Forseeing the coming digital revolution in the music industry, José Luis Zagazeta and Maarten Van Wijck co-founded the music tech platform Sonosuite in 2005. The vision was to give access, control and rights back to independent music creators around the world.
In just a few years the company grew organically to a team of 75 people and a network of over 200 companies relying on their white label SaaS solution.
Work with Re-Map began in mid-2019 to address key issues that came from rapid growth:
- Dysfunctional management team dynamics
- A lot of time wasted in meetings with poor results
- Ineffective organizational structure
- Low alignment across teams and silos
- High churn rate in the tech team
- Negative climate and demotivation
While top positions were filled with some senior profiles, there was no team to speak of. Instead, subject matter experts representing functional silos.
The first priority - establish trust and create a real leadership team who would take collective ownership, drive business performance and a new thriving culture.
Instead of putting a spotlight directly in areas of tension, during our 2-day offsite, we co-created new norms for connecting. This enabled the team to address key topics in a new, constructive atmosphere.
The focus was on aligning around short term strategic priorities, key success measures, trade-offs and clear communication to the company. With the right guidance, the team had breakthrough conversations and aligned around a clear direction.
After an intense day of sessions, for the very first time, the team cooked, relaxed, listened to music and laughed together. The team was starting to form, seamlessly!
Jose later commented, We took our first real step as a team during our wonderful 2 day offsite
While the foundations of high performance were being laid, there was still much work to be done, in leadership, technology, product and culture.
2020 and Covid brought a spike in the volume of tracks. This was a double edged sword. On one hand, more tracks was good for business but on another, it highlighted technical gaps on the platform and manual processing in Ops and Finance.
At the peak of their difficulties, 1.2 clients were leaving every week!
The CFO warned the exec team – “we are at risk of dying from our success”.
To make matters worse, the industry suffered a massive spike in fraud. AI bots, programmed to replicate human behaviour on music platforms began generating fake revenues, resulting in financial write downs.
The team rallied to solve key technological gaps and beefed up their anti fraud policies.
Following the Purpose to Execution Flow in High Impact Culture, we revised:
- Operational beliefs and alignment with strategy
- Gaps between strategy and current execution capacity
- The key strategy – execution gaps with the most impact
Solving those gaps became the company rallying cry!
With the right dynamics and focus, in a few short months, they reduced client churn by 33%, halved the time needed to deliver tracks to digital service providers and reduced the number of complaint tickets by 40%.
As the team began to focus and work together to transform key areas, revenue and profit responded - from €3.6m in 2018 with EBITDA -€26k to €8.5m with EBITDA €284k in 2019.
By 2020, revenues had scaled to €18.6m with an EBITDA of €465k.
While the pressure was still on, the team were handling the challenges and supporting each other. A new culture was beginning to emerge and this was backed up by the 2021 Team Climate Survey:
- In 2019 43% of people answered yes to the question “I would recommend this as a place to work to a friend”. By 2020 the number had shot up to 80%
- For “I clearly know what my goals are and what my managers expect from me” the result rose from 57% in 2019 to 88% in 2020
- And for “I feel appreciated by my manager” the increase was from 62% to 84%
In recent months, we've focused on defining the purpose. In addition to financial KPIs, the founders have begun investing in social projects connected to their business purpose. As the business grows, so will their impact.
Sonosuite are on their way to becoming a High Impact Culture company, performance-driven and purpose-led.
As it stands they are in the process of raising an investment round and are poised to carry on their growth in three dimensions – people, impact and impact.
Some highlights include
320% increase in client volume
In just a few months, we've already started building a high performing executive team and company.
Jose Luis Zagazeta, CEO & Co-Founder, Sonosuite
Test drive our free Purpose Aligned OKRs template
This template guides leaders on how to develop OKRs that are aligned to a strategy which is aligned to your purposeView Link