice, with so many new team members?
Maarten: Rather well, actually. Growth should, of course, always be balanced, but in our company we often say with a smile that if there was an ‘organization’ world championship, we would win it. Optimizing and improving things has almost become an internal sport. Everyone is really doing the best they can to involve others as much as possible and streamline processes.
Of course, only this is not enough. Anyway, we invest a lot in training. In various areas. Each year, we organize an Adfinity School, a very intensive training course of several months. There is no consultant who is allowed to start without obtaining excellent marks there. We also work with a coaching system. In concrete terms, this means that our experienced employees find the time for coaching all new consultants. This is quite far-reaching, as weekly follow-ups and file guidance are some of the things that are part of it. This sound guidance and quality control also enable us to keep growing in a balanced manner. With such sound guidance, you simply cannot grow more than your strongest shoulders can bear. We really work as very close-knit teams to offer our customers the best service. Some of our new colleagues are also full time engaged in project management. We see that this combination of factors yields good results.
What lessons does the Adfinity team learn from the lockdown?
Maarten: These are not normal times, not for us, and not for our customers. We try to get both new and existing customers through this difficult period, while focusing on two things: digitization and automation. When these two things are up and running, we can really make a difference for a company.
At the beginning of the lockdown, we immediately put the accounting environment of some companies into the cloud. That had to be done within a few days. Quite a challenge for us, but they could start working from home right away. Such successful projects are real boosts for our teams and for our customers.
How do you see the future?
Maarten: We stay ambitious. I am really convinced that many companies can achieve significant structural time savings in the area of accounting, and that they can also can implement many quick wins. We are putting our eggs in two baskets.
On the one hand, we are a very stable partner for our customers. We keep developing to make sure that our solution stays future-proof for the customers. New customers are often surprised by all modern options our package can offer them. As a company, you need to have your package evolve with the needs of your customers. One of the nice features we added is the function that enables customers to send us feedback from the package, directly from every screen. In this way, we can incorporate customer feedback immediately into our development roadmap.
In addition, we obviously place an emphasis on sound guidance and support for the everyday use of Adfinity. We announce and describe new features on our blog. But perhaps the most important thing is the personal contact our customers have with their single point of contact. These employees receive extensive training in support, so they can guide our customers in the everyday use of their program.
In short, very positive. I believe that we will get to know quite a few nice customers and that we will also be able to keep surprising our present customers with our progress and innovation.