E-shop 24time.cz: Communication with external teams has improved significantly

Jan Kulda asks for Freelo
David Hriech and Michal Novak answer for 24TIME.cz

Could you introduce 24TIME.cz, tell us a little bit of history, your vision and future plans?

24TIME.cz is an online shop with designer watche. The first launch of our e-shop was on 1 July, 2013 and we initially offered the same brands as competing e-shops. However, we soon realized that we will not succeed in such a competitive environment without a complete change of strategy.

At the time, I liked two unconventional brands, the Wewood wooden watch and the Italian NAVA designer watch. After we agreed to work together, we decided to change our focus and offer an unconventional, unprecedented watch. In upcoming years, we have also customized the design of our website and overall corporate identity.

In the future, we would like to open a small showroom with design where the customer could see these - some really unique - watch. And we would also like to expand to the Polish market.

What makes 24TIME.cz unique compared to other e-shops?

It is definitely an approach to a customer that we always approach individually and personally. This includes various strap adjustments, warranty and post-warranty repairs, and more.

We make sure that the goods are carefully packaged and check the quality of the watch before shipping. We simply want the customer to be happy with the order delivered by the courier.

We are also exceptional in our portfolio of non-traditional design brands. More than 35 % of brands in the Czech Republic and Slovakia can be found only here. These include: 22 Design Studio concrete watches, The Horse, MVMT and more.

Photo: 24TIME.cz

The era of Internet and Freelo is now great because we can choose the best colleagues in the industry no matter where they are physically.

What projects do you plan in the future except from 24TIME.cz?

We are constantly striving to move further and bring more and more comfort to our customers. We already have a nice list of modifications we are working on in Freelo. In addition to 24TIME.cz, we are preparing several new e-shops, such as 24WOOD.cz (wooden watches) and 24TOYS.cz (design toys).

However, our biggest project is still in its infancy, and it is our own design watch brand with a global ambition. We cooperate with the two best designers in the Czech Republic on the design of the first model line, so it will be worth it. However, I don't want to reveal anything else.

Read also How they organize hundreds of workshops in FotoSkoda through Freelo, manage marketing and communicate with externalists

How many people is currently in your team and how do you divide your work?

Currently, there are 18 members in the team from programmers, photographers and copywrighters to people managing SEO and marketing. The majority are external colleagues located throughout the Czech and Slovak Republics.

The era of internet and Freelo is now great. We can choose the best colleagues in the industry no matter where they are physically.

What techniques do you use in your teamwork?

We are still a "punk" company where many things are solved in the run. However, we have set up regular Skype meetings in each micro-team such as the team responsible for marketing, the web and others.

What is the hardest part of running a watch e-shop?

There is a lot of things. I don't think a commodity, like a watch, has any particular specifics.

The problems I see in the fashion industry in general, including watch, are various imitations from China, which many e-shops pretend to be the original. We have always been very careful about this. Otherwise it is a complex and long-term work in building the brand itself, position, trust and especially in relation to the customer.

Have you experienced a real “fuck up” or distress moment and what helped you to pull through?

I have to touch the wood, but strictly fuck up hasn't happened to us yet. Time and again a bigger hitch appears, but nothing serious that would put our business at risk. We try to keep all internal things in order and under control. Of course there are external problems that cannot be influenced. Then you need to react quickly, flexibly and most importantly as a team.

Thanks to Freelo, we no longer span all team members with e-mails. A huge amount of information was lost in the copies.

What system did you use to manage  the team communication before Freelo?

Before Freelo, we were constantly exchanging emails where everyone got lost over time. We used to write down individual tasks into several shared files with zero visibility about their fulfillment. As the number of team members increased, communication became pretty unclear and time-consuming.

Read also Thanks to Freelo, Simplia is better and faster to realize large e-commerce projects

How has the workflow and efficiency changed after implementation of Freelo?

Both went up quickly after Freelo was introduced. Everyone had To-Do lists, assigned deadlines, budgets. The fact that other team members, who did not directly participate in the task, also saw it had a huge impact on our workflow. It often happened that one of the members brought an important remark or opinion to the task.

Thanks to Freelo, we no longer spam all team members with e-mails. Lot of information and tasks got lost in e-mail copies. The responsibilities were not clear.

Why did you choose Freelo and how did its implementation in your team go?

We've been in Freelo since the very beginning, when an external supplier invited us there. We dealt with all the graphics and programming modifications of the e-shop.

As our team grew, we needed to change internal communication. We did an internal benchmark of similar communication programs, but for some reason, everyone was unsuitable for us. That's why we have decided to continue with approved Freelo.

How many projects are you currently working on?

Nowadays we have 5 major projects in Freelo. There will be more in short term ;-) All projects are long-term nature with many sub-tasks. Every time we complete one, there are three new ones already.

Photo: 24TIME.cz

In most cases, there is no need to train colleagues specially in Freelo. If people don't know Freelo, they get used to it quickly, thanks to the simplicity and intuitiveness.

How does Freelo help manage the entire company?

In Freelo, we are already dealing with all the activities in the company. From marketing to e-commerce development and design to strategy itself. Individual activities are divided into particular projects and tasks, with resources assigned to team members. Some activities, such as marketing, also have budgets assigned to every activity.

In terms of customer care, we need to respond very flexibly and online. However, we want to look at the possibility of using Freelo in this direction. Your new mobile app will certainly do a lot in the future.

How do you teach new team members with Freelo and the entire workflow?

We cooperate witch many external suppliers. They have a lot of experience with similar communication applications, so there is usually no need to specially train them. If they don't know Freelo, they quickly get used to it because of it's simplicity and intuitivity.

Which Freelo's features are the most useful to you and why?

I don't think we can pinpoint only few Freelo's functions that we would consider the most useful. Freelo is simply a well-mixed cocktail of functions for team communication.

Photo: 24TIME.cz

Freelo is simply a well-mixed cocktail of functions for team communication.

Do you miss anything in Freelo?

Until recently, we missed mobile app. It exists now, so communication has been simplified and speeded up again. It would be good to see which team members are currently online in Freelo and the option to have online chat.

When you say Freelo, which words do you think of?

Team, efficiency and communication.

What brand of watches do real captains wear? :-)

Each captai has several favorite brands and there is no saying that the shoemaker's children walk barefoot. Personally, I have Triwa and Mondaine watches and Michael (second captain) also has Triwa and MVMT watches.

Field Sales of watches
Team Retail
Business size 11-50
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