We talked to Thorsten Harig of plan4 on how renovation projects are planned and controlled and this is what he had to say.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Thorsten Harig: Fortunately, my family and I are doing well, and we have not had any positive contact with Covid-19 in our private lives. In the current situation, we are very often in nature or have brought our garden into shape.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded plan4.
Thorsten Harig: I have a bachelor’s degree in Supply Chain Management. Before plan4, I worked for over 15 years in IT and communication services in various management positions and as a member of management. I got to know my two co-founders in my network, and we founded plan4 together in 2018
How does plan4 innovate?
Thorsten Harig: The renovation of buildings is still highly demanding and time-consuming despite many aids and tools available today. The remediation backlog is often only recorded manually.
During the on-site inspection, Gebäudecheck calculates the estimated renovation effort, including cost elements and diagnostic reports. With Gebäudecheck, the renovation backlog of a building record is structured, clear, transparent, and understandable. With our second product, tick@time, the renovation projects can then be planned and controlled. tick@time is the mobile software for agile project planning in the construction industry tick@time design helps your project team plan support and facilitate internal communication.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Thorsten Harig: Between March and May, we received significantly fewer customer inquiries, orders, and projects. Since we are still building up plan4, this, of course, hit us twice. We then switched sales to Teams and Zoom relatively quickly, and from the end of May, we had the development before Corona again. Since March we have also been working 80% from the home office. Since our team consists mostly of developers, this was not a problem for us at all. Through digital tools such as HubSpot, teams, or office 365, communication has never suffered.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Thorsten Harig: As a start-up founder, there are always difficult decisions or situations that you have to deal with quickly and with full attention. 2020 required a lot of attention and an incredible team effort. We were lucky enough to complete a round of financing this year and have strong investors around us.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Thorsten Harig: I am someone who reflects a lot on myself and thinks a lot. If I come to a point where it becomes too much for me, I have a wonderful family with two daughters and an understanding wife who keeps me grounded.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Thorsten Harig: We will continue to expand our digital sales team in 2021 and further develop digital topics. We currently don’t know of any competitors in our environment. Together with a strong team and two healthy products and strong investors, we want to leave our proptech sector’s footprint.
Your final thoughts?
Thorsten Harig: I wish everyone a better 2021 and, above all, health. I hope that we will soon endure this pandemic and that distributing a vaccine will prevent further economic damage.