Josh Seiberbein, Customer Guidance Manager at 2HEX tells us about the increase in demand for skateboards.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Josh Seiberbein: Luckily, everything is safe and good.
Tell us about you, your career, how you joined 2HEX.
Josh Seiberbein: I am the Customer Guidance Manager at 2HEX.com.
2HEX loved my work at Donald Miller’s “Building a Storybook” marketing team. And since shortly after I met Niklas Vesely, the founder of 2HEX, I worked at 2HEX as well!
In the beginning, I started introducing a few new skateboard companies to our web platform every day. However, with the booming growth of 2HEX, I now work pretty much around the clock.
How does 2HEX innovate?
Josh Seiberbein: We innovate by trial and error. Running a cloud-based sport-equipment-production-platform with a large number of users allows us to launch new features and see if they are being picked up or if they make arranging sport equipment productions more complicated. The trial and error process has led us to improve and automate a big part of the sales process. With this automated and improved process, our platform can now offer better quality and lower production prices than we previously did when selling manually.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Josh Seiberbein: Covid-19 has led to an increase in demand for skateboards but to a shortage of raw materials for our production. Many global supply chains have collapsed due to the ongoing pandemic. 2HEX is a platform offering skateboard companies the highest quality products and the biggest selection and offering factories large orders to fill their complete production capacities – even during the Covid pandemic.
Fixing the global skateboard supply chain has strengthened our standing. We are now well on track to grow from 3 Million USD in the last year to 30 Million USD this year.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Josh Seiberbein: Recruiting great employees is key to building a successful business. Especially when building a task force to cope with the challenges provided by Covid-19. However, finding great employees takes time.
I would suggest any fast-growing company hire an HR (or recruiting) manager as early as possible.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Josh Seiberbein: We still use Excel as a CRM system. We have tried many programs from Trello to SalesForce, but in the end, we still went back to Excel.
Microsoft Excel is super simple to understand and allows us to code any special function we need, such as time zone conversions, alerts, or reminders.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Josh Seiberbein: 2HEX’ founder Niklas Vesely and his previous co-founder Aiko Wiegand received a 170.000 USD European government grant after graduating from the university. Niklas’ takeaway was that applying to government grants or pitching to investors can take just as much time as making the same amount of money selling your product to customers.
For this reason, we did not spend time applying for government support during this crisis and instead spend more time on sales. This proved to be the right decision.
Your final thoughts?
Josh Seiberbein: The Covid pandemic created an environment full of opportunities for founders and startups.
The global supply chain has broken down and is now being re-built. This creates the perfect environment for startups to become part of the newly knit supply chain networks.
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