Would you like a commercial appointment? A consultant will call you back.
Drinks company AsterX is a great example of how companies with a more traditional business model can also use data to innovate. "We work with data and figures on a daily basis," explains this Trends Gazelle.
AsterX Dranken is a family business with four drinks stores in Boom, Bornem, Heist-op-den-Berg and Waarloos. "We have quickly expanded from one to four stores," reports joint director Christophe Geeraerts. Thanks to this growth, the company was recently named a Trends Gazelle.
AsterX Dranken's services are not limited to stores. The family business also supplies its own drinks and rents out party equipment. "In addition to these activities, we have a wholesale business in milk, ice cubes and South African wine that we import directly," explains Lies Devrieze, who runs the company with her husband. They have a diverse target group: from private individuals, cafes and restaurants and companies, to associations, schools and hospitals.
During the coronavirus pandemic, the company took advantage of the situation to optimise all their operations and structure. "We currently have three business areas within AsterX Dranken. We have our stores, our delivery service and the wholesale business. The aim is to continue growing each of these three business areas separately, with their own structure, within the broader AsterX Dranken entity."
In the summer of 2020, in the midst of the corona crisis, they also made the decision to switch to a new software package. "This package enables us to optimise our processes. It also allows us to work more easily at a different location. For administrative tasks, we are no longer tied to a fixed office."
It might sound unusual for a drinks business, but at AsterX Dranken they check their figures on a daily basis. "Figures mean that things can be measured. They reflect the growth of the company on all possible fronts. Almost everything can be measured," enthuses Devrieze. "Every day we try to expand and improve these statistics. We strive to be pioneers in this regard. All the sales and inventory data is available, so it makes sense to analyse it and implement improvements from there. Customer data is also very important to us. We can use it to respond even better to the needs of customers."
Connectivity & 4G backup
Data also means connectivity. "That's crucial for us," explains Geeraerts. The company combines fixed and mobile internet, using solutions from Orange. Employees have smartphones with mobile data, but AsterX Dranken goes further than that. Geeraerts: “For example, we have a 4G backup facility in our stores and at the cash registers. If the internet access fails, we can keep on working. Our business revolves around data and accessibility. And you always need to keep that possibility open."
In our podcast series Connect to Grow, we gather experiences, strategies and tips from entrepreneurs who have been voted Trends Gazelles. Listen to the growth story of AsterX Dranken and other successful companies on www.connecttogrow.be.