In conversation with Rex A. Clausager

  • 17-01-2023
  • Article
We interviewed Rex A. Clausager, CEO of TimePlan, regarding the partnership with Main. Main will support the Danish workforce management provider's continued internationalization and select buy-and-build strategy.

We have grown fast over the years. However, the real questions are: have we grown enough to compete efficiently in the market in ten years time? Can we sustain growth? That key aspect of sustainability and growth is why Main is so important to us.

- Rex A. Clausager, CEO of TimePlan

How was WeFact initiated?

“Jeroen Blox and I started WeFact almost twenty years ago. Being entrepreneurs we quickly realized that accounting, which is an inherent part of owning a business, is rather inconvenient and time-consuming; especially twenty years ago, which was really a different time. In those days, most administrative processes weren’t digital. The accounting package required you to use a large system wherein you needed extra knowledge – that is, a certain degree of proficiency – to use it properly. Those systems caused crashes, lost work and headaches. So from there we thought: surely this could all be simplified? With that in mind, we decided to build and develop a comprehensive, streamlined system to make accounting more efficient and less burdensome. More specifically, we created a solution that simplifies sending out periodic (subscription-based) invoices; a solution now known as WeFact.”

What was key during the development of the WeFact solution?

“From a customer-centric perspective, when developing a solution the focus should not be placed on what the user cannot do, but what the user wants and needs. This is exactly what we intend to translate into our product. Entrepreneurs may already be able to handle administration and bookkeeping on their own. However, if you ask if they want to do it, most will say preferably as minimally as possible. This is our incentive, wherein we unburden the customer with a solution that saves time, ensures error-free administration, organizes each document in one place and allows for continuous administration everywhere and anytime.”

So your key target group is small-business entrepreneurs?

“Our solution was indeed initially designed for freelancers and small businesses in all sectors. We don’t believe company turnover is the most important thing, because ultimately it’s about the process. However, our reach doesn’t stop there since the solution we offer is also linked to a large network of 800 accounting firms in the Netherlands. So, on the one hand, this network motivates entrepreneurs to use WeFact. On the other hand, it’s also beneficial for the accountant himself because we facilitate work and break barriers.”

How do you ensure the WeFact solution is adaptable to all sectors?

“Prior to entering a new sector, we evaluate whether our solution fits there, with sector fit as one of the key metric. The solution we provide is well-adaptable to diverse array of sectors; however, we often see that it omits that one aspect specific to the new sector we plan to enter and adjusting accordingly would make our solution even more suitable and effective. Often this simply requires adjusting the solution for just that extra 5%, which typically involves compliance-related adjustments or adding extra desired features such as downloadable links, or the ability to digitally approve work slips.”

What are WeFact’s ambitions?

“We aim to grow by helping more businesses manage their administration through our platform. In addition to targeting companies with subscription-based models, we want to reach more high-volume companies; that is, companies that send out tens of thousands of invoices each month. Apparently, there seems to be no real solution for these types of clients so this provides a great opportunity for us to fill in the gap. Furthermore, we intend to establish a strong presence in Belgium in the short term.

That being said, it is important to maintain and improve the quality of our product and customer service whilst reaching those ambitions. To achieve this, we are working on ISO certifications and preserving our customer communication style; which means keeping our communication lines short and maintaining a sense of accessibility and approachability. So with every ambition we pursue, we ask ourselves: how will our existing customers be affected? Will expanding the business compromise quality? We constantly reevaluate and reflect on these questions with every decision we make.”

Which challenges might WeFact face when realizing these ambitions?

“Propelling organizational growth, but maintaining WeFact DNA along the way. With this, our biggest challenge is the organization itself. We are extremely scalable and have the potential to grow with employees. However, finding the right person that fits our company culture is a challenge in itself. Every time an additional colleague joins the dynamic of the team changes, which isn’t necessarily an issue, but can become one when the organization grows too fast and takes on too many employees without the proper onboarding. The process of integrating people into the organization takes time so we want to do this with care to avoid a constant change in dynamics.”

How can Main help WeFact achieve those ambitions and counter the challenges?

“As WeFact grows, we are also faced with certain challenges regarding the managerial aspects of running the company. We noticed that we had entered a certain (scale-up) phase that required a helping hand.

Main will be our backbone and offer the specific help we need as a fast-growing company; especially with their expertise and deep-sector knowledge of the software industry. Main knows what SaaS is, what recurring revenue is, what an investment truly means and what it can yield in the long term. Of all the private equity companies in the Netherlands we don’t think there is really any other party that has this type of specificity.

Ultimately, as Main sits across the table from us, it offers a fresh perspective and critical eye. This is invaluable to our success.”

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Esmée Knijff