A Brighter Tomorrow Always in Mind
What were the most significant challenges of Intact’s early years?
We have always been clear on what we want to achieve: Software solutions that meet the high industry standards and requirements of the given time. The thing that has distinguished us most as a team is that we look beyond finding suitable solutions to our community’s challenges and strive for optimal ways to meet our industry’s needs.
Our software serves a unique market and helps solve a variety of industry-specific problems. During Intact’s conception, we investigated various potential directions and tried out different products and approaches. Finally, we realized that we had to set a focus. The decision to fully utilize the Intact Platform (formerly ECERT) was an essential move in Intact’s growth and success.
Our team has grown continuously over the past 20 years. From our beginning – when I was still programming on my own and all four founders had unique responsibilities – to our current team, which is spread worldwide. Our growth hasn’t stopped, and numerous new Intact employees have started in the last few months alone.
How has working at Intact changed (for you) because of all these movements?
Today, we have more precise and more ambitious plans than ever before. We need clear structures to achieve these robust plans and goals. That’s why corporate restructuring and adapting responsibilities are part of our growth journey. So, there have indeed been significant changes in my day-to-day work as the company has evolved. The changes in my role and responsibilities over the years have been necessary steps for the company’s progress, and I’m glad to see how we’re developing.
Something that has never changed, and has always been important to me, is that we keep our private and professional lives separate. Decisions have to be made in the company’s best interest to continue our growth and evolution. Taking personal feelings out of business decisions has always, and still does, work wonderfully for me and us as a team.
As Head of Intact Mobile – What role do you think mobile devices play in developing the industry?
An indispensable role! Mobile apps such as Intact Mobile facilitate data collection enormously – for example, they make it possible to use mobile devices to complete on-site audits. Not only does this make the auditors’ work more efficient, but it also helps improve the integrity of the data by making the process simple and direct.
Throughout the development of Intact Mobile, we asked ourselves what a mobile app must do to lower barriers for auditors. We needed mobile solutions to gather findings, manage documents and photos, use integrated maps, voice-to-text functionality, and more. Since launch, we have continued to evaluate the app’s features by asking ourselves what the most critical processes are because it’s not just the app that’s growing – the Intact Platform is also constantly getting new modules and functionalities.
Since not all audit sites have Internet access, offline availability is a major issue for the industry. For auditors and certification bodies to do their work efficiently and ensure data integrity, checklists and other data must be available offline, as they are with Intact Mobile. Despite substantial network expansion, it will still be a long time before offline functionality is no longer required.
When did the idea for Intact Mobile first come up?
The idea of filling out checklists offline was already in mind during the Intact Platform’s inception. The next logical step was to start developing Intact Mobile. Today the app is available for download in all app stores. Anyone who wants to test the features can check out functions and workflows with demo data.
What milestones did you and your team reach during the development of the mobile app?
The first significant milestone was the successful prototype. As soon as we were given the green light for the development of Intact Mobile, the product management team started creating a prototype. We developed an impressive and successful prototype in just a few months and then started on implementation. Our customers welcomed the app with open arms, and we gathered a lot of positive feedback. The initial success and feedback allowed us to expand and grow the project – another huge step.
The third significant milestone is the development of our team itself. With increased demand, our app team is growing steadily. In addition to our internal growth, we are working with freelancers, which is a lot of fun and brings a certain start-up flair. Parallel to the growth, our team structure is also developing splendidly, and we are evolving into a very efficient unit. As a remote-work-tested team, the inability to work in person during COVID-19 was not a challenge for us.
Projects with Practical Value and Lasting Memories
What were your best moments in the 20 years of Intact?
Surprisingly, the stressful phases during the first product implementations brought lots of good memories. At this time, Thomas would train the modules that I had just programmed the night before. We were constantly facing big questions, and with each project, we continued to learn new things. But we always kept in mind that “no matter what, we will find a solution” (laughs).
Looking back, it was a precarious approach and we certainly were not operating at our current professional scale. We had to prove ourselves as well as our ideas time and time again, to keep the big vision alive – whatever the circumstances. However, programming under that kind of tension and time pressure had its appeal. We have taken a lot of experience and learnings from our early years with us to this day.
The on-site assignments with our customers in different countries are something special and valuable. The personal side and the close relationship with our customers are essential parts of Intact’s DNA that I have always appreciated. I still remember our first customer in the USA – we worked in the middle of nowhere and lived in a hunting lodge for the on-site project implementation. Or in France when old farms and rebuilt stables were our accommodation. Well, that was quite something! But the French wine was our consolation at the time (laughs).
What are your goals for the coming years?
Doing a good job has always been my goal, maybe because I am a perfectionist to a certain extent (laughs). In any case, I’m looking forward to great new projects coming in the next few years of Intact.
Want to learn more?
Do you want to learn more about our thoughts on the current developments of the industry? Make sure to follow Intact on LinkedIn for news, updates, and takes on current events.
If you are interested in one of our products or want to exchange thoughts, you can set up a meeting with us – we look forward to hearing from you.