We talked to Sergey Shvets, Founder & CEO at Gepard.io tells us how PIM software helps to centralize diverse product data and deliver complying content to sales channels and here is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Sergey Shvets: Everything is going pretty well, and the kids are excited to have daddy hanging around more often at home. I have been working remotely for almost a year, and these few extra hours, which I used to spend on trips to the office and back, are now devoted to family gatherings.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Gepard.
Sergey Shvets: 20 years ago, I started my career path in an engineering role, and it has always been a very practical task for me: delivering what a business needs. In 2005, I founded a development company that primarily focused on building custom eCommerce solutions, applications design, and high-load system development.
Later, as our expertise has broadened in the product information management field, we have launched the product startup Gepard – Product Information Management solution, which helps businesses to streamline their daily operations with product data management.
How does Gepard innovate?
Sergey Shvets: This year, eCommerce has become a lifeline for all brands & retailers operating globally. To win this race, businesses need to optimize their work with product information management, and Gepard PIM & Syndicator can increase companies’ operational efficiency by 75%. The most frequent challenges our clients face are the different product data requirements from the various sales channels, long time-to-market with new products launch, time-consuming manual product sheets management, constant errors during data delivery, and employee’s burnout.
Thus, Gepard PIM & Syndicator has become a game-changer in eCommerce, and with the help of such features as product content enrichment, automated data transformations, product content syndication, information validation, user access management, data analytics, we assist customers with improving their eCommerce performance.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Sergey Shvets: Historically, we work a lot with clients operating in the eCommerce domain. Therefore, we managed to keep all the active projects and even expand our partnership list during these tough times. Presently, almost all businesses try to enhance or start their digital commerce, and we are happy to assist them with a team of 150 dedicated developers and marketers.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Sergey Shvets: We are really proud to say that there were no lay-offs since the pandemic started. Moreover, we continue the hiring process ever more proactively and have already prepared a well-built remote onboarding process for the newcomers.
A lot of customers were actually surprised to find that the performance of teams working on a remote is higher than office-based. People spending less time on the travel from/to offices can put more energy into work.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Sergey Shvets: In fact, relations have improved. The whole way people lived had collapsed, and given this, global clients couldn’t really expect much. However, we have delivered even better results and better performance for our clients than we normally did before the pandemic.
Partially this is due to the better work & life balance we were able to offer to our people. Also, the communication and coordination way has been much improved to enable our teams to work over a distance. Being a customer-oriented company, we always keep a finger on the pulse of clients’ needs. Even before Covid-19, we have already had detailed guides for our Customer Success teams in Confluence (a sort of corporate wiki developed by Atlassian) on how to react to particular requests and manage challenging situations. Now, this got much improved and strengthened.
We use a standard pack of tools such as Slack, Mattermost, Microsoft Teams, Google Workspace, and Jira to stay in touch with our teammates and clients. But none of these is covid19 branded or covid19 compatible.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Sergey Shvets: No, we haven’t applied for any government grants and are glad to be sustainable enough to have our own capacity to keep business afloat.
Your final thoughts?
Sergey Shvets: Yet, Covid-19 lockdown has affected all businesses in one way or another. At the beginning of the pandemic, I felt a little bit panicking about the future. As a business founder, I was worried about the people, our commitments towards clients, productivity, and performance. We used to work in the offices and used to face-to-face meetings. Now it’s online calls and twice more emails.
However, we coped to the end of 2020 without a single complaint or deadline breach, so I am extremely proud to have such a disciplined, responsible, and ambitious, supportive team. Taking the client’s challenge as our own helps us to transform it into a trampoline for customer’s success and the evolution of our services.