How insportline.cz e-shop uses Freelo for project management

Karel Dytrych asks for Freelo
Radek Sakac answers for insportline.cz

Insportline is on the market for almost two decades. For better context, can you introduce the company, tell us some of its history and present its vision and future plans?

It all started as a classic story about the American dream in Czech. We grew from a garage company reselling sporting goods into a billion-dollar company that is the number one in its field. We want to continue to grow, expand into new markets and consolidate our position as the Central European leader in the sale of fitness, sports and leisure equipment.

At first we were rather self-taught and used Freelo more intuitively. We divided our projects by divisions/teams. However, we mainly use Freelo to manage more challenging long-term projects, where its benefits are the most significant.

What is really special about your company?

The ability to come up with a unique product first, sell products with an excellent price/performance ratio and provide excellent service and service aimed at maximum customer satisfaction.

What led you to make your own fitness machines?

First of all, there was a gap in the market at the beginning and secondly, we are sportsmen ourselves, so we make products for ourselves.

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Insportline has been Shop of the Year for many years. What did you do to deserve this award and what did you do to earn it?

From the beginning, we have focused on maximum customer satisfaction. This is the best ”loyalty program” and the best marketing - when our customers are satisfied with both our products and our services, they are happy to recommend them. ShopRoku is just a nice ”side effect”.

We tried more complex and robust tools like Trello, but it always failed on unnecessary complexity and ultimately clarity. It was only with Freelo that we got a simple yet flexible enough tool.

Have you taken any measures given the current situation? How did the pandemic affect you?

For us, the pandemic was like switching from sports to extreme sports. During lockdown, everyone wanted to engage in sports at home. With this came a huge growth in orders not only from our home Czech market, but also from abroad. And with that, everything related to covering the huge demand grew.

What are you proud of the most in your team?

Now, at the moment, we have withstood that difficult period and at a time when our competitors had nothing to sell, we were able to continue to meet the demands of our customers.

What are the biggest challenges you had to face so far?

It was probably the extremely difficult time during the pandemic. We're really proud of our team for being able to pull together and handle the enormous pressure.

Do you keep a close eye on the productivity or efficiency of your teams? How do you know if everything is going well?

For us, the main indicator is the ability to grow continuously while maintaining customer satisfaction. And the fact that we received the ShopRoku award again for last extreme year is the best proof of that.

Previously, we addressed the better ability to visualize downstream tasks. Ideally using a Gantt chart. We also tried another Czech tool - Lamael, but it was a big disappointment for us. So we went back to Freelo and found that it was not nearly as key a feature.

Recently you started work to the full in Freelo. What problems did you face before introducing Freelo the most?

It's a classic. Not everyone is so adaptable or structured to start managing, recording and using these modern project management methods. But as long as management supports this, it can be overcome.

What are the benefits of using Freelo for you?

I see a clear benefit in the fact that everyone can see the current status of the tasks and projects they are involved in at any time, and that the management has a quick overview of the state of affairs.

What was the main driving reason for the introduction of Freelo?

It became unbearable to manage some of the more complex projects involving internal staff, retail workers and external contractors with just tools like email and phone.

The important thing is that Freelo itself forces you to complete projects and tasks, otherwise you won't keep it in order and the necessary clarity, without which even Freelo is hardly usable in the long term.

How did you proceed with the introduction of Freelo (or remote work)? Has anyone or anything inspired you?

First we tried more complex and robust tools like Trello etc. but it always failed on unnecessary complexity and finally lack of clarity. It was only with Freelo that we got a simple enough but flexible tool. I don't remember anyone in particular inspiring us.

Ease of use and thus wider user acceptance is a key advantage of Freelo.

How do you organize your work?

At first we were rather self-taught and used Freelo more intuitively. We divided our projects by divisions/teams. However, we mainly use Freelo to manage more challenging long-term projects, where its benefits are most significant. We are just getting ready to use Freelo for repetitive activities using a template.

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Do you have any guidelines or best practices how to use Freelo?

The important thing is that Freelo itself forces you to complete projects and tasks, otherwise you won't keep it in order and the necessary clarity, without which even Freelo is hardly usable in the long term. We've found it very useful to use subtasks, where you can then see the progress of a task and whether it's coming to completion. We didn't find it useful to divide projects to a long task lists. Here, less is more.

What tools are necessary to run your business?

Cell phone, calculator and Freelo (oh, and a trapeze bar ;-)).

Do you miss anything in Freelo?

Not really. We used to have a better way of visualizing sequential tasks. Ideally with a Gantt chart. Because of this we tried another Czech tool - Lamael, but it was a big disappointment for us. So we went back to Freelo and found that it was not nearly such a key feature that it made sense to switch to another solution. Ease of use and thus wider user acceptance is a key strength with Freelo.

Field Sports equipment seller
Team e-Commerce
Team size 50-100
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