With 8 years of experience in the Supply Chain, Jean-Baptiste Clouard launches Flowlity in 2018 intending to revolutionise logistics with his software. Flowlity’s goal is to help companies to better plan and forecast their needs thanks to AI.
Discover this entrepreneurial adventure in this new podcast.
- Chapter 1 : your entrepreneurial experience in 3² point
- Chapter 2 : the genesis of the business idea
- Chapter 3 : validation of the business idea
- Chapter 4 : getting started
- Chapter 5 : take-off
- Chapter 6 : the future
- IntoTheMinds podcasts
The marketing idea to be retained absolutely
It is possible to do business via LinkedIn! This professional network will allow you to expand your network, find qualified people ready to give you feedback about your idea, but also to contact prospects and perhaps find your first customers.
3 key figures
2 million Euros in investments (private and public), turnover multiplied by 10 between 2019 and the first half of 2020, +13 people in the team in 1 year.
3 Tips for future start-uppers
Tip 1: Launching into a sector you are familiar with
Tip 2: Partner with the right people to create synergy effects
Tip 3: Tackle a big problem in a big market (to have an impressive financial perspective)
3 essential skills to launch a start-up
The first skill mentioned by Jean-Baptiste Clouard is resilience. The second skill for an entrepreneur is flexibility. Finally, the third skill mentioned is the ability to listen.
You have to be reactive; you have to listen to your market [and] to your colleagues.
Jean-Baptiste insists on the importance of knowing the sector to launch a start-up that meets the right issues. His primary asset is his 6 years of experience in the Supply Chain and supply chain planning sector. This “business” expertise has enabled him to develop certain intuitions and convictions that led to the creation of Flowlity.
Together with his partner Karim, the entrepreneur finally launched numerous iterative processes to solve the market issues in the best possible way. In particular, they confronted their vision with future customers and were able to develop their project based on their feedback.
A good idea doesn’t just happen in the shower; it doesn’t just happen all at once; it happens through iterations.
The confirmation of the business idea was done by applying specific market research techniques, mainly qualitative analysis.
The steps followed by the Flowlity team to confirm their idea:
- Definition of sector and market assumptions
- Definition of the problem to be addressed
- Sending emails and requests for connection to LinkedIn to prospects
- Qualitative interviews with potential future clients (50 to 60 calls over 2 to 3 months to generate)
Jean-Baptiste Clouard explains that thanks to this process, Flowlity was also able to find its first customers.
Flowlity’s first customer is a person contacted on LinkedIn, using a classic outbound marketing technique. This first customer is almost described as a partner or at least a mentor, a profile that has accompanied the two entrepreneurs in the creation of their project.
If this is not the only sales strategy implemented, LinkedIn has nevertheless enabled them to have their first returns, their first contacts and their first customers. This is how they got in touch with Saint-Gobain’s Supply Chain Director, who believed in their project and worked with them to integrate the solution within the organisation.
Starting as a young entrepreneur is not easy. Jean-Baptiste looks back on the start experienced by Flowlity:
In the beginning, this rollercoaster phase is not easy, but […] our story is rather idyllic, […] as long as it lasts…
The positive market signals
- The digitalisation of the Supply Chain is a buoyant market (a lot of investment is being made in this area).
- Its business profile is convincing
- Post-COVID, the market is hyper-active
The supply chain market and its efforts in terms of digital transformation are certainly buoyant, but it is still necessary to use these springboards on excellent development.
- Confirm the ideas and the solution
- Finding the first customers and the right partners (Saint-Gobain for example)
- Raising funds to invest
- Reach more customers and more markets
Jean-Baptiste explains that it is necessary to know how to find the right balance between the weight and diversity of projects and the company’s capacities in terms of workload and production and implementation capacity (managing the volume of requests). The aim is indeed to maintain a strong product and service quality while ensuring projects large enough to support the entrepreneurial project and its growth.
Asking the right questions is essential:
- How to accelerate the company’s growth?
- What is the bottleneck in the company?
- What should be invested in immediately?
How to attract talent?
For Jean-Baptiste Clouard, to attract talent to work in a start-up, you have to sell them the entrepreneurial project. These future employees must believe in it, believe in the team and adhere to the company’s objectives. Flowlity also invests in marketing to strengthen its employer brand and make itself appealing. The benefits of the start-up are highlighted: teleworking, competitive remuneration, equity
Although he cannot give us precise figures for the coming years, Jean-Baptiste Clouard does not limit his ambition and envisages a growth curve that follows that of previous years.
Ultimately, Flowlity’s objective is to digitalise and automate all material flows in the Supply Chain.
We allow [everyone] to have the benefits and efficiency of Amazon’s Supply Chain.
Today, the company is focused on the Western European geographical market but plans to expand to other continents.
A podcast to help you develop your start-up
In 2020 we are changing the format of our podcasts. The aim is to help you develop your start-up by providing you with relevant information on specific topics.
Our podcasts are now divided into chapters of +/- 3 minutes. Each chapter is dedicated to a specific theme or development phase. You can therefore listen to the entire podcast or choose to listen to only part of it by directly selecting the part that interests you the most.
Illustration : shutterstock