In the fall of 2022, a family-owned Danish group headquartered in Middelfart is looking for a new IT tool.
At Selfinvest, they see great potential in eliminating many manual processes by bringing meeting room and catering management into a new digital age.
On paper, a simple task: The market has numerous providers of such services. In the real world, however, the challenge is palpable for Nicolai Schultz and Frederik Suhm. The existing platforms on the market are either too broad or inadequate.
The family-owned group Selfinvest operates in trade, shipping, logistics, energy and IT. In addition to strong family values, the 150 employees at the Middelfart headquarters also share an office building and canteen. Now it’s time to expand the everyday common ground to include meeting room and catering management.
In Middelfart, Nicolai Schultz and Frederik Suhm will be working together to search the market and find the right solution. Nicolai Schultz is a trained chef and Head of Gastronomy and Service – Frederik Suhm is Business Development Manager.
Responsive and negotiable
With their respective professional expertise – canteen operations and business development – Nicolai Schultz and Frederik Suhm quickly come to the same conclusion: the big IT providers’ bids are not the best solution for Selfinvest.
That’s why Frederik Suhm starts looking in a different direction. If the clothes don’t fit perfectly, Selfinvest has to go with a partner and adapt the IT tool to their needs:
"After surveying the market, MyDesk remains the most responsive and negotiable provider in the market. At Selfinvest, we want a solution that works in harmony with our IT infrastructure. In this respect, we find many of MyDesk’s competitors to be a little more rigid – we have to go the extra mile. Too far. MyDesk, on the other hand, meets us with a desire and willingness to join forces in the development of an IT tool. This makes the decision simple for us," says Frederik Suhm.
Need data and statistics
In the day-to-day running of the canteen, meeting rooms and catering for 150 people, Nicolai Schultz and his colleagues have three clear needs and quite specific requests for the new digital tool:
"Firstly, digitalization should make everyday life easier and more straightforward – both for users in the offices, the service staff responsible for setting up meetings and for those of us working in the canteen. Secondly, the digital solution must document everyday activities – giving us some data and statistics to plan our daily operations. And thirdly, the finances must be visible and streamlined – every single employee must be able to see what a meeting room with set-up and catering costs in dollars and cents. The internal settlement should be fully automated, without paper and unnecessary time waste".
Nicolai Schultz emphasizes that the new digital IT tool has in no way been a cost-cutting exercise:
"Of course, it doesn’t hurt that we all become more aware of operating costs – that a weekly internal meeting with coffee and cake also costs money. However, the digital tool’s raison d’être is primarily to streamline our daily work and routines so that we can do more without necessarily running faster. In a way, it’s an attempt to find the smart solution before hiring more people to run the canteen. Saying goodbye to sticky notes and old paper habits and embracing new and more agile routines. In short, the old truth: Work smarter – not harder!".
Praise for ease of use
The experiment was a success: After six months of development work, the new digital solution went live in two stages just before and after the summer holidays.
"We are in a very early phase and still excited. So far, however, we’ve had a great response from our colleagues in the offices. They have embraced the platform and praise it for being very user-friendly. For service staff and canteen staff, it has also been a good process. We’re actually quite excited. We are already seeing a reduction in administrative burdens and are starting to get good statistics that we can plan and work from. Communication between us and the rest of the organization is definitely simplified and improved," says Nicolai Schultz.
As a business developer, Frederik Suhm also has a smile on his face:
"We have a digital tool that is a great fit for Selfinvest. We found the solution together with MyDesk. From start to finish, there has been great chemistry – both professionally and on a human level. Right now, it is a solution for canteen operations, but I can easily imagine that we, in close dialog with the companies in the group, will explore the potential of MyDesk – that is, investigate whether booking desks, reserving charging stations for electric cars and other functions could be of interest and relevant for our colleagues to have access to."
The art of limiting yourself
A new digital IT tool was the right answer for the Middelfart headquarters, but Selfinvest is not blinded by it. They know the art of limitation:
"The new IT solution adds value at the locations where Selfinvest is responsible for the daily operation of the canteen and meeting rooms. However, the tool is not being rolled out in the rest of the world," summarizes Frederik Suhm.
And so, in a way, we’re back where the whole project began: the art of developing and building an IT solution that is neither too little nor too much, but just right. In the many locations where there is no need for a solution in a worldwide group – this is the solution!
Family-owned group with global reach
Selfinvest is owned by the Østergaard family and is the parent company of the Selected Car Group and the global USTC Group with more than 145 offices in 40 countries and more than 4,000 employees worldwide – Read more about the USTC Group at www.ustc.dk
- Selfinvest, which is headquartered in Middelfart, Denmark, had a turnover of DKK 150 billion in the last financial year – and has equity of more than DKK 8 billion
- In addition to being the parent company of USTC and Selected Car Group, Selfinvest also has the purpose, as a family office, to manage the interests of the owner family within financial investments, ownership of real estate and other businesses. In addition, Selfinvest manages and performs a number of operational and service tasks for the group