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DT Magazine is Wolseley's Nordic employee magazine, published three times a year, and read by staff in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland. The magazine serves multiple purposes but the most important objective is to contribute to a strong sales culture. If you want to know more about the magazine, feel free to contact Patrick May at 0045 3115 4477
10 The voice of Beijer 12 Make your successes visiBle 27 No paper iNvoices
no. 14winter 2012/13
When the going
Why our competitors
money in the bank
Spending time with
Can you say: Replenishment system?
WhaT caused the mass extinction of the dino-saurs? The commonly accepted explanation is the catastrophic im-pact of a 10 km wide as-teroid that smashed into the Yu-catan penin-sula in Mexico. The collision caused worldwide forest fires, tsunamis sev-eral kilometres high, and an impact win-ter when dust blocked out the sun for months or even years. Its be-lieved that the dinosaurs were blasted, roasted and frozen to death, in that order. The aster-oid did not kill all animal and plant life. Many spe-cies survived, includ-ing fish, frogs, turtles, crocodiles, birds, and mammals. Compared to dinosaurs they were not the strongest spe-cies, nor the biggest, but they were able to adapt to the new situ-ation. Thats an impor-
tant survival lesson we can learn from. Were in a recession and refus-ing to evolve wont get us very far. We have to adapt to the new agen-
da and accept that what we call a crisis now, might very well be our
business environ-ment for many years to come.
That doesnt mean that the way we always worked was wrong. But the situation has changed. We have to ad-just to the new reality so we so can emerge as winners and not go the way of the dinosaurs.
What really killed the dinosaurs
When the going gets tough
The voice of Beijer Our job is to make customers happy
Make your successes visible
Spending time with customers = money in the bank
The difference is you!Why our competitors will lose
Fetch Your Walking Stick, Old man
No thanks to paper invoices
DT QuizWin an iPhone 5
Private Label is growing everywhere
Charlotte Gullach BttrichChief Editor
editorial responsibility: DT Group/Charlotte Gullach Bttrich journalistic production and project management: Radical Communications/Patrick May Design and layout: Appetizer/Simon Johnsen photography: HPKristensen. print: Coolgray
... and not only in DT Group
DT Group +45 39559700Wolseley +44 118 929 8700Starkki +358 93 541 3000STARK +45 89343434
Beijer +46 752411000 Neumann +47 55549800Silvan +45 87308730Cheapy +46 431443540
You can write to Charlotte at [email protected]
Feel free to share your ideas and comments both positive and critical.
DT Magazine // Short news
tomer service due to inefficiency.
We looked at dif-ferent scenarios. In fact, we had six dif-ferent scenarios on the drawing board. When we assessed each scenario we also looked at future growth targets, inte-gration of additional product categories which, if wed cho-sen multiple distribu-tion centres, implied we would have had to copy the assort-ment, current rental agreements and in-frastructure costs
We ended up choosing a central-ised solution. We
bought an old postal terminal in Dniken - 40 km from Zrich and refurbished it to our needs. In terms of logistics, centrali-sation proved the most cost effective and it maintained our high level of cus-tomer service with 30,000 items deliv-ered the next day. Additional savings were made through reduced labour and transportation costs and a significantly reduced inventory. In addition, product flows are structured better, which in turn eliminates split ship-ments.
GOOD customer ser-vice requires having the right products in stock. Tobler is the leading division in Wolseley when it comes to this. On product availabil-ity, they score 99.6 meaning that out of every 2,000 products theres 8 products not in stock.
The main reason for the centralisa-tion was that the old distribution net-work wasnt geared for the growth that Tobler was experi-encing. Walter Man-tsch, Toblers Supply Chain and Sourcing
Manager explains: The old network was implemented in 2001 and designed to handle a turnover of CHF 250 million. In 2007, we hit CHF 300 million and expected ten per cent growth.
Significant cost reductionsThis caused a lot of problems. To start with, running an in-efficient warehouse adds to labour costs. Then there were ex-tra transportation costs because we moved goods around internally. But the worst was that we risked poorer cus-
Learn from the best tobler in Switzerland, part of wolseley Central eu-rope, has generated steady growth since 1957. to-day, the company has 41 marchs (as the Swiss call it), 720 employees and 60,000 unique products.
Until a few years ago, goods were distributed from one of the six distribution centres spread across the country. this changed in 2010: toblers six cen-tres were replaced by one central distribution centre, which still provides the same high level of service: Order today and receive your delivery tomorrow.
LengthwidthFloor Area Floors rampsHeavy duty elevatorsPallet elevators Conveyer beltStorage locations
256 m105 m
Dniken in numbers
Tobler sets standard in Wolseley
We bought an old postal terminal in Dnik-en and re-furbished it to our needs
Dt MAGAZine 3
LeTS LOOk CLOS-eR at this crisis. Its commonly referred to as the financial crisis because it was caused by bank-ers and investors. In many countries it resulted in a reces-sion and higher un-employment, i.e. it became an economic crisis. Market chaos is widespread: banks are struggling, con-sumers (that is us) have lost confidence in both the banks and the economy. So money is tight and
The importance of having a good foundation
Were surrounded by economic turmoil. This has been our reality for some years now. We continue to hope that the crisis will pass. But in the meantime, we have shops to manage, products to sell and customers to serve.
Our customers have seen declines in their order books. As a result, our business has decreased as well. The good news is that weve been good at adapting to the new reality. This gives us a good foundation on which to deal with the current reality and to grow the business. Crisis or not.
More on next page
Our own-ers have new expecta-tions
affect the Swedish construction indus-try. Both Finland and Norway have their own problems to deal with as well.
The market situ-ation has had a dra-matic effect on busi-ness, especially for our B2B customers. They experienced a decrease in the num-ber of jobs. A good
indicator of how hard it has been for cus-tomers is the num-ber of bankruptcies. In 2011 in Denmark, twice as many con-struction companies went bankrupt com-pared to 2005 and 2006. If times are tough for our cus-tomers, it has an impact on our busi-ness. We notice it in the branches every day and we can see it in the financial re-sults DT Group pub-lished in October.
The 2011/12 re-sults show a slight increase in revenue. The trading margin (our profit) however, fell 0.9% to 4.6%. In 2005/06 the margin was 5.8%. Consider-ing the market situ-ation, 4.6% is a re-spectable result, one we can be proud of. Theres more good news. We managed to maintain our mar-ket share and on top of that we have been able to keep a high level of cus-tomer satisfaction. All this while many of our competitors are struggling to survive.
where there is mon-ey, people are reluc-tant to spend it.
The housing market is toughBesides the financial industry, the con-struction industry has been hit hardest. A lot of people are worried about their jobs and incomes. At the same time, confi-dence in the financial system is at an all time low. All of this uncertainty leads people to postpone crucial decisions that have a big impact on their financial situa-tion. For a lot of peo-ple, buying a house is probably the big-gest financial deci-
sion they ever make. The same goes for large renovations. So its unsurprising that the housing mar-ket is suffering. The same is true for the commercial and pub-lic real estate mar-ket. The extent to which the industry is hit differs by coun-try. The differences are significant in the Nordic Region. Den-mark felt the reces-sion from the very beginning. Sweden was spared though re-cently the crisis has started to
One million customers
DT Magazine // Spotlight
Wolseley has one million customers across the group, and 100,000 suppliers
DT MAGAZINE 5
amples of where we utilise the benefits of being part of a network, Ole Mikael says. We have to become even bet-ter at this but it re-quires a different mentality, a differ-ent way of thinking.
Were in a crisis - for the fifth year in a row. Whod have be-lieved it would last this long. Our busi-ness model is being challenged. We cant build our strategy on performing a little bit better than the local
Were part of a global chainThe main challenge is that the market has worsened dra-matically since early 2012. This has es-calated in recent months. As a result, since the summer, weve had to make significant cost re-ductions again. It has been very tough, but we have react-ed prudently and in time. An important tool that has helped us navigate through the crisis has been P45: a strategic tool that helps us bal-ance income and ex-penses. Weve cre-ated a rock solid foundation in a mar-ket where on a dai-ly basis we see our closest competitors struggling to sur-vive, says DT Group CEO Ole Mikael Jens-en. Were doing a lot of things right. For
example, the region-al structures that help us to identify synergies and share best practices in an efficient way. Theyre operational now in all divisions.
Ole Mikael is al-so hopeful about a Beijer Byggmaterial initiative: the Swed-ish division has built an impres-sive logistics hub in Stockholm. The central warehouse delivers directly to customers who have ordered their sup-plies in one of the eight branches in the Stockholm area, which means Beijer Byggmaterial reduc-es the amount of ex-pensive square me-tres in the city while at the same time maintaining delivery deadlines.
Work smartThese are good ex-
When life hands you lemons, make lemonade, Ferry Porsche thought so. He had a vision: build the perfect rac-ing car. In 1946, Ferdinand Porsche, Ferrys father was imprisoned for war crimes (his
factory had supplied the German army with tanks) and all
of the company as-sets, including his
fathers factory, fell into Brit-ish hands. But Ferrys dream was very much
alive. In an Austri-an sawmill, Ferry designed and built the first prototype of the legendary Porsche 356 on the chassis of a Volkswagen Beetle. This was the start of a brand that has fascinated genera-tions of women and in particular, men. A true story about how one man managed to get the very best out of the ruins of World War II.
POrScHEhave you got the
Professional contractors typically operate within a 30 km radius of a local branch and may visit it several times a week.
competitor on the corner. Our owners have new expecta-tions. Theyre push-ing an agenda with a strong focus on sus-tainability, that is the reduction of CO2, the working environ-ment and customer loyalty. Nailing these parameters will give
us huge competitive advantages. We lift these as a group and every division, eve-ry branch benefits from it.
Green, sustain-ability, is the new black in the con-struction industry. But it is not a fash-ion fad that will blow
over again. Large custom-ers like Skan-ska and NCC
require certified sup-pliers. Environmental certification requires a significant invest-ment and the local store on the cor-ner has a challenge here.
The crisis also took its toll on man-power. We have had to let go colleagues to balance costs and
income and main-tain a healthy busi-ness. We dont have the manpower to do the things we used to do. A business-as-usual mental-ity doesnt work. We need to work smart-er. We can learn a great deal from look-ing at other com-panies within the Wolseley family. The solution is not work-ing harder but work-ing smarter.
DT Magazine // Spotlight
Business as usual doesnt work. We need to work smarter
Environmental perfor-mance together with people development, health and safety, ethics and legal compliance, product integrity, sustainable construction and community engagement is an important focus area for us and for rest of Wolseley. The principle is to run efficient operations that consume less energy and fuel, produce less waste and reduce any negative im-
pact our business activities may have on the environ-
ment while at the same time explore oppor-
tunities to reduce the en-vironmental impact of our suppliers and customers.
A focus area has been to re-view our environmental ef-ficiency programme, share best practices and set tar-gets. We reduced our total greenhouse gas emissions by 12%, waste production by 6% improvement and water consumption by 6%. For ex-ample in the last ten years, Beijer Byggmaterial has re-duced the amount of waste material it sends to land-fill sites from 100% to less
than 20%. The division has set up recycle stations and branches and signed lo-cal agreements with local waste contractors.
Beijer aims to reduce the amount of waste it sends to landfill sites by an addition-al 25% in the next two years. The target for DT group for the next two years are ambi-tious: reduce carbon emis-sions (CO2) by 7.5%, reduce waste that is sent to landfill sites by 15% and improve da-ta accuracy.
DT MAGAZINE 7
SySTEm?The NeW The new replenishment sys-tem has been ea-gerly anticipated by a lot of people. For example, Silvan ad-mits it has had this advanced system on its wish list for many years. Rudi Vester-gaard Hansen ex-plains: This system helps us save crucial time in the branches. We reduce the time spent in ordering goods, time we can reinvest in serving customers.
Like getting into a racing carSilvan is not the on-ly business units that is pleased. Bei-jer Byggmaterial, Starkki and Cheapy have implemented the system as well. Peter Jakobsen from Cheapy has a hard time hiding his en-thusiasm. Its like trading in your old banger for a racing car. We are on the superhighway now, moving so fast that our competitors will eat dust.
amazon has had it for years. Ikea probably has it too. In fact, any self respecting retail chain cant really do without nowadays: an advanced replenishment system.
A what? A replenishment system. In essence, its a system that helps us keep our stock op-timised. Or as Maria Andersson from Beijer Byggmaterial puts it: It helps us to have the right supplies on the right shelves at the right time and with the right service level. And yes, now we have it too.
We have optimised
the way we shop
rEPLEniSHmEnT Can you say:
new system will al-low us to link pur-chasing with sourc-ing and logistics. We have a tendency to focus on the price of things. But in fact, if we dont have 100% control on our sup-ply chain, we dont exactly know what things cost. The new system will help us get a more realistic picture of process costs. It will help us to reduce costs and earn money.
Silvan was the first division to work with the new replen-ishment system. How did that go? We started in No-vember 2011, says Rudi. Its a bit like getting a new elec-tronic gadget for Christmas. Every time you sit down with it you discov-er something new it can do. The system
helps us to central-ise important tasks and free resources in the branches. It al-so helps us plan our distribution in differ-ent ways.
The group advantageAnother important advantage, Maria says , is that we as a group get a bet-ter overview. Before we started using this system, we used a pretty rudimenta-ry ERP system with limited functionality. Replenishment was a local responsibil-ity. Now we can co-ordinate the process much better. Also on a group level. And take advantage of the group synergies.
Not all business units have started using the system yet but it is only a ques-tion of time.
What is interest-ing here, is that its not just a bunch of IT techies talking in su-perlatives about an IT system. It is busi-ness people who unanimously praise the system. What makes it so special?
Greg Novak from DT Group central IT explains: The sys-tem is a gigantic cal-culator as well as a statistical tool. It re-members our pur-chasing history - covering a period of time. It can cal-culate pretty much anything and tell us what to buy and when. Peter adds: It allows us to manage our stock more effi-cienty. We have ac-cess to real time fig-ures on what we sell, how much we still
have in stock and we can more accurate-ly estimate when we will run out of certain products. So we can order what we actu-ally need, not what we think we may need in stock.
happy customersTheres more. A lot more, says Rudi. We reduce the risk of running out of popular items and avoid disappointing our customers. The system also takes maximum and mini-mum order sizes in-to consideration for transportation. It tells us how much to buy to be eligible for the agreed discount and doing so helps us earn money.
For Kari Wahlman, Starkki, the new re-plenishment system is a big step in the right direction. The
DT Magazine // Group work
rEPLEniSHmEnT The sys-tem helps us to centralize important tasks
Maria Andersson Peter
DT MAGAZINE 9
The Beijer Byggmaterial dedicated call centre is located in Mrsta, 20 minutes from Stockholm. Nine people take up to 4,000 phone calls a day. Today they function more or less like a switchboard -
directing customers to the right branch. From the beginning of next year, this will change. They will be able to handle product inquiries directly; saving the branches a lot of time and the customer from
having to speak to more than one person.
BEijEr The voice of
Phone calls to Beijer are always answered!
Office hours:Monday - Friday: 06:30 - 17:00
Saturday: 09:00 - 14:00
Tel.: 075 241 10 00
WeRe aLL pret-ty excited about the change, says Fe-hime Bozyel, 42, who has worked at the call centre for eight years now. This is some-thing we have been really looking forward to. In fact, weve been hoping for this for the
past six years. Fehime answers
between 400 and 500 calls every day. The majority of the calls are product inquiries. People who want to know if a specific item is available in a spe-cific branch, Fehime says. Sometimes
they want to know something about the product as well. Sometimes we get customers who want to know something about their delivery. Today all we can do is put them through to the responsible
branch. From Janu-ary on, we can moni-tor product avail-ability in the various branches and see product specifica-tions and we can track where deliv-eries. So we will be able to answer most of the questions di-rectly. It will be ex-citing and fun to be able to help custom-ers even more in the future.
Fehime is re-laxed about the ex-tra workload. Were seven people an-swering phones right now. Yet we manage the workload. Nor-mally were nine. So I dont antici-pate this to be a problem. Am I tired when I go home after all these phone calls? Not at all. I love my job. Talking to cus-tomers is the best. They are very happy were
here. They tell us that were the best call centre they know because were always posi-tive and service minded. We once got a cake sent to the office by a cus-
tomer who appre-ciated our service. That gives me posi-tive energy.
DT Magazine // [email protected]
Our job is to make
DT MAGAZINE 11
to advance your
Maria Andersson is 39. In September this year she became Logistics and IT Director In Beijer Byggmaterial. Shes also been nominated as the Supply Chain Professional of the Year - a prestigious award and shes in direct competition with logistics professionals from Skanska, Volvo, Ericsson and other major companies. The secret of her success: 1) Create results. 2) Make them tangible. 3) Make them visible.
implementation of a new replenishment system (see page 8). This new system gives us a competi-tive edge and will help us to plan our stock in a far more efficient fashion.
Last but not least, I have been heavily involved in setting up a new lo-gistic hub in Stock-holm. A warehouse with 17,500 square metres from which we will distribute supplies to custom-ers in the Stockholm area. The first truck left the warehouse in November. That was a big moment for me.
acknowledge-mentMarias achieve-ments have not gone unnoticed. Both in-side and outside Bei-jer Byggmaterial. She
has been nominated as Supply Chain Pro-fessional of the Year and is in direct com-petition with profes-sionals from compa-nies such as Volvo, Ericsson and from one of our large ac-counts: Skanska. These companies are well known and respected for their expertise within sup-ply chain processes. The fact that Maria is nominated is it-self a fantastic ac-knowledgement of her work and it is an acknowledgement of the professional-ism of Beijer Bygg-material within the industry.
I was offered the position of Director of Logistics and IT
terested in how you perform in accord-ance with agreed targets and objec-tives, and not in what gender you are.
Results that make me proudMaria is particularly proud of three pro-jects that she has been involved in. First of all, theres the distribution cen-tre in Norshopping - catering to both Bei-jer Byggmaterial and Cheapy branches. When I started here in 2009, I think the distribution center was the most dis-liked part in the or-ganisation. We man-aged to turn that around and today the centre is a suc-cess. I also have been involved in de-mand planning - and the development and
IS ThIS an inter-view about wom-en in leading posi-tions? Maria asks. Because if it is, I am not sure I want to participate. Ma-ria started working for Beijer Byggma-terial in 2004 as an analyst in Sourcing. Today, shes part of the DT Group Man-agement Team. The first woman to join this exclusive club. Maria wants to be acknowledged for her achievements - not for the fact that shes a woman.
I for sure hope that I did not get the job because I am a woman, Ma-ria says. Frankly, Im not too concerned about this. I have a manager (Anders Ja-kobsson) whos ex-tremely performance focused. He is in-
DT Magazine // Resume
This new system gives us a competi-tive edge and will help us to plan our stock in a far more efficient fashion
More on next page
DT MAGAZINE 13
so talked to my fam-ily about this. I mean, with the position and all its fantastic chal-lenges, comes major responsibility. But I have to believe that I have been given th-si opportunity part-ly because of who I am, so I decided that I want to try to stick to who I am and what I stand for.
I dont think its an advantage or dis-advantage to be a women in a male dominated indus-try. You might meet some people who dont respect you in the same way they respect men in the same position. Per-sonally, I think this says a lot more about them. The flip side is that you are easily noticed and remembered. Often
Im the only woman in meetings. That can be an advan-tage. Personally I can only encourage wom-en to go for it. Its a great industry with a lot of opportunities if you dare to see them and grab them.
Sometimes I think women dont sell themselves vey well, Maria says. Probably if I had been a man, I would have had this po-sition a few years ago. Maria laughs. Were too modest. The secret to get to the top? I think its not so much a se-cret. Achieve results, make sure that they count and make sure someone notices that you are doing a good job. That will get you far in this or-ganisation.
before the summer , says Maria. For me personally, this was proof that my contri-bution to Beijer had been appreciated and I felt extremely proud. Im also very happy that IT has become one of my areas of responsibil-ity. Traditionally, IT is usually placed with finance, as it was in Beijer Byggmateri-al. To put it togeth-er with logistics is a strategic choice. Both areas are going to be very important for the future de-velopment of Beijer Byggmaterial.
Leader roleI have pretty much worked with logistics since I started in Bei-jer so I know the ar-ea very well. We have a good team here and Im very happy to work together with them. IT is relatively new for me. I am fo-cusing on this area so I get up to speed with priorities here. From a leadership point of view, my phi-losophy is to create an open and appre-ciative environment. I want people to feel that their ideas are always welcome and that in me they have a good partner who they can discuss is-sues with when they
run into any kind of problem.
I am not afraid to work together with people that are better than me. A good example is the replenishment sys-tem - where I am certainly not the ex-pert. Here I am hap-py to rely on people that know a lot more about it than I do. Another issue that is important to me is control. I am not a control freak. I am not the kind of man-ager that stands be-hind you and looks over your shoulder to see what you are doing. The people in my team have their area of competence and responsibility. They should be able to freely make their own decisions, with-out my interference. That said, they of course can count on my support and they can always use me for sparring.
I am who I amOne of the things that crossed my mind when I was of-fered the job as di-rector, Maria says, is to what extent this would affect my personality. At some point one of my colleagues said to me: Please dont change, Maria." I al-
Achieve results, make sure that they count and make sure someone notices that you are doing a good job
WaLk INTO any Sil-van store you like and you instantly know where you are. The stores vary in size, but they have a similar look and feel. This in spite of that different stores have wildly different ways of working, says a smiling Troels Vib-holm, Finance Direc-tor in Silvan.
200 different tasksTo get an idea of how the differences affect the business, the Danish DIY chain initiated an in-depth analysis in October 2011. We hired con-sultants who spe-cialised in optimis-ing processes for retailers. They vis-ited ten representa-tive stores and me-ticulously registered everything our em-ployees did, says Troels. When we got the results in Febru-ary this year, there were some surpris-es. Troels explains: We were well aware that the potential for improvement was huge. The analysis made this apparent and helped us to pri-oritise.
Silvan reduces tasksAsk Silvan employees what they like best about their jobs and the majority will answer: Contact with customers. Ask Silvans leaders what Silvans main focus is and without hesi-tating they will tell you: Customers.
The problem is that we cant be with our cus-tomers all of the time. After all, there are a lot of other tasks that need our attention. But what if we could get rid of those other tasks?
DT Magazine // [email protected]
More on next page
cUSTOmErSSpending time with
money inthe bank
DT MAGAZINE 15
More prod-ucts from the central warehouse
today 25% of all sup-
plies come from the central warehouse. this means that there are a lot of suppliers that bring their products di-rectly to the branches. Often these deliveries are delayed and result in waiting times - or wasted time. increas-ing the amount of deliveries from the central warehouse, will reduce redundant wait-ing times.
The amount of information gathered during the analysis has been overwhelming. Yet Silvan was able to boil it down to five key points that need improvement:
Plan restock-ing products in relation to peak times
Silvan ap-plies the concept of sales ready branches mean-ing that shelves have to look presentable, well-stocked and they have to be consistent with various promotions at all times. Planning to do this out-side of customer peak hours, will create a better use of re-sources and improve the cus-tomer experience.
Develop a work manual
identify and de-scribe the
most important pro-duction and admin-istrative tasks in the branches and detail them in a work manual. For example, how we order and or receive goods. this will reduce mistakes and make work tasks more uni-form.
adjust training and focus on flex-ibility
we need staff to want to work on our
customers preferred days. Our best day is Sat-urday. Sunday is our third best day. Sunday is not an attractive day to work for a lot of our staff. But its here where we need people to come.
SILvaN Gladsaxe is one of ten stores that participated in the analysis. Store manager Lars Bch Srensen is happy both with the initia-tive, the process and the results. Typically
when companies fo-cus on efficiency, its to save manpower. I am happy that we in Silvan take a differ-ent approach. This exercise focused on reducing redundant tasks so we could save time. Time that
we then reinvest in sales-related tasks! It shows everyone in Silvan that we are serious about serv-ing customers.
I have worked for Silvan 24 years, says Lars, and we have a lof of good ideas. Some of these ideas, we imple-ment. Others we dont. Some ideas, in time, are replaced and/or we change our way of work-ing. What happens is that after a while, you have created a large number of tasks and not all of them are necessar-ily creating value. A good example is the way we have been dealing with obso-lete stock. Products we havent sold we
moved around back and forward for no reason other than to please a redundant system. Still we used between 35 and 40 hours a week do-ing this! Tasks like these, are removed or are on their way to being trashed.
Managing a Sil-van store might seem easy, Lars says. After all, the principle is simple: buy things you can sell at a profit. But youd be surprised how many processes and tasks that are needed to create the basis for our core business. For the first time now we ac-tually can put a num-ber on it: 200! Thats too many and its a good thing weve
TimE WEReinvest the
1 2 3 4
What we can do better
Buy things you can sell at a profit
Focus on sales compe-tences
theres a link between sales and the amount of time spent on sales-related ac-tivities. theres also a link between the focus of the branch manager on sales and the amount of time spent on sales related-ac-tivities. So it makes sense to increase the sales competencies of branch managers as this will have a positive effect on sales.
started reducing this amount.
Were in the mid-dle of a recession. I applaud the fact that we look criti-cally at how we can use our resources, Lars says. Most of all I am happy that theres such a strong focus on sales. We got many of the ba-sic things right and thanks to this ini-tiative, were get-ting more efficient too. The primary fo-cus should be hard-core sales, including when we hire people. Whatever competen-cies they lack on a product level, we will ensure they acquire them along the way.
IT haS been a pos-itive experience for
a lot of different rea-sons, says Troels. It has been a neces-sary process too. A customer survey last year showed us that customers perceive us to be more expen-sive than our com-petitors. True or not, if our customers per-ceive us that way, we have to react. So we lowered prices. But this means that our margin has become smaller. This obvi-ously has an effect on our profit. To com-pensate, we want to sell more to cus-tomers entering our branches. This in turn requires that staff spend more time with customers and less time on tasks that do not create value for our customers.
The CONSuLTaNTS visiting
the stores returned home with
no less than 13,000 registra-
tions (activities) and 200 differ-
ent tasks!. The Silvan employees
spend almost half of their time
(46%) on non-customer-related
tasks. This however differs sig-
nificantly from store to store. In
one store employees spend no
more than 30% on customer-re-
lated tasks whereas employees
in another store spend up to 65%
of their time on customer-relat-
ed tasks. Whats more, theres a
visible correlation between this
percentage and business perfor-
mance: stores with more focus
on customer-related tasks, sell
more. It makes sense.
Silvan employees spend almost half of their time (46%) on non-customer-related tasks
DT Magazine // [email protected]
DT MAGAZINE 17
IN The LaST financial year, Private Label accounted for approx. 23% of to-tal sales in our Silvan Business Unit and our other Business
Units also showed substantial growth in Private Label sales as they continue to focus on this area.
At the same time, Kingfisher Group, which owns B&Q in the UK, Castorama
in France and 21% of Hornbach in Ger-many (among others) have announced that their aim is for Pri-vate Label to grow to 50% of total sales over the coming years. They have ob-
viously also seen the advantages in selling Private Label.
It is important that everyone es-pecially our staff in the branches who have direct contact with our customers understand the im-portance of Private Label and why we include it as one of the primary strate-gic initiatives in our business.
We take the initiative!By owning our own brands and either importing products
abel is an import
of our strategy a
nd these pages
will give you an in
sight into new
additions and giv
e you inspiration
and hard-core kn
the Private Label
products we sell
in our stores. th
development of th
and brands helps
y in the group.
and brands may
vary from division
It is important that everyone under-stand the impor-tance of Private Label
GrOWinGnot only in DT group
Private Label is
directly from coun-tries where pro-duction costs are optimal or from a branded supplier willing to produce Private Label prod-ucts for us, we can offer our custom-ers an alternative product, often priced slightly lower than a branded product, which helps to in-crease the value our stores have for our customers which ul-timately helps to build customer loy-alty. Having a strong Private Label range also strengthens our position when nego-tiating with branded suppliers.
Size is everythingPrivate Label is one of the areas where size is everything and by pooling the volume from our Wolseley Business Units, we are able to go directly to a man-ufacturer and make a good sourc-ing agreement. Our size also means that we can maintain
sourcing offices in Lithuania and China, which gives us the opportunity to build relationships with our suppliers and to directly control the quality in the pro-duction process. Ul-timately, this means that we control the entire supply chain, from production to sales which gives us great advantages over smaller compet-itors.
We also need the branded suppliersWe cannot do with-out branded sup-pliers but we have greatly reduced the number of brand-ed suppliers in our stores and today we concentrate our business on fewer, preffered suppliers. This has given us the opportunity to in-crease sales for our
remaining brand-ed suppliers and at the
same time in-crease Private
Label sales so everyone wins!
What now?Having a target of 10, 25 or 50% Pri-vate Label sales is a matter of strategy in the respective busi-
ness units, which is ultimately aimed at reaching a balance between branded products and PL that gives us the best re-sults.
Whether the bot-tom line is improved by higher gross mar-gins from PL prod-ucts or by better agreements with
our branded sup-pliers, at the end
of the day the only thing that matters is if we are earning more money.
We are still fo-cussed on increas-ing PL sales. In the stores, you can help in this by recom-mending Private La-bel products to your customers whenever possible, as long as they fulfil the cus-tomers needs.
In the stores, you can help by recom-mending Private Label products to your cus-tomers whenever possible
DT Magazine // Private Label
OuR PaRk PRuNeR has been named as one of the best tools of 2012 by leading Scandinavian DIY magazine Do-it-yourself (Bonnier Publications).
The pruner has been awarded a Good Buy sticker and the magazine found that it is an astonishingly good pruner for the price and took the DIY jury completely by surprise.
Park pruner named as best tool of the year!
DT MAGAZINE 19
We OWN 12 domains on the Internet, one for each of our Private Label brands. The 12 websites have all been updated, with relevant lan-guages and with a short de-scription of the products available and they are now compatible with any brows-er.
Each of our business units has a different range
of products and services, so the Private Label websites are intentionally very spare and are mainly there to pro-vide our customers with in-formation on who to contact if they need information or want to make a complaint. For this purpose, we provide contact information of the local business unit. The web-site addresses are given on the right.
Redesigned and updated websites
STaRkkI in Finland and Stark in Den-
mark have had great success with our new Raw composite
decking which is sourced from China.
Compos-ite decking is
made from a mixture of
plastic and wood and is very easy to install with special mounting clips. Once installed, the decking needs very little maintenance other than cleaning.
These prod-ucts have been
very well received by our customers and we will definitely be
looking at expanding the range for next year, says Product Manager Kristian Fri-bo, Stark.
The Danish and Finnish brochures can be download-ed from the Raw homepage (raw-products.info).
Raw composite decking system
Blue Mountain bluemountain-outdoor.info
DT Magazine // Private Label
The COMPLeTe Raw vapour barri-er system which is sold in Stark branch-es is now accessi-ble on your smart-phone (in Danish for now). If you have a smartphone, scan the QR-code below and it will open the vapour barrier web-site, which has been specially designed for the small screens of mobile phones and tablets. You may need to download an App which will trans-late the code to the wesbites address
we recommend the free QR-Droid for both Android and i-Phone (the App can be used to scan all QR-codes, not just our Raw code).
The QR-code is printed on the prod-ucts, in brochures and can also be used in flyers and oth-er marketing which means customers now have all of the information, data-sheets, etc. accessi-ble where and when they need it!
ThIS YeaR, the Wolseley Heavy-side Sourcing Team Flooring & Joinery, in a project headed by Product Man-ager Carina Manns (Beijer Byggmateri-al), has signed an agreement with Jeld-Wen for the deliv-ery of a range of Private La-bel doors, comprising both inte-rior and ex-terior doors. These doors are presently appear-ing in your branches, sporting the relevant PL brand: In Silvan and Cheapy, all doors are branded Solid. In our B2B business units, the cheap-
est doors are branded Center and the more expensive, higher qual-ity doors, are branded Raw.
The doors are of course in the same high qual-ity that is cus-tomary of doors from Jeld-Wen, so dont hesitate to recommend them to your custom-ers!
Along with the PL doors from Jeld-wen, we al-so source exte-rior utility doors from the Baltic States, via our
sourcing office in Vil-nius. These are brand-ed Solid in Silvan and Cheapy and Center in all other Business Units and are typically used for garden sheds and carports.
Raw vapour barrier system at your fingertips! Private Label doors
DT MAGAZINE 21
We WaNT to dif-ferentiate even more from the competitor, Ole Mikael says while he takes a printed copy of a slide from his briefcase. The slide has two pic-tures. One shows a modern looking STARK branch in crisp condition. The other picture fea-tures what looks like a local branch but from the sixties. On top of the picture it says XL BYG, Bygma and Optimera, Danish competitors focus-ing on the B2B mar-ket. This is us, Ole Mikael says, point-
ing at the STARK pic-ture. And this is our benchmark. Our com-petitors focus on tra-ditional business pa-rameters. They are all about manual pricing, personal relations, fixed costs, local and very variable service. They do business pretty much the way we have done it for the past 50 years.
Doing things differentlyWe have a unique opportunity to dis-tance us from our competitors, Ole Mi-kael explains: Un-til now the strategy has been to use our
competitors as a ref-erence, doing pret-ty much the same thing only better. This strategy has given us a firm position in the markets were op-erating in. Were the market leader in Den-mark, Sweden, Fin-land and have a fa-vourable position in Norway. When youre the number one, eve-ryone wants a piece of you. Were the reference now and this means that we have to start looking for inspiration else-where. Look at what other companies are doing, not necessari-ly in our own industry.
We can learn from Ikea, Apple and even from Disney. The lat-ter by the way, is well-known for their world-class customer service.
On top of this, we have to create our own innovation pool. We are actually al-locating a substan-tial budget for R&D (Research and De-velopment). We are well geared to try new things nobody else has tried before. We can test whether ideas work on a very local scale, in one or two branches. If it doesnt, the dam-age to the business will be very limited. If it works on the oth-er hand, we can take the know-how and very quickly replicate the idea in all of our 400 branches. In fact, were already the world champion in many disciplines. The problem is that were world champions in different things in different branches. This has to change. We have to act even more like a chain and really start to use our muscle.
We are world champions We can solve issues on different levels. Five levels to be ex-act, Ole Mikael says. In the branch, re-gional, division, DT Group and Wolseley. All of our competi-
With less than 100 days heading up the DT Group, Ole Mikael Jensen feels it is premature to talk about any changes he is planning to im-plement. But changes are definitely on the cards.
In his previous position as the CEO for Wolseley Central Europe, Ole Mikael initiated a change project called the big bang starting one of the largest change projects in the history of the organisation.
Whether we are going to experience change on the same scale remains to be seen. For now, the new CEO is keeping his cards close to his chest. Or is he?
Why our competitors will lose
yOUThe difference is
If we can change our way of think-ing, we will be able to systemise many of the tasks necessary to run a business
DT Magazine // Close to Ole Mikael
tors have to solve everything at branch level. We can de-velop logistics solu-tions, very much like our new replenish-ment system, and invest many, many times the amount our competitors can. If we can change our way of thinking, we will be able to sys-temise many of the tasks necessary to run a business. If we solve every-thing centrally, this will free up precious time in the branch-es, time we can use to focus on the cus-tomer because giv-ing world class cus-tomer service is our obsession. Today we have the best cus-tomer service, prod-uct availability and processes in the market. But we can do more and we can do better. In Silvan, we have cameras at the entrances of branches that reg-ister how many cus-tomers we get in. We know when they are coming, how many are buying and what they are buying. We know our bottle necks, and we know them a lot better than our competi-tors do. We can act adequately and im-prove the service for our customers even more.
Bring in super-starsWe have to reconsid-er our people view. We are 7,000 people, more or less generalists, which is great. But we have outsourced the technical specialist knowledge to our sup-pliers. I would like us to bring in more special-ists, a bunch of super-stars who operate in their particular niche, supporting the rest of staff. Were not talking large numbers. Just a few would immediate-ly make a difference for the support in the branches. In Norway, we have brought in a guy whos the expert in the country when it comes to doors and windows. Hes very popular among our customers because until now the alternative was to get the ex-pertise from manu-factur-ers and suppli-ers. Their agenda of course is to sell their own prod-ucts. Now customers get excellent, unbi-ased support for their building projects. We could do the same for tiles, bricks, energy etc., again differentiat-ing us from local com-petition.
DT MAGAZINE 23
DT Magazine // [email protected]
is one of the keys to doing well in a multi-generational workplace, according
to Starkkis Antti Soutukorva, 27 and Sauli Niv, 59.
Good humour about age
The OLDeR col-leagues call me boy and I keep asking whether theyre go-ing to retire any time soon. Good-hu-moured wisecrack-ing keeps our spir-its high, says Antti Soutukorva
Some of the things we say aroud here, are probably not appropriate for an employee mag-
azine, says Sauli Niv and laughs.
Antti has worked in Starkki for two and a half years and Sauli has 43 years of experience. Both of them work in Lap-peenranta. Antti is the junior of the de-partment: most of the other employees are in their 40s or even older. Obvious-ly, Sauli represents the older generation.
Its great that
Antti brings some fresh energy to the group. We old-tim-ers can learn a lot from the young ones and vice versa, Sauli says.
IT SkillsThe most obvious thing for a 60-year-old to learn from a 20-year-old is how to use modern tech-nology. On the other hand, the experience that a 60-year-old has gained from working in the same company for over 40 years is invaluable and unique.
Starkki has a large number of products . The old-
We oldies can learn a lot from the young and vice versa
More on next page
by guest journalist Johannes Palmgren
DT MAGAZINE 25
years, an older col-league will tend to stick with it. This is where a young col-league can step in and try to change outmoded routines. Its also important for a youngster to be able to ask stu-pid questions. Thats how you learn in a workplace or in life, Antti says.
Computers or not, the young still need to carry a pa-per notebook with them, Sauli points out.
It is about What You Do, Not how Old You areAccording to Antti and Sauli, the tradi-tional clichs of the young being lazy and unable to concen-trate and the old be-ing grumpy and una-ble to learn anything new is rubbish.
Ones attitude to working does not depend on age. An older worker can be reckless and lazy and a young worker can become fossil-ised, Antti says.
Apart from the good humour about age, neither has ex-perienced any gen-erational clashes at Starkki Lappeen-ranta. Quite the op-posite: both, Antti Soutukorva and Sau-li Niv agree that having employees of different ages and backgrounds is great value for a company.
The minor nag-ging and teasing just helps colleagues to bond. You recognise a good friend when you can call him a Demented Old Goat and laugh about it together, says Ant-ti.
you recognise a good friend when you can call him
a Demented Old Goat and laugh about it together
er colleagues have years of experience in selling them. They also have invaluable knowledge on how to deal with custom-ers, Antti says.
Stereotypical values still exist?There are some dif-ferences in the val-ues of a younger col-league compared to an older colleague. Antti places em-phasis on accura-cy and helping his colleagues. Sauli is more interested in the customers.
A good em-ployee is one a cus-tomer can rely upon. One that can place himself in the cus-tomers position. Its important to remem-ber small details and make the customer
feel heard and ap-preciated.
Some of the ste-reotypes associ-ated with a younger or older workforce seem to be true.
The younger gen-eration obviously have better knowl-edge of computers, whereas the older generation prefer lists and catalogues. In addition, if some-thing has been done in one way for 40
Having employ-ees of different ages and back-grounds is great value for a com-pany
plier, how much bonus we get from this sup-plier - and we auto-matically adjust this in our payments. This is good news for our cash flow and at the same time we mini-mise the risk that we might not get our bo-nus at all. For exam-ple if a supplier goes belly up.
Around two thirds of all invoices today are electronic. The re-maining invoices are scanned and then en-tered into the financial system. A practice weve been doing for the past seven years. We have six people working with invoices in the team. If we had to process all 1.5 mil-lion invoices manual-ly, wed probably have to be three times as
many people. Thanks to electronic invoicing, the nature of our work has changed. Our sys-tem takes care of the transactions auto-matically - we monitor the quality and handle the exceptions.
Centralisation makes senseAccording to Mads it makes perfect sense to centralise the pro-cess of invoicing. It takes certain compe-tencies to deal with the system, process invoices and carry out quality assurance. To bundle these compe-tencies centrally, is the smart thing to do. It saves money. Not to mention the fact that we only use and de-velop one system.
1.5 MILLION! That is the number of invoic-es Mads Hvelplunds team process. Of course we process our own invoices, says Mads. But we also process invoic-es for Silvan, Cheapy, AG and now weve also started to get invoices from Neu-mann.
Registered within ten minutesSTARK is somewhat of a pioneer in this area. We started twelve years ago, says Mads. Elec-tronic invoices have a lot of advantages. To start with, its faster than distributing pa-per invoices through the postal service. It takes ony ten minutes
to register it in our fi-nancial system.
Speed is an important parameter.
The sooner we get the invoices from our suppliers, Mads ex-plains, the sooner we can invoice our cus-tomers and get our money, for example, a direct delivery. We get a lot of data in our system that we can use for monitor-ing. For example, we know which suppliers invoice us accurately and in time.
Playing it safeWe also - and this is very interesting for us - can calculate in real time exactly how much we purchased-from a specific sup-
Electronic invoicing probably may sound pretty dull to you in the same league as iron-ing shirts and pealing potatoes. Fortunately, Mads Hvelplund, STARKs Financial Director, feels differently. He loves electronic invoices and has 1.5 million reasons to love them
1,5 million invoices a year
No thanks to paper invoices
Our sys-tems take care of the trans-actions automati-cally - we monitor the qual-ity
DT Magazine // Group work
DT MAGAZINE 27
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how many phone calls does Beijers Mrsta call cen-tre receive?
a 500 a dayB 2,000 - 3,000 a
dayC 4,000 a day
2how many electronic invoices does STaRk pro-cess?
a 1.5 millionB 1 millionC 0.5 million
3What does a replenishment system do?
a Ensures theres always water in the coffee machine
B Ensures we have the right products, in the right amount at the right time
C It filters the air in medium sized office buildings
4Which legendary Porsche did Fer-dinand Porsche build at the end of WWII?
a The 365B The 911C The Cayenne
5how much time do Silvan employees spend on non-customer related tasks?
a 30%B 46%C 65%
Winner of the weekend in Berlin is jari haring from starkki kuopio branch. congratulations jari.