15 years and more than a quarter of a billion of freight and vehicle offers later, Jens Thiermann, one of the founders of TimoCom, turns on his computer in the morning. Five green little lights are glowing. "In the early days I got in the habit of checking whether everything is in the green zone several times a day, and I have to admit I still do that today. I cannot help it although our systems are very stable", says Thiermann with a smile. However, the beginning of TimoCom was a lot more turbulent.
In April 1997, several months before the start of the freight and vehicle exchange, Jens Thiermann and Jürgen Moorbrink, managing directors of the shared freight forwarding company, had a conversation that should change their lives. It was a stressful day - just like most days in the freight forwarding business. Apart from scheduling drivers and negotiating prices with customers, that day they had meetings with sales representatives of two freight exchanges. The performance of the one used up to then was not good enough – they only found ten relevant offers per week! After the meeting with the freight exchange providers one thing was certain: none would meet Thiermann/Moorbrink's requirements. "Why do we need the help of a freight exchange which does not provide exactly what we want anyway? We do not normally rely on others either", Thiermann wondered. That evening he called Gunther Matzaitis, the freight forwarding company's IT consultant, and told him about his idea of developing their own freight and vehicle exchange.
The work starts
The following weeks were full of one thing in particular: privation. During the day business was continued as usual. After work and on weekends the work mates Gunther Matzaitis and Oliver Schubert programmed the application while Thiermann paved the way for further business. However, even after the launch of TC Truck&Cargo® time was a scarce resource. "Our families really did not see much of us during this first stage", admits Thiermann, "but they were always by our side. We had put a lot of effort into TC Truck&Cargo® and now had to get it up and going." And they succeeded sooner than expected. It seemed like the transport industry had only been waiting for such a new type of freight exchange. The goals established by TimoCom's directors were achieved earlier than planned which increased motivation. After only a short time plans for further TimoCom products were made.
Jens Thiermann and Gunther Matzaitis consistently pushed TimoCom's development. With the calculation tool TC eMap® and the transport directory TC Profile® in 2004 and 2007 respectively, TimoCom launched additional modules and integrated them in its existing freight and vehicle exchange. On its 10th anniversary TimoCom announces: 67,000 users from all across Europe publish up to 172,000 freight and vehicle offers daily in TC Truck&Cargo®. The company has grown from a small 4-man project into a medium-sized company with 160 employees.
During this time the first signs of the financial and economic crisis were already becoming evident in TimoCom's transport barometer. Even before the crisis really started to take effect Thiermann, Matzaitis and companions thought about how to support their customers in the upcoming difficult times. The solution was launched in 2009 – right in the middle of the economic crisis: TC eBid® – The online platform for Europe-wide transport tenders. The programme provides planning reliability for customers, especially in turbulent times. With TC eBid® they can secure long-term transport contracts. No wonder that this product also turned into a great success.
One day in April
Almost 300 TimoCom staff also continued to further develop the freight exchange TC Truck&Cargo® . They remember one day in April 2011 in particular: on the 19th of that month there was an incredible 421,383 freight and vehicle offers in TC Truck&Cargo® – as many as never before. "I have to admit that when I heard this number I got a little nervous thinking about how much responsibility we have at TimoCom", Jens Thiermann looks back. So many offers in our transport exchange on just a single day! Exactly this high responsibility is the reason why we check everything twice or three times here, continuously invest in new technology and improve our products. For our customers sake we simply cannot afford to provide them with low-quality products. This motivates us."
In the future Jens Thiermann will probably continue to check the green lights on his screen several times a day. Just like he has done for 15 years now.
You can find further information about TimoCom at www.timocom.co.uk.