FASTEST GROWING COMPANIES #5: 360pi selling retailers on price intelligence

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Alexander Rink, chief executive of 360pi, points to three factors when explaining what drives his company’s impressive growth.

Alexander Rink is the CEO of 360pi.

by Jacob Serebrin

“No. 1, it starts with the market that you’re in,” he says. “It has to be a market with what I call tailwinds.”

He compares growing a business to cycling: it’s a lot easier to ride with the wind instead of against it.

“We happen to be focused on a market, the overall retail market, that is undergoing a lot of change and disruption. That’s our starting point,” he says. “Then, to serve that market, you need to have a great solution, and I believe we have that.”

The third piece of the puzzle? “You need to have an excellent team,” Mr. Rink says.

Still, that doesn’t mean the company’s path to success has always been smooth.

“I think any kind of sales process is a challenge. Nothing’s ever a gimme in business,” he says. “It’s in doing that, especially against strong competition, that you become a better competitor, a better performer.”

360pi has found success in the fast-growing market of price intelligence – in which retailers are eager to see what their competitors are offering and at what price – by serving large brands such as Ace Hardware and Best Buy Canada.

“Those are the ones that tend to have the most sophisticated requirements, and we are very strong in the quality of our intelligence that we provide to them as well as our service. That tends to be valued more by the largest retailers and brands,” Mr. Rink says.

Manufacturers of fast-moving consumer goods, a varied category that typically includes high-volume, low-margin items and ranges from packaged food and drinks to toys and cleaning products, are a new focus for 360pi, and the company recently added a new product aimed at those brands.

“I’d say one of the keys to our growth has been our flexibility and our adaptability,” Mr. Rink says. “We’re just starting down the path in that space, but that’s an indication of our willingness to listen to the market, see where the opportunities are and to modify our path accordingly.”

No matter what, the solution has to be top-notch, he says, and rigorous quality control plays a big role in ensuring that.

“What our customers are looking for is the best solution and the best service, the highest level of reliability,” he says. “That’s what we’re completely focused on.”

But he remains far from satisfied.

 

Year founded: 2008

 

Local head count: 40

 

Key markets or customers: Best Buy Canada, Ace Hardware, Overstock.com

 

Product or service: Product and price intelligence

 

Three-year revenue growth: 175 per cent

 

Organizations: Ace Hardware, Best Buy Canada

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