Boost your Digital Business Model with Platforms, feat. randevu 

joachim lumpe the truffle seeker series

This article was originally published in Joachim’s LinkedIn newsletter.

Maneuvering through the world of startups and scaleups I often connect with companies offering solutions to problems I did not even know existed. Understanding those always adds a new puzzle piece to becoming aware of the full complexity of businesses. But it also inspires me how my customers can improve in these fields to ensure their #FutureReadiness. The Truffle Seeker Series of my newsletter tells these stories and aims to spread insights and help many more organizations leverage their true potential.

Digital Transformation is a huge word and an even bigger field of potential action and initiatives – and many companies have already embarked on it. However, a decent portion of the B2B companies I know, have difficulties imagining what digital business models they should look at – beyond implementing EDI communication with customers and suppliers. They lack the fantasies of the digital evolution of their well-known and established business model, or they are afraid. 

On the other hand, companies, from midsize to large corporations, have to acknowledge that concentrating on classic business models is no longer helping them to retain their market share or even grow it thus assuring Future Readiness. Especially US and Asian companies have proven, that building platforms tailored to their respective industries is an answer to this challenge: With great success, it helps them increase their operational efficiency while expanding their market share – BOOM!

What type of platform could help you?

Currently, three major trends are emerging in the area of B2B platforms – so you might want to make your choice about what is nearest to you! 

1) Marketplaces  

Both B2B customers and sellers increasingly value a seamless shopping experience, as B2C online retail already offers to a large extent. Companies that succeed in providing such services, usually report major growth in sales and significantly more efficient business processes. One example in the German market is CheMondis, a leading B2B marketplace for chemical products. The company connects buyers and suppliers and therefore has become one of the industry leaders in a very short time. Another example is Faire, a US-based organization that helps retailers find and buy unique wholesale merchandise.  

2) Expansion of online presence  

Companies that already have online stores are contemplating whether to expand their business to platform models. Either within a group so that only companies offer their products and services or letting competitors sell via this platform. This is 3rd party selling and drop shipment. Does one of your partners or competitors have their own online shop? Plug it into your platform and use this way to monetize a platform model. 

3) eProcurement platforms  

Procurement processes are usually extremely complex and often require a high level of manual work like requirement lists or offer comparison in Excel, and direct contract negotiations. Large parts of this work can be digitized by moving these processes to an eProcurement platform. This doesn’t only save working time but resources that can be deployed for other value-adding activities. 

How can platforms materialize into your existing business models?

Firstly, platforms have the power to allow you to own the industry you are in by complete disruption. Creating a multi-sided platform that brings the whole industry online and digitizes their way of doing business. Secondly, decreasing your own costs and thus improving your margin situation or being able to offer at a lower price than your market peers. 

And always keep in mind: Platforms can also integrate supplementary services adding revenue streams that are outside your own business models or improve yours, e.g. financing options in collaboration with fintech partners as a simple plug-in option. 

Sounds too good to be true? 

The success of these platforms clearly shows that to remain viable and relevant to the market, all companies, especially those in the European market, must follow suit. So, what keeps the organizations from embarking? 

To be fair, this is easier said than done: The knowledge about building such platforms in the B2B sector is still rare and usually does not sit within the organization of classical operating companies. That’s true for both, business as well as IT and not easily available in the labor market. Additionally, the costs for a completely new development are often reported to pile up to a million euros invested – a sum that smaller or medium-sized companies often are unwilling to push into an experiment.  

We too had quite a few challenges when building our consulting platform AQUGA – ASK QUESTIONS GET ANSWERS QUGA. After initial attempts, with which we frankly fell flat on our faces, we had to admit that we needed professional expertise. During our following research, we came across the marketplace-as-a-service platform founded by Filip S. Perišić and Aleksandar Orlić and funded by Antler.  

Simply put, Randevu is a platform for platforms and uses the fact that they have a similar structure. Functionalities such as login, registration, verification, or payment processing are needed for almost all business models. So why reinvent the wheel and set up processes for each use case?  

Following the building block principle, Randevu delivers all the building blocks companies need to quickly build an efficient and professional platform. Furthermore, for the process flow and data objects on the back end, they provide no-code/low-code. That is completely changing the scenario as you can concentrate on your individual front end and you dramatically improve time-to-market and total cost. 

Additionally, they are real platform experts who support you at every step of the way, from the moment you start building your platform until it’s ready to go live and beyond. This service ensures that every company – regardless of its level of digitization – is ready to start cost-effectively and quickly.  

For AQUGA, the decision to trust in Randevu as a partner was the game changer: At this very moment, the platform is available in the live beta version and open for selected customers. And I am sure that the general go-live will also be a success.  

Until meeting these folks I would have never expected that an offering like “platform-for-platforms” would be available on the market at all. It helped us and potentially it can help you for assuring #FutureReadiness for your organization. 

Any questions or comments? Please feel free to share your point of view or experiences!

This article was originally published in Joachim’s LinkedIn newsletter.

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Joachim Lumpe

Founder and Managing director of AQUGA
Serial entrepreneur, ex-VP of HTC Global Services


The best tech bends to your needs.

Best marketplace software adapts to your requirements. Not the other way around.