First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Fitim Mehmeti: We’re doing very well, thank you for asking. It is indeed a special year, full of challenges and significant events. Many people are severely affected by the current crisis, and I very much hope that the coming year 2021 will be less challenging for everyone.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Timly.com.
Fitim Mehmeti: Almost exactly seven years ago, I moved from Germany to Switzerland for work reasons. At that time I started in business development at ricardo.ch, Switzerland’s largest online marketplace, wherein my last position I was responsible for the cross border trade field, taking care of the expansion plans from Switzerland into the European Union. Subsequently, I moved from ricardo to a small financial institution in Zürich, where I took care of the digital strategy of the company in my latest position as Head Digital Business. During my time at ricardo, I met many interesting personalities, such as my current colleague and co-founder Philipp. Together we founded Timly.com in this very special year 2020. Well, to be fair, we’ve started the foundation process before COVID-19 was a big topic. However, we did not allow ourselves to be distracted by the crisis, and there was no stopping us from founding Timly Software AG. I guess a lot of today’s successful companies have been founded during the crisis. Well, I hope that someday we can count ourselves to these companies as well.
How does Timly.com innovate?
Fitim Mehmeti: We are constantly developing our product further. Most of the innovation at Timly is primarily driven by problems coming up at our customers. Our experienced team members innovate in solving these problems using cutting edge technologies. Timly has been further developed in its range of functions up to now, mainly by the needs and problems of our customers. As a provider of a cloud-based software solution, we want to offer our customers a simple and user-friendly solution that is future-oriented and follows current technological trends. When it comes to new technological trends, we also collaborate with innovative partners in a certain field such as real-time tracking of devices, which we’re also offering on our platform.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Fitim Mehmeti: During the first wave, followed by lockdowns in some European countries, we did indeed have difficulties, especially when it comes to cold calling. But during this time we’ve made very good progress in product development and were able to clarify many important organizational topics. Furthermore, we were able to prepare ourselves to sharpen our marketing activities and roll them out in a targeted manner. This is now paying off for us.
But what I can also say at this point is that after the first 4-6 weeks of COVID-19 we’ve registered an increasing number of requests for our inventory management tool. Among others also from the area of office administration. As many companies were now more or less required to send their employees working from home, suitable solutions had to be found to simplify the related administrative activities. Which employees have which hardware at home and where is the rest of our assets? How many different devices do we actually have and when are the next test dates due? Questions upon questions, which we answer with a simple tool. The cloud-based Timly inventory management makes it possible to assign objects to individual employees or rooms resp. locations with just one click. This gives you a historical overview of asset movements. Furthermore, the software automatically informs about important dates and tasks, and a built-in barcode scanner allows to scan your inventory with the smartphone on the go.
This increasing demand continues, and we see ourselves on a good path to defy this crisis. In the long term, “digitization” will remain a prioritized topic in most companies, and that is good for us.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Fitim Mehmeti: Well, in the marketing area, we’ve tested a lot to find the best way to acquire new customers. A lot did not payout as we’ve planned. With that said, you have to go through many iterations in various areas of your activities to get better and find the best way to reach your goals. What we consider as being the most important point is the team. You absolutely need to focus on your team and keep people on board and motivated. Surviving a crisis with a strong team, just makes you and your team stronger, and this will pay off in the long term.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Fitim Mehmeti: I actually try to put things into perspective. Lean back, relax and organize. Business is great, business is fun, and however, there always is something more important than anything business-related. For me, it is my family, my kids. At Timly we do our very best to help our customers with the solutions we offer, and we’re working very hard to do so. But we absolutely have fun working together. Working within an environment like we’ve setup could possibly reduce the feeling of stress. I guess.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Fitim Mehmeti: When it comes to our easy online inventory management solution, there is some competition in the area of ERP systems. But most of them are not really specialized in this certain field, they are too complicated and way too expensive for most companies, especially for SMEs. With Timly we’ve built a software which is highly flexible and generally can be used in any industry with assets. This is making us highly competitive. Plus as a cloud-based solution provider, we can roll out features very fast for all of our customers. In addition to that, we can offer services, which can be used anywhere, anytime. With our young and qualified team, we can react fast on new technology trends and deliver fast and reliable solutions.