Interview with Konsiteo
Building materials webshop from Konsiteo
Konsiteo was founded in 2015 as an web-based builders merchant. Clients can browse and purchase building materials online from verified manufacturers. Konsiteo does not own any of the materials but connects customers and construction material suppliers. Konsiteo is neither a marketplace nor do they use dropshipping methods. Konsiteo buys goods from manufacturers after customers place an order. After all, the online shop is a social enterprise, says Alen Karlovic, Founder and CEO.
This interview is part of a larger dossier called "Construction Start-up Radar".
- What will the construction industry look like in 2020? What role does digitalization play?
A whole construction site, with the architect / engineering office and building material supply chain will be integrated and connected. It will be possible to order building materials directly within e.g. Autodesk Navisworks quantification tool.
- What is your business model? What makes you and your company unique?
So far, clients in the EU can access a country-specific shop, but expansion is planned for North America and Australia. After our customer's order, building materials are delivered directly from the manufacturer's warehouse, or else customers can pick-up goods from our local warehouses. We have two value propositions. For manufacturers we are one point of contact for every EU country so they can easily expand to new markets. Our customers (contractors and DIY) can easily browse and order materials online. We sell just goods from verified manufacturers, no imported goods from far away countries which we store at our warehouses. We've implemented "pull - lean - Six sigma" logistics. Products enter the supply chain when customer demand justifies it. Manufacturers' representatives can be connected via our mobile app. Currently we use Autodesk A360 for real time collaboration with our customers, engineers and contractors. We can exchange 2D & 3D drawings and coordinate experts. We don't own any stocks, vehicles, warehouses etc. We pay our manufacturers without delay and 2.5% of every purchase is transferred to our housing fund. We are not just an ordinary online shop but a social enterprise.
- What is your company vision (5 years)?
We plan to expand to Canada, the US, Brazil, India and Australia. We also plan to expand our collaboration with local logistics companies, manufacturers, architects, civil engineers and contractors in every country. Besides, we consider our culture of lifelong education very important. As the founder, I plan to attend a PhD program in the area of construction project management. And all our employees are encouraged to constantly educate themselves. All costs are paid by Konsiteo. At the end of the year, it makes us 365 times smarter than to invest in expensive offices.
- What does your revenue model look like?
Manufacturers send us a price list and recommended prices for B2B and B2C customers. The difference between these two prices is our revenue. In this way we can eliminate dumping pricing. To the benefit of our customers, we also offer two different subscription based models helping to finance our Konsiteo Housing Funds. I am happy to explain the details, if people get in touch.
- How is your company funded?
Bootstrapping, personal savings. We are cautious with our expenses.
- As a start-up, what is your next goal? What partners do you need?
Our next goal is to expand our product offering. Our main partners are building material manufacturers. We constantly educate them about benefits of online sales.
- Who are your key clients?
Construction companies, facility management companies and DIY customers.
- What are the biggest challenges your clients are currently facing?
So many interesting building materials are only available in selected countries. It's very hard to expand for manufacturers, if they have a different distributor in every country. If manufacturers can easily expand, customers can benefit from new building materials available for purchase in their countries. Brick and mortar stores have physical space shortage and customers can browse thousands of different products online.
- What options do you offer to potential clients to face their challenges (e.g. workshops, coachings)?
To our clients we offer a convenient way for ordering goods with delivery included. We also offer building materials which are currently not available for purchase in their country, this means more options. We organize webinars for manufacturers to educate clients about their products. We don't have high operational costs, the benefit for customers is that these costs are not included within a price.
- What prerequisites (e.g. infrastructure, trained personnel, etc.) do your clients need to bring?
Currently our future clients buy building materials from brick and mortar stores so we need time and perseverance for them to find out about us and what we offer.
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