First of all, how are you and your Family doing in these COVID-19 Times?
Reginaldo Stocco: The routine has changed a lot over the last few months, especially with children at home. These are challenging times, but we still learn something new each day. Children need our attention, and we keep them happy with extra-curricular activities.
We’re maintaining schedules that are favorable to everybody. It’s a new reality, and we’re dealing with a completely new set of rules, so we need to be adaptable to these changes. I always have lunch every day at home (because directors and 15% of the company are still going to the office). I also work up to 7 pm and after that its family time.
Tell us about you, your Career, how you Founded or Joined Vhsys
Reginaldo Stocco: I have been working with technology since I was young. I began at the airport, and in 2004, I founded my first company, called VisualHost, in which I did website development. In 2011, I invited my cousin, and together we created vhsys (Visual Host System) because I wanted a company focusing on the management of small and medium entrepreneurs.
We realized that there was a market to serve micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses experiencing difficulties in applying efficient administrative management. Initially, our idea was to offer a system for issuing invoices and gradually add features based on customers’ needs. Today, we offer a complete management system (ERPs) with all the features to run a company.
Vhsys offers management software for small businesses and currently has one of the lowest costs on the Brazilian market.
How does Vhsys Innovate?
Reginaldo Stocco: The innovation process is continuous and needs to be rooted in the company’s culture, so we try to innovate every day. In fact, one of our values is “be revolutionary”. That’s why we encourage our employees to contribute their news ideas, irrespective of their position in the company. Everyone has full access to company information and performance. The management holds meetings with the entire team every fifteen days, to discuss performance, strategies and employees’ collaboration to attain the corporate goals.
Our marketing and development teams apply the “squad methodologies” concept to help us deliver projects quickly, efficiently and in line with the customers’ specifications. These projects are sent to the Support Team, analyzed or implemented by the Development Squads.
Agility is also a core value in our culture and is linked directly with innovation growth. The team is open to learning about the opportunities that arise along the way.
How the Coronavirus Pandemic affects your Business and how are you coping?
Reginaldo Stocco: Vhsys’ revenue increased by 40% in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period last year. It’s as a result of improved performance in all sectors of the company and cost optimization without affecting our customers. We are a facilitator in the life of small businesses at all times.
Our clients are made up of micro and small entrepreneurs from different segments, including micro and small retailers. These are one of the largest segments affected by the crisis due to reduced purchases. These companies were forced to close during the COVID-19 pandemic, and even companies that continue to operate their sales were negatively impacted.
Initially, we thought that we would have a huge financial impact; however, we assumed our leadership role and, as always, we decided to help micro and small entrepreneurs to have efficient management in practice, even in times of crisis.
We created a free marketplace (juntoseconectados.com.br) to promote services or products for their business in the digital environment. Customers were able to use our virtual store software and could also send free marketing SMS and emails to the entire customer base.
Additionally, we partnered with a marketing and communication school called RedHook, which created a free digital marketing program for developing a digital marketing and communication strategy for micro and small businesses, called BlueHook. Fifty customers have already participated in this program.
We also offer special considerations so that our customers can continue using the system.
Did you have to make Difficult Choices, and what are the Lessons Learned?
Reginaldo Stocco: Before the coronavirus exploded in Brazil, we repositioned our company’s brand. Our purpose is to make life easier for entrepreneurs so that they have more time to be happy. The idea is to offer easy and functional products so that these entrepreneurs can work faster and smarter, and they can spend more time with loved ones and take care of their health.
So, even with the crisis, we were certain that we could keep that purpose alive. We were able to achieve this by allowing our team to continue working throughout the pandemic. We had to make some tough decisions along the way. For instance, our employees worked from home, but this was risky for our business, especially when we think about the service and support unit of our company. Brazil has a problem with telephone communications and internet infrastructure, but thankfully our team was able to adapt quickly to different strategies.
Another difficult decision we made was to change our pricing and trade policies to improve economic efficiency. Even in the midst of the pandemic, we amended our charges, which did not imply an increase in prices but helped in the repositioning of our different product.
The cancellation rate, which was already low, dropped by 21% in the first half, compared to 2019. This result was only possible because we take care of customers, support their business and strategies at all times.
How do you deal with Stress and Anxiety? How do you Project yourself and Vhsys in the Future?
Reginaldo Stocco: In my personal life, as I mentioned earlier, I establish limits. I dedicate my time between family, friends and sport when I’m not working. I also engage in physical activity regularly. Pedaling/cycling is my current passion and every weekend I cycle about 30 kilometres in the countryside. I also have other hobbies such as carrying out minor renovations and installing automation both at home or office.
Businesswise, we have made several changes and updates in our planning to adapt to the current COVID-19 reality, remain in business, and be able to meet our clients’ needs. Our goal was to generate revenues to ensure that investment and growth resume at the right time.
We have hired two renowned professionals in the field of Human Resources Manager and CFO. With all these developments, I continue to see a bright future for vhsys! We will grow this year, though not as we planned in 2019. We’re expecting good growth rates and fewer expenditures on new customers.
However, we will return to our ambitious plans in 2021, with a view of growing our national market share and the leadership of the segment to propitiate and facilitate entrepreneurship in Brazil.
Who are your Competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the Game?
Reginaldo Stocco: As mentioned above, we are increasingly focused on adding value to our product and improving the existing products and services. But the focus is to show more of our purpose and value.
Of course, there are several similar companies, but we are not just another management system. We are one of the best management systems on the market (ERPs) that adds ease of use and automation for Brazilian micro and small business. This helps the owners to spend reduced time on routines and concentrate on creating strategies to move their companies forward or even focus on their personal life.
We implemented several improvements in our online sales applications. We launched our marketplace in the beta version, which should receive new features soon. We’re working on new products and services which will separate but linked to the vhsys system. The aim is to diversify our portfolio while maintaining our focus on micro and small enterprises.
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