Inventory Management Software Timly: Co-founder Shares Insights
In today’s fast-paced business environment, companies are facing new challenges in keeping track of their inventory. So the need for efficient and effective inventory management has become increasingly important. Philipp Baumann, co-founder of the Timly Software AG, sees his company as much more than just a cloud solution for tracking inventory. He gives Aboutinsider.com an insight into his Corporate as well as current market developments and challenges.
HELLO PHILIPP BAUMANN, WELCOME TO ABOUT INSIDER! TELL US MORE ABOUT THE TIMLY SOFTWARE...
Timly is an advanced business-to-business Software-as-a-Service solution (B2B SaaS solution) for digital asset management. With Timly, companies can collect all relevant information centrally and make it available wherever it is needed, be it in the office, on the factory floor, on the construction site or in the hospital corridor.
Timly is used by companies from a wide range of industries and is able to overview a multitude of different application scenarios. The modular structure and comprehensive functions are the key to the software’s success.
HOW DID THE IDEA FOR DIGITAL INVENTORY MANAGEMENT COME ABOUT AND WHO IS IT MADE FOR?
Through an exchange with a contractor friend, I became aware of the problems that existed in his company at that time: No one ever knew 100% where all the tools, equipment and machinery were, in what condition and who had them last. Once, almost 1 week was spent looking for an excavator, which was then found again at the end on a construction site.
In addition, there was no real overview of which employees actually had which certifications, ergo, which employees were allowed to use which equipment. The popular method of managing inventory with Excel lists quickly proved to be inefficient, because such lists quickly became outdated or had to be handed over at great expense when an employee left.
Together, we then considered what a digital solution to these problems might look like, and I set about developing a prototype of the Timly software. Initially, I focused on the aforementioned issue of employee certifications. Out of that came the digital personnel file, which is still very popular today and provides a unique link between inventory and employees.
With this file, companies can easily view the skills and certifications of each employee and track upcoming training. By smartly managing employee skills in conjunction with inventory, we created compliance within the company, because the visibility and built-in automations can ensure that regulatory requirements are always met.
IT SOUNDS LIKE THE SOLUTION IS NOT JUST FOR CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES….
That’s right! Timly started as a solution for digital management of tools in the construction industry. But it quickly became clear that not only construction companies have a variety of inventory, but almost every company regardless of their industry. Due to increasing requests from schools and retail companies to digitally manage their IT equipment, our customer base expanded.
Today, our customers manage a wide range of objects in Timly, from computer mice to complex production equipment. The great advantage of Timly is that there are no restrictions on the objects inventoried. Therefore, any company or institution, can benefit as their inventory management needs increase.
WHAT KIND OF ISSUES RELATED TO INVENTORY DO COMPANIES USUALLY FACE?
Timly is the holistic, digital solution to companies’ everyday questions: “Where is such-and-such inventory located?” The software links physical inventory objects (assets) to a digital twin through QR codes. This way, with a simple scan of the QR code label via laptop or mobile device, the information needed for any inventoried object can be accessed exactly where the object is located.
Today, nearly two years after its inception, Timly has become much more than just an information channel for tracking inventory. Our software now offers a centralized platform for managing all aspects of a company’s inventory, regardless of the object type or the size and industry of the company.
With Timly, not only locations can be easily recorded, but additional information such as manuals, maintenance schedules, and inspection records can also be stored. Timly provides instant access to all relevant information with just a click, and automates various processes related to inventory management, automates operations and freeing up valuable time for companies.
HOW DOES TIMLY FOLLOW THE MARKET TRENDS?
The trend towards cloud solutions has been clearly visible in recent years. More and more companies are doing away with in-house servers and IT specialists and instead are looking for flexible online options for their software needs. This is where Timly comes in, as Timly is also a cloud solution delivered under the highest data protection standards.
In addition, many companies are looking to digitize processes to achieve as much automation as possible and avoid manual, error-prone processes. There are already many B2B software solutions for various activities, such as accounting, sales management, marketing automation. Timly fills the gap and optimizes efficiency by automating inventory processes.
LET’S COME BACK TO THE FOUNDATION OF YOUR STARTUP. WHAT KNOWLEDGE WERE YOU ABLE TO BRING TO THE COMPANY?
Before founding and developing Timly Inventory Software, I was already working in IT, but in the consulting field. During some projects, however, I was able to gain experience with software development. Before that, however, my background was in business administration. So I was able to build up the necessary knowledge in both areas, which was very helpful for the foundation of Timly Software AG and the development of our solution. Together with my co-founder Fitim Mehmeti, who had also gained extensive knowledge in the business environment (focus on sales), the founding team was born.
Through the first product demos with customers from our network, we were able to put our idea, as well as the first prototype, to the test again and again and continuously develop it further based on customer feedback. Today, the Timly software offers a multitude of functions, which could only be developed through the constant exchange with our customers.
PEOPLE DON’T LIKE TO TALK ABOUT MONEY, BUT WE DO ANYWAY: WHERE DID THE CAPITAL FOR YOUR COMPANY COME FROM?
The initial start-up capital was provided by the two founders. We didn’t have high development costs at first, because I developed the software myself in the beginning. For everything else (sales, marketing, business development…) we worked very sparingly in the beginning. Since we offered our customers a software solution that solves real problems, we were able to generate initial revenues right from the start, which we then invested in further development. At the end of the first year, we were able to convince some angel investors of our vision in a first investment round and thus collect further, important capital.
WOULD YOU DO ANYTHING DIFFERENTLY IN THE START-UP PHASE IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME?
In the beginning, customer meetings and product demos were rather slow, but that is normal in the early phase of a startup. It’s difficult when there are only two of you at the beginning and you actually have to build all areas of a company. Only in the process of “doing” were we able to sharpen our skills and convince more and more customers. In retrospect, I would probably focus on more effective marketing and sales activities from the beginning, which – as I said – we were only able to discover as the months went by.
Hiring more key people, such as the lead engineer or the specialist for the marketing, then took us to the next level. Here, of course, you can always evaluate retrospectively whether an earlier hire would have brought even faster success. But of course, you can never tell.
WHAT IS CURRENTLY THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FOR YOUR COMPANY AND WHERE DO YOU SEE IT IN FIVE YEARS’ TIME?
At present, we are actively expanding our product and company on a global scale, facing a multitude of challenges across all areas of the business. In addition, together with our customer SodaStream, we have just launched an innovative new function: the practical self-inventory for home office. With it, you can efficiently manage equipment from the home office. – This is another milestone!
Our goal is to become the market leader in the field of “digital inventory management”. Whether this will take 5 years or even longer remains to be seen. In any case, Timly is here to stay.
THANK YOU FOR THESE INSIGHTS.
Many thanks to you as well.