Family Business Succession at Inventive Designers
Guy Dehond, CEO at date and majority shareholder at Inventive Designers NV, transfers the ownership of the company and the management to Joke Dehond (his daughter) and Klaas Bals (his son-in-law). As from December 18th, both of them will become Managing Director and Co-CEO, while Guy Dehond will stay involved with the company and the product strategy as president of the Board of Directors. This was decided in context of the company transfer, which the family has been planning for a while.
Inventive Designers was established in 1994 by Guy Dehond and Patrick Morren. As you can suggest, based on the choice of name, the company focus has always been on creating innovative software solutions. The company developed 4 of its own products and was successful in commercializing them worldwide. Today, Inventive Designers’ clients are located in over 30 countries globally, and include companies such as Suncorp (AUS) United Nations (US), FPS Finance (BE), Belgacom (BE), Siemens (DE), Raiffeissen bank (CZ), Ford (UK), KBC (BE), Axa (BE), Belgacom (BE), Electrabel (BE), Sky (UK), Colt (UK), etc. The team grew from 2 in 1994 to 38 employees today, with a turnover of 5 million euros.
Focus on Innovation
During the last few years, the company has been awarded several times with national and international awards for innovation. This list contains the ‘DCM Award’ (NL) for its digitals stamp IntelliStamp, the ‘Banking&Finance ICT Innovation Award’ (BeNeLux) and the ‘Innovation Award for Banking & Finance’ (USA) for its output platform Scriptura Engage. In 2011 the former CEO, Guy Dehond received recognition for his exceptional career in the field of innovation, with the ‘Innovation Award’ of CIONET Belgium – department of the European CIONET, a networking organization for CIO’s and IT managers.
Innovation is what the second generation will stay focused on. “Only by innovation, we can maintain our position in this niche market. We are often already using and implementing technologies and applications our competitors can only dream of”, Klaas Bals.
Two weeks ago, the city of Mechelen received the ‘eGov Award Best Project 2012’ with the technology of IntelliStamp. This opens a lot of opportunities in the strategic development of the digitization of civil affairs, local services etc.
“This is the last step in a transfer procedure that the family has been planning for years. It is important that by taking this last step, we can guaranty continuity to our stakeholders. We have been thinking about this decision for a long time and I will stay closely involved –from the Board of Directors. I am taking this step so the second generation can take the company to the next level. I’m really looking forward to that”, says Guy Dehond.
Joke Dehond and Klaas Bals will both become Managing Director and Co-CEO of Inventive Designers. “We absolutely want to retain the identity and the DNA of the company, but we will also put our own accents. It is important for us to accentuate other elements.”, according to Joke Dehond. “But it is still our mission to help our clients to optimize their customer communication. With our products we can help streamline and improve the communication processes of our customers, through multiple channels like mail, email, text messages, mobile apps and social media. With this, every individual end customers get an ever more personal approach through the right channel, with the most relevant content and layout”.
Guy Dehond: “The continuation for our customers and supplies is fully guaranteed. I’ve consciously taken a step backwards this past year, with the aim of smoothly transferring this company.”
Joke Dehond studied Computer Science at the Antwerp University and also graduated in “B2B Marketing” at the Vlerick Management School and ‘Fundaments for Managers’ at the Antwerp Management School. Within Inventive Designers, she held several positions, from programming to pre-sales, marketing and legal. For a couple of years Joke was vice-president of the ‘Youth Camber’ in Flanders' Chamber of Commerce and Industry Antwerp- Waasland and she participates in Plato Ladies as well, a work group for female entrepreneurs.
Klaas Bals studied Computer Sciences at the Antwerp University. He is co-author of the IBM Redbook, he resided in the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) where he also edited “XLS Requirements 2.0”. Innovation is close to his heart, as he attended the ‘Innovation & Entrepreneurship Masterclass’ at Vlerick and he is also godfather of ‘Plato Innovation’. Klaas is frequently asked as speaker on national and international conferences.
IntelliStamp is a digital stamp that provides documents of a legal digital signature and it guarantees the legal value when printing. This way, certificates, deeds, insurance policies or other documents – that are being delivered on paper to sign – can be sent digitally. The recipient of the digital document can still print the document and it will maintain its legal value on paper. Possible fraud on the paper document can be easily detected. By using IntelliStamp, the citizens no longer have to visit the municipality to collect their papers or organizations can deliver and sign their insurance policies and contract digitally. This process results in cost and time savings. IntelliStamp is used by – amongst others - the city of Antwerp and Mechelen and as well by health insurer IAK.
About Scriptura Engage
Scriptura Engage is a software solution that generates, produces and manages outgoing documents and the document flow. Documents can be paper as well as email, text messages, an inquiry form on a website, a social media message or a webpage.
Scriptura Engage focusses on companies producing big amounts of output or on creating very complex documents, but still approaching their client in a personal way. By using Scriptura Engage, companies have one platform to manage and control all outgoing documents and document flows.