"We want to make life easier for entrepreneurs and we can still see plenty of opportunities in that respect"

Exact CEO Paul Ramakers on Dutch business news radio programme BNR Zakendoen

Exact aims to make life easier for entrepreneurs with more business insight and control through the development and delivery of smart business software. So how exactly does Exact do this so successfully? What is the strategy of the Delft-based enterprise and how does Exact manage to stay ahead of the competition? During the BNR Business Zakendoen radio programme, presenter Edwin Mooibroek asked Exact CEO Paul Ramakers these and other questions.

Focus on the Benelux and Germany

Paul Ramakers has been CEO of Exact since 2020. He has worked for the company for 27 years in many different positions and is still challenged every day. In 2019, the organisation set a clear growth ambition: to double its turnover in five years. Three years have passed since then, and Paul says that the organisation is right on track: "This is partly thanks to the conscious choice we made to focus on entrepreneurs in our home market. That's where our strength lies. Business software is closely related to banking and laws and regulations. We know those rules inside out. International players don't go quite as far in their integration with local laws and regulations. Until recently we focused on the Benelux, and when we acquired weclapp in September, we expanded our focus to include Germany. It's a market where I see a lot of opportunities and where SMEs still have to a way to go in terms of digitalisation, and we can help them with that."

Innovation and acquisition

When asked whether Exact can only achieve its growth ambition through takeovers such as the recent acquisition of weclapp, Paul's answer was clear: "No, it's our dual path strategy of innovation and acquisition that makes us successful. Innovation is our core business, and we're also constantly looking for potential acquisitions to strengthen our portfolio. Together, we can serve our customers in an optimal way. We're all about helping SMEs with today's technology and giving them an integrated platform that makes it easy for them to run their business."

Business software

Staying ahead of the competition

According to Ramakers, there are still plenty of opportunities because many companies in the Netherlands and other countries have hardly been automated at all. Automation offers opportunities, particularly in times when all costs are on the rise and the labour market is tight. Ramakers continues: "Automation gives you insight. It shows entrepreneurs where the money and the goods are going and where you can cut costs. It also gives you the chance to better anticipate what's to come. Of course, automation can't do the entrepreneur's job for them, but we do see that it allows companies to get more work done with the same number of staff. And that's exactly what enables them to stay ahead of the competition. How we differentiate ourselves from our own competitors? By making sure our software is connective. This means that we actively connect with providers of other software programs so that entrepreneurs can control all their business processes from a single platform. Such usability is extremely important."

Sustainable choices

Is sustainability also a factor in an SME's choice of business software? Paul thinks it is. "Besides our intrinsic motivation to do business sustainably, it is also becoming an increasingly important aspect for our customers when choosing a supplier. How we already do business in a sustainable way? This includes limiting our travel, for example, but also making conscious choices for more sustainable data centres that run solely on green electricity. It's currently still very difficult to compare data centres. I therefore advocate that standard rules are put in place for this so that everyone can make a conscious choice in that regard. This will ultimately help us and our customers to do business more sustainably so that together we can have so much more impact."

Listen to the full episode of the BNR Zakendoen
 radio programme with Paul Ramakers.

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