At Linn Academy today, David Brackin, managing director of Stuff U Sell, the leading eBay trading assistant in the UK and a regular Tamebay contributor reports on Linnworks CEO Callum Campbell’s vision for the company.
Braving the after-lunch keynote session at this year’s LinnAcademy, Callum Campbell, Linnwork’s CEO followed up on his presentation from last year where he set out his mission for Linnworks to talk about progress in implementing it.
The theme of the mission is about giving time back to sellers – “To help people sell better. So they can have more freedom in their business and in their life“.
Callum started with the remarkable story of Alex Honnold’s free climb of El Capitan and the main lessons that he draws from it – the need to focus in order to succeed – in sport, in business and in life. Focus, he said, drives deep domain knowledge, operational expertise and from it excellence, and indeed one of the biggest threats to business is the risk of spreading too wide and trying to do too much so a core skill is saying “no“.
Callum’s main goal as CEO is to bring this focus to implementing the mission. Borrowing from others, he presented a flywheel with three elements – Product, Service and Community.
He started with Product – a strength of Linnworks has always been the deep development core. In this area he acknowledges that software at the heart of a business must not be an annoyance – he sees the key ares where this can affect sellers is to ensure that is quick, high performance and usable. For example, the Open Orders Beta pages have been designed with the principles of speed, performance and usability from the outset.
Another area is designing a product to help sellers to scale – both by providing data for revenue growth and helping deal with operational complexity that comes with growth.
Going beyond this, Callum believes that Linnworks should be helping customers to make sense of the data in their businesses by storing, analysing and developing advice based on it.
Callum introduced Phil Munro, the new head of customer experience, to talk about the thinking on service. He has taken a warts-and-all look at the business and sees the strength of the challenges to become seamless in service, to scale and thence to be proactive.
He is leading the building of a new learning portal for Linnworks – “Linn Learn” – to provide a place for answers and improving knowledge – sharing. Phil is also passionate about feedback and listening to what customers have to say and he underlined this by sharing his contact details for anyone to reach out to him.
Finally, Callum talked about community. There’s clearly a strong community around Linnworks: the halls between sessions today have been buzzing with conversations between sellers, marketplaaces, couriers, and suppliers, and Callum would like Linnworks to foster those conversationd to continue beyond LinnAcademy. To that end, Linnworks is sponsoring Growth Meetup, Product Training Days (mirroring the 1-1 support sessions at LinnAcademy) and Seller Council – an opportunity for intense listening to customers which started earlier this year.
It is clear that Callum’s thinking has moved on a considerable distance from his debut last year and he’s taking the mission to transform Linnworks from technical excellence to a rounded leader in the ecommerce space very seriously. With the hire of Phil Munro, he is building a team around the product, and I think all of us who are customers are keen to see whether he can succeed in the challenge he has set himself.