Baseplan Case Study
- Headquarters: Sydney, Australia
- Acquisition Date: September 2018
- Vertical Market: Rental Management
- Visit Company Website
Baseplan Software Group was founded in 1986 with the mission to provide the rental, fleet, dealership, and construction industries with the most comprehensive ERP software on the market. Over the past 30 years, Baseplan has established itself as a prominent force in the ERP software sector, assisting rental businesses all over the world in streamlining operations and taking their organization to the next level. In 2018, the owner of Baseplan was ready to find a new home for the business and hired Joe Westhuizen to support the acquisition process. The pair ultimately chose to join Volaris Group in September of 2018, at which time Westhuizen took over as the General Manager of Baseplan.
Westhuizen currently oversees business operations in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. He has spent over two decades working in the ERP space and has supported companies in implementing large and mid-tier technology solutions in both the public and private sector across the globe. Westhuizen’s professional career has allowed him to learn about business functions in many industries and apply those concepts to the rental market.
Decision to Sell
While looking for an acquirer, Westhuizen had conversations with over 25 potential buyers ranging from private equity to strategic acquirers in the ERP space, but saw a stronger fit with Volaris Group. With over 100 software businesses in the global portfolio at the time, he recalls being impressed with the scale of Volaris Group businesses. This global network would allow Baseplan to gain access to an environment of continuous learning and best practice sharing among other businesses leaders. Ultimately, Volaris’ ability to trust leaders to make the best decisions for their business and empower them to continue operating autonomously was the key differentiator for Westhuizen. Unlike many other buyers, Volaris Group is a buy-and-hold forever acquirer that does not look to sell in three to five years. This allows leaders to make decisions that are best for the business in the long-term.
At Volaris, there is a strong sense of independence, and the ability to continue to run and drive the organization how we wanted was very attractive.
In addition, Westhuizen shares that it was important to the previous owner that employees had a secure future with Baseplan post-acquisition. Since joining Volaris Group over three years ago, the entire management team has remained intact, and the vast majority of employees have chosen to stay and continue to grow with the business.
Post-acquisition, Westhuizen and the Baseplan team have enjoyed leveraging the support of a larger organization, while continuing to grow as an independent business unit. Because Volaris Group has a highly decentralized structure, the Baseplan leadership team upholds the responsibility to deliver on the goals they have assigned for the business. Since the acquisition in 2018, the company has been able to achieve its healthiest financial position and lowest customer attrition rate. Baseplan has become over three times more profitable, achieving revenue levels that had not been reached under private ownership.
Westhuizen notes that Baseplan has been able to position being a part of Volaris Group (backed by Constellation Software, TSE: CSU), as an upside for security and reduced risk for customers. This advantage allows senior leadership to maintain a long-term perspective of the business as opposed to being driven by short-term cash judgments. The financial backing of Constellation Software helps promote organic growth at Baseplan, providing more security for both employees and customers. In fact, due to the improved health of the business since the acquisition, Baseplan has seen an improvement in employee retention. In addition to building out their product offering, Baseplan has been able to expand their workforce both onshore and offshore.
Volaris Group fosters a culture where networking and best practice sharing among employees is critically important to the success of our businesses. Baseplan team members have leveraged access to the broader portfolio network to share and learn from other companies both within and outside of the rental market. Westhuizen has personally found success in engaging in Volaris Group’s network by asking questions and sharing resources with other business leaders across the group. As someone who has lived and worked in many countries across the world including South Africa, the United States, and Australia, Westhuizen still feels at home within Volaris Group.
There aren’t many barriers in terms of geography, language, or culture here. We've got a diverse grouping of people across the group, and I think it's a great home for everyone.
Looking to the future, Westhuizen is focused on growing and improving the Baseplan business based on continuous feedback from customers that will help position the business for long-term growth. Westhuizen shares, “We can learn from other companies in the Volaris Group and bring that learning into our businesses, which provides us the opportunity to learn and expand both geographically and operationally. We couldn’t do that as a private entity.”
As the business continues to grow, Westhuizen hopes that they will expand globally by offering their solutions in countries beyond the shores of Australia, and specifically looks forward to building a stronger presence the United States. Westhuizen is also eager to grow via acquisition of other software businesses to expand the rental portfolio. These initiatives will help grow Baseplan’s presence across the globe and to continue to be a market leader in the rental industry. Volaris Group will support these growth goals by sharing best practices and resources along every step of the way.