A first series of the Corona Rebuild Program - a sort of First Aid For Corona - is over. NOM's auxiliaries hit the mark with it.
Where the corona phenomenon can lead. Erik Muggen of Greenwall in Beilen decided to focus more on consumers - he had mostly business customers for his green sound walls - after they, working from home from their gardens, started calling Greenwall frequently.
New business thanks to consumer
Here's the thing. Normally consumers only call when a noise barrier is being installed in their neighborhood, Muggen knows. They have often already visited Greenwall's website, but don't understand much of the technical information, so they pick up the phone. That calling only increased when the home-based consumer also recognized nearby environmental noise as a nuisance from their own garden.
Erik Muggen: "We are happy to oblige those consumers, but actually those calls don't bring us that much. Consumers are not our target group. But there were so many calls in recent months that it took quite some time. That came up in the Rebuild sessions at NOM and it eventually led to a plan for new business.'
Green soundproof fences
First, a new Greenwall website will soon be made accessible to consumers so they understand the information and don't have to call. That saves time, and time is money. But there will also be a new product for consumers. Because those phone calls have also made it clear to Mosquitoes that there is a need for a form of green soundproof fencing for the garden. Muggen now spends one day a week designing new (consumer) products.
It is a fine example of what the Corona Rebuild sessions have brought. NOM quickly recognized that a Corona First Aid needed to be rigged when northern companies faced health rather than market problems in mid-March and also supply rather than demand outages. Something strange was happening. The solution could not be gleaned from the history books, and so the so-called Corona Rebuild program was launched very quickly.
Heady conversations in sessions
Ellen Ploeger, coordinator at NOM's Flinc, drove the program. By the end of March it was clear that something had to be done for the companies in which NOM participates, and May 13 marked the conclusion of the first 30-day program. The total program consisted of four three-hour master classes, as well as two weekly one-hour sessions with a personal advisor. 'It was quite intensive,' says Ploeger. 'And they were sometimes quite intense conversations that demanded a lot of energy from the entrepreneur.'
One of the first recommendations of the NOM advisors was: map out the impact of the corona crisis on your company and talk to your customers, among others. Ploeger: "We were often told: that is not necessary, I have been in the industry for so long, I know my market. It was about awareness. The second step was to ask whether they were still solving the same problems for the customer, or do the customers now have a different problem and there is no longer a product/market fit.'
Better fit with changing market
It was ultimately about getting the companies back in control. Ploeger: "We want to provide structure and tools to make the company better suited to a changing market. Arjan Herskamp, of MyDataFactory and Calago in Meppel, along with his management team, also participated in the Rebuild sessions. MyDataFactory's growth is now accelerating, as wholesalers see that B2B Internet sales are booming and that they can quote quickly and well with the MyDataMatcher. This tool ensures that online product data is in order and customers' requested product specifications are matched exactly in the quotation, without any manual work.
These were sometimes quite intense conversations that required a lot of energy from the entrepreneur.
Ellen Ploeger, coordinator Flinc
It gives you questions you don't ask yourself'
At Calago, the picture was different: projects were postponed or delayed. Herskamp: "As a result, we had to stand still. The flexible shell allowed us to quickly adapt the organization. Meanwhile, thanks to the corona crisis, Internet sales are booming. There are customers with sales increases of more than fifty percent. That's why Calago is already receiving requests for quotations again.'
The management team had taken the necessary steps recently, yet the Corona Rebuild Program provided additional focus. 'You are asked questions you don't ask yourself,' is Arjan Herskamp's account. You are shown a mirror. Jeroen van Onna of NOM understands our business, he has an opinion and goes against you. That adds value, you get more relief in your image.'
Another substantial cost reduction
For example, he was recommended to look again at certain costs. I had the feeling that I had already taken a good look at them, but we were certainly able to reduce costs significantly," Herskamp says. 'The team was also advised to stand next to the customer: what could we still do to alleviate the customer's pain. That provided new insights. We are now even looking at a smaller office because of the increase in working from home. A change that is good for people and the environment, because 75 percent of our people say they are happier.
become happier as a result.'
Learning to look at things differently through sessions
The sessions have been a real eye-opener for Erik Muggen. He thought he knew himself well. Muggen saw himself as a flexible entrepreneur who was quite capable of recognizing opportunities. "The consultants told me to check that perception, because my feeling until March 16 would not even be correct," he says now with a smile.
He retroactively vindicates them. As a result, he also started looking at the private market differently. 'It's a matter of looking at it differently, because in fact, for consumers, we were setting too high acoustic requirements for our products,' he now knows. 'Now we are going to make a budget version of the green sound barrier, which may have less effect, but is affordable.'
Ellen Ploeger is proud of the strides entrepreneurs have made. 'It also delivers something for us, including a better relationship with our participations,' she now knows. 'It is unfortunate that we need a corona crisis for it, but ideally we as NOM should want to stand beside our entrepreneurs even more often.'