To kick things off we have been in touch with Erik Nieuwenhuis, Entrepreneur & Founder from 12Build. 12Build is based in the Netherlands and was founded in 2007. 12Build offers the ideal solutions for collaborating on successful projects, both during the tendering phase and beyond.
In 2007, 12Build started as a final project. Thousands of euros in paper was printed every month, communication between main contractors and construction specialists was not efficient and I thought: I can change that. Construction is a sector that is slow to adapt changes. But it’s happening. Nowadays, 12Build has become an incredible cloud- based tender platform for the construction industry. That may sound complicated, but it is not at all. With 12Build’s cloud solutions, our customers save much precious time during the calculation and procurement phase. It optimises the processes of applying and receiving tenders, so that our customers have more time to invest in contacts and focus on calculations, construction methodology, products, etc.
In five years time, 12Build will be the standard in Europe when it comes to requesting and receiving b2b quotations in construction. By that time, 12Build will be used by about 40% of the main contractors in Belgium, Germany, France, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria and Scandinavia. In the southern countries, the market transparency and internet adoption is less than in the countries we have now qualified.
Looking ahead more than five years is difficult. A bizarre time is ahead of us. I think it doesn’t help much to set a target for 12Build for 15 years from now. The industry is changing rapidly, we see fantastic IT developments on a global level for the construction industry and we want to lead the way as a kind of LinkedIn + Dropbox for the construction industry.
The surprise of the past year is that we can do a lot more online than we thought. We can make more impact with the same people. And new sales and customer success 12Builders are no longer location-specific, so it’s easier to recruit good people. We started to grow with cold-calling, cold-calling and more cold-calling. But I expect that we will be able to board many new, especially smaller construction companies and subcontractors on our platform without us as people having to have anything to do with it.
How can 12Build help us get better quotations? When we get in touch with a main contractor, they usually first ask us: who are you? We are well known in The Netherlands, but we are still working on our brand awareness in other countries. That’s why we are now working on expanding to Germany, France, Austria and other countries. After we’ve explained who we are and what we do, everybody asks what we do to get our customers better quotations. Our answer is almost always the same: with 12Build, main contractors find construction specialists on the basis of their quality, experience and references. With 12Build, you don’t just select a construction specialist on how low their prize is, but you select them on what they can do and if they’re best suited for your project. Filter by specialization, distance to work, credit check, certificates or labels, history and more.
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