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Digital transformation

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Successful story of:

 

De Isolatieshop

Facts and figures

  • 2010 Founded in
  • Nordian Investor
  • Zevenaar Location

Question.

De Isolatieshop

Turning the whole insulation industry upside down. With that goal in mind, Tim van Haaren and Martijn Aaldering founded the Isolatieshop in 2010. This sector has always been a fairly conservative one: there was trading in A-choice or B-choice products but never in both. The Isolatieshop put an end to that. Also, previously there were practically no online providers to be found in this market. The company shook up the market by providing a broad and deep assortment of insulation materials. They did this by keeping a lot of stock, by having an intricate distribution network and by following a clever online strategy.

Besides the Netherlands, De Isolatieshop is currently also active in Belgium and Germany. The renewed webshop means 70% of revenue comes from the digital channel. Out of these online sales, 80% is to consumers (B2C). Through the sales department they also control the B2B market. This consists predominantly of people who are self-employed, roofers, contractors, other traders, the carpentry industry, the prefab industry and increasingly also building companies. De Isolatieshop also carries private label products besides a variety of brands. De Isolatieshop also provides custom solutions to several insulation inquiries.

The challenge that the current management team faces is bringing the company into the next phase of growth. Management believes that these ambitions can be realised by raising growth capital as well as finding a successor for both founders. Investment company Nordian Capital Partners joined in 2021. Nordian invests in growing medium-sized businesses that have a lot of potential for further (international) growth. To provide the successors of the two founders, the position of Managing Director has been created.

The Managing Director’s goal is to define the whole strategy, structure it and execute it. He makes an important contribution to the strategy and growth of De Isolatieshop mainly through e-Commerce expertise. Within this, the commercial omnichannel approach is very important. The company now finds itself at a tipping point to the (post) scale-up phase in which many things can be improved to realise growth ambitions. Further professionalisation and strong operational management is key in this. Being able to keep an overview of company-wide priorities is essential in this position. Creating a winning team and further building on a strong positive culture provides a foundation for this.


Solution.

The Managing Director that will start at De Isolatieshop is a broad (commercial) leader with a strong e-commerce footprint. This involves always thinking “outside-in”. Someone that can find a balance between creating a sense of urgency to keep moving and the personal focus on getting people on board and guiding them in this process. Connecting and inspiring are very important for this. He is very analytical, data-driven, and operates autonomously.

Others see him as an inspiring leader and an authority figure with a proven track record when it comes to growth. On top of that, he is focused on taking action, full of initiatives and is commercial. Someone that thinks in solutions and has a lot of energy. It’s also important that he fits in an organisation that is not as structured in every aspect because of the high growth it has seen. Where people work under continuous pressure (also from shareholders) to realise high growth rates.

Leadership

Connector

The leadership most suited for success in this phase is characterized by:

  • Bridge-builder
  • Evangelist & change agent – creating urgency to keep moving and the business
  • Someone who goes through walls
  • Outside-in thinker, putting the customer first and using data
  • Power of execution (think big, act small)
  • Test & Learn – you can make mistakes
  • Commitment to agility and multidisciplinarity
  • Stakeholder management – between evangelist and urgency is relevance, ambassadors breeding / recognizing and deploying
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