Exact has acquired construction software vendor bouw7 for an undisclosed sum. bouw7 is a leading cloud software vendor in the Dutch construction sector focused on SMEs. Its software provides functional in three core areas project management, quality & safety management and financial administration.
There is a period of high growth in the construction sector in the Netherlands. This acquisition makes Exact Online a more complete solution to construction companies. As a cloud and mobile enabled solution, bouw7 delivers real-time entry points for project managers giving business owners visibility about the state of every project without the need to always be on site. Once the two applications are fully integrated this will further reduce administration, rekeying errors and will improve the efficiency of operations.
Phill Robinson, CEO of Exact commented: “Today’s announcement fits our product strategy and focus to become the champion technology provider in the Benelux. The acquisition of bouw7 makes Exact the market leader in software for the construction industry in the Netherlands. For SME businesses within the industry there is a big opportunity to win in efficiency and gain competitiveness.
“While margins in the industry can be low, companies typically operate with a lack of structure and transparency. With the threat of a high cost of failure, businesses need to improve on their project management and communication abilities.“
Enterprise Times: What does this mean
For founder of bouw7 Sander Jongsman this provides an exit only four years after setting up the company. It provides the opportunity for international growth throughout Benelux with the support of a larger organisation. Jongsman commented: ”Together we can serve more than half of the of the total market (businesses with two employees or more) and know how the help them improve on their challenges. Our shared customers will benefit from the integrated solution giving them competitive advantage to realise their ambition.”
Once integrated the combined software should help Exact achieve an even higher penetration of the market. With the addition of a leading vertical application, its accounting solution it places itself in a strong position. Especially with the possibility that global vendors such as QuickBooks and Xero may enter the market with cloud accounting solutions in the near future.
This is a smart strategy by Robinson. In adding the leading vertical applications for the SME market in Benelux he is able to strengthen Exact’s position in those markets. The question is once those markets are secured will Exact be able to expand internationally. The challenge will be that the technology code base for each vertical may be substantially different. It may also prove costly to internationalise every solution without commonality between them.