A startup is shaking up the moving industry – how cool is that? We visited Move24 at their office and spoke with the CEO, the COO, and the true heart of the company – the sales team.
It’s not uncommon these days for digital businesses to create solutions to everyday problems. From e-commerce companies to food delivery services – all now come packing the necessary technology.
The moving market had been far from digitisation but recently, something is stirring in a largely old-fashioned industry. New players are challenging the old methods to establish a contemporary model for moving house – offering moving services online.
“With boxes, technology and dedication to our customers, we are on the way to becoming a global player in the moving industry”Philipp Andernach, COO Move24
The Move24 Group GmbH seeks to turn the market on its head through the use of technology. Within a few months, Move24 has grown from just a handful of young people working together, to a team of 250 employees and has already collected millions – a figure in the double-digits – in financing.
It all began last September. “We were a manageable force with a couple of PCs, a great vision and a lot of moving boxes – the typical Berlin startup story”, smiles Felicitas Frenkler, who manages personnel at the company. The company has come far since those early days.
The customer is king – even online!
“The moving industry has, in over 100 years, experienced only one significant change – switching from the horse-drawn carriage to the car”, says Philipp Andernach, COO of Move24 as he walks us through the operational floor of the business. The so-called ‘Ops Floor’ is reminiscent of a trading room in an investment bank – a fast-paced energy, with screens flicking through data and employees closing deals over the phone. “Efficient processes, the use of technology, and an understanding of the data that we create everyday are what give us the competitive advantage and the ability to scale rapidly” said the COO.
What does this mean for the customer? “We are creating a whole new customer experience”, says Anton Rummel, who as co-CEO of Move24 is responsible for the sales team. Their motto, ‘first impressions count’, shows that it’s the sales department that is the real heart of the company. “Sales, as the first point-of-contact with our customers, play an essential role in our customer’s experience”, says the CEO. “The idea is to organise a completely stress-free, easy and even pleasant move for the customer – and we are fast, accurate and offer the best prices.”
In the sales department, just under 100 employees from over 20 different countries undertake sales calls, and they celebrate deals in a way that we only usually see in Hollywood movies.
Diversity at its best
The team is just as diverse as it is large. Pierluigi is originally from Italy, studied communications in Lisbon and is now Sales Team Lead for Italy. Beth from the UK sales team is a journalist by trade from Australia. Yasmin, Customer Service Team Lead actually studied law, “but was always looking for a job that suits me better, and where my pragmatic personality comes into its own.”
Or take Christian from southern Germany who is still in the middle of completing his bachelor’s degree in marketing communications and has already risen to the position of Sales Team Lead for the German market within three months of joining the company as a student.
Before joining Move24, he actually had nothing to do with sales. As a student, he worked for a large advertising agency and in the automotive industry . He was excited by the idea of being able to actively shape the development of a young startup, and by the potential to quickly advance his career. “I should say that I am a very ambitious and determined person, and this environment really offered a lot to me. I just think that the prospects in a fast-growing startup are much higher and more promising than in a more old-fashioned company.”
To facilitate these ambitions, Move24 has developed a special programme that allows him to work in addition to his bachelor’s degree. He currently works full-time as he’s on a break from university, but when the semester starts back up he will reduce his working hours to half-days while he writes his thesis.
This special allowance along with flat hierarchies, short decision loops and good growth opportunities ultimately convinced him. When asked whether he is now where he wanted to be, he replies: “Before, I didn’t know that I wanted to be here. But now, I would say yes.”
“It’s more like a big family”
One might wonder how a company makes allowances for a 22 year-old employee, but there’s an idea behind it: continuity. When a company is growing rapidly, it must ensure that its structures grow. Move24 solves this challenge, among other things by helping to build up employees. “Each of our employees contributes in their own way to our success and plays a crucial role in our rapid development,” says Felicitas, Head of HR. “My goal was therefore not only to build an effective recruitment system, but also to facilitate the swift development of careers internally.”
Rapid advancement opportunities are complemented by amenities reminiscent of the famous Google Campus: fresh fruit, drinks, team breakfasts, regular team events like paintball or go-karting, sofas and beanbags.
Despite professionalisation, the company will maintain the classic, casual startup atmosphere. Their office – an old brick house in the middle of Berlin – is a strong symbol of this and having just moved, boxes are still stacked between long rows of desks. Relaxed employees sit with their laptops on their knee and hold meetings from the sofas and that culture runs through the entire company. “There are no rigid hierarchies and everyone, whether a student or a permanent employee, can play a part in improving the company”, says Yasmin. Christian adds: “Here you can come as you are. People are themselves. It’s more like a big family”.
If you want to be part of the Move24 story, you can find more information about the company and current vacancies here.
This post was sponsored by Move24