Portrait of a Successful Claris Partner: Karolis Serpytis of EcoCost Lithuania
Karolis Serpytis, the founder of EcoCost, shared his entrepreneurial journey, which deeply transformed the entire public procurement sector in his country.
30 July 2023
Centralized software to streamline all processes related to procurement in the Lithuanian public sector.
Solution developer profile
Procurement expert Claris Partner since 2015
We met with Karolis Serpytis, the founder of EcoCost, who told us about his entrepreneurial journey, which deeply transformed the entire public procurement sector in his country.
Today, his digital solution – the EcoCost application – counts more than 1000 active clients. It has become the standard in the Lithuanian public sector and is widely used by organizations, central government institutions, and local authorities. Municipalities are starting to centralize its use across various organizations like schools, kindergartens, and social services.
From an idea to a go-to-market strategy
It all started in 2013, when Karolis, still a procurement-sector employee at the time, got a strong feeling that it was crucial to digitalize procurement planning processes, making them more effective and transparent.
Convinced he could become successful as an entrepreneur, Karolis decided to quit his job and start his journey with FileMaker. Because it is flexible and requires no development skills, this low-code platform seemed an ideal tool to help him create his solution. Using all the resources available on the internet, Karolis quickly acquired the knowledge he needed to use FileMaker and developed the first module that streamlined planning processes.
As he knew a powerful solution would not be enough and a go-to-market strategy to promote the app would be crucial, Karolis organized a procurement planning event and showcased his pilot app in front of 100 professionals. Sixteen companies got onboard, and the adventure began.
Unfolding opportunities: Delivering on promises with FileMaker
What followed was a very close collaboration with his first clients as Karolis adjusted the solution to their specific needs and built new functionalities.
Discovering new opportunities is undeniably a part of any business. Keeping a very close eye on procurement digitalization initiatives in Lithuania, Karolis spotted a great opportunity to collaborate with Lithuanian Railways – a leading actor in the Lithuanian market and a really prestigious customer. Solid knowledge of procurement and Karolis’s determination to upgrade the solution to meet the customer’s specific needs were crucial and helped him earn their business.
This strategic victory opened new doors and more companies and government institutions started coming to him for help. Business really started to take off!
Building sustainable business: Winsoft and the FileMaker community support
To stack the odds in their favor, EcoCost joined the SBA program and became a Claris Partner. Business model adaptation happened over time as EcoCost adopted an annual Claris licensing model.
That is actually when Winsoft helped a lot with crediting, licenses, and business advice – it provided the greatest support during this transition to a more sustainable business model. There were lots of challenges along the way, but we made it!
Helping EcoCost build and optimize this new business model and seeing the results of the transformation is something that makes Winsoft Sales Director Mihaela Cornaton extremely proud. As the exclusive representative of Claris in Central & Eastern Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa, she sees accompanying businesses as part of the Winsoft team’s core role:
Onboarding new Partners is extremely strategic on emerging markets, and it’s our main focus at Winsoft International.
Mihaela Cornaton, Winsoft International Sales Director
As a Claris Partner, EcoCost was encouraged to participate in Partner Meetups organized by Winsoft in Prague, Istanbul, and online during the COVID pandemic.
Those conferences are great—they create the opportunity for partners, developers and entrepreneurs just starting with FileMaker to network, make connections, and get inspired. Lots of wisdom is shared there through carefully selected topics. Relying on the community helps a lot!
It was at one of these conferences that Karolis met HOnza Koudelka, the managing director of 24U Software, a Platinum Claris Partner. It was a brilliant opportunity for collaboration that boosted EcoCost’s app performance and made it more robust.
“If I were to give advice to a developer starting with FileMaker,” Karolis confides, “I would say invest in training and open yourself to the community, because with experts like HOnza, you get results much faster and you make fewer mistakes.”
Taking leadership in digitalization
The EcoCost team of 16 has become the leader of various local digitalization initiatives. One of them, the award for “Most digitalized organization in Lithuania”, has existed for 2 years now.
When assisting their clients in establishing KPI systems to measure how good they are in digitalizing, EcoCost encourages them to run for the award, the results of which are announced during conferences – local ones organized by EcoCost and national ones dedicated to the procurement sector. It’s a real boost for the entire ecosystem.
As an established, successful business owner whose solution thrives in the Lithuanian public sector, Karolis feels inspired by the idea of speaking about his experience, mentoring people who are just starting their entrepreneurial journeys and thinking of prototyping their own solutions with FileMaker:
At some point, you need to share and give back to the community. I’m happy now being in this position and being able to help others. If FileMaker hadn’t been there for me in the beginning, this wouldn’t have happened.
Learn more about how Claris FileMaker can help you scale your business – get in touch!