No. 7 路 SuMMER 2010
Your 30 minutes team building guide
The story of
Toilets An invention of great importance
HEAVY MEETS LIGHT
DT Group now in 16 countries 10 Well being is a shared responsibility 16 How 1.48 Euro makes a (world of) difference 24 Burying differences 28 Win a party
Well being is a shared responsibility Investment in a good working environment motivates people in a positive way.
Heavy meets Light
Last year, DT Group took over Woodcote. This year it is CEE’s turn to be integrated into DT Group. But why?
How €1,48 makes a (world of) difference
Private Label – why?
Why do DT Group and Wolseley devote resources to Private Label?
Starkki’s Kuopio branch shows the way.
He aint heavy, he’s my brother
What is really hiding behind the terms heavyside and lightside?
The story of Toilets USEFUL NUMBERS DT Group Wolseley Starkki STARK
+45 39559700 +44 118 929 8700 +358 3 850 900 +45 89343434
Charlotte Gullach Büttrich editor firstname.lastname@example.org
DT Magazine face lift You might have noticed that we have changed the look of your magazine. It got a different size. The height is more or less the same, but it became a bit wider. This means that we have more space for illustrations, fact boxes and equally important: pictures. Why change? In the beginning of this year we asked a selected group of readers about their perception of the magazine. Overall we’re very pleased with the result since it became clear that most of you really appreciate DT Magazine. The survey showed the magazine is well read most readers using between 10 and 30 minutes reading. We found out that ‘Hard Talk’ and ‘The story of’ are popular features. Therefore we decided to keep these in the new setup. ‘Ask the
Guru’ and ‘Me and my project’ were less popular - and gone they are. Instead - you told us that you want to read more about products, how things are done in other business units and, strategy. We’re happy to integrate your wishes and will in the future focus more on these three topics. Finally we were complimented on the lay out and the look and feel BUT ... it showed that most people read the magazine while eating lunch and the format just wasn’t ‘lunch friendly’: the pages due to the small format kept flipping back, making it difficult to read and eat simultaneously. We hope we fixed that problem now. Remember, if you have any input, ideas and/or issues with the magazine send it to me at: email@example.com
credits Beijer Neumann Silvan Cheapy
+46 752411000 +47 55549800 +45 87308730 +46 431443540
Editor-in-chief: Charlotte Gullach Büttrich (DT Group) Concept, production and articles: Radical Communications, Pat May Graphic Design: Appetizer.dk, Simon Johnsen Photos: Flemming Schiller Translation: Languagewire Print: Trykcentret
DT Magazine // News
Greenland Largest island in the world (2.175.600 sq. km.) Population: 57.600 Integral part of Denmark since 1953 Distance to Canada: 26 km Greenlandic words: kayak, anorak and igloo
STARK Ilulissat STARK Aasiaat
Our man in Nuuk STARK Sisimiut STARK Nuuk
“You don’t need to be an adventurer to work here”, Says Allan Pedersen, store manager STARK in Nuuk, Greenland. “But it sure helps if you like nature as you will experience loads of it up here.”
Allan has been here now for seven years, The original plan was two. “Greenland has a way of growing on you. The nature is unbelievable. Another thing I really enjoy is that the pace compared to cities like Stockholm and Copenhagen is a fair share lower. People are more relaxed up here. Also our customers. They know that our supplies have to arrive by ship and that it takes time. There’s no stress here.” All in all STARK has five branches on Greenland, the one in Nuuk being the largest employing ten people. And in fact, they’re looking for qualified people. “Age and
Covered by inland ice: 85% National dish: boiled seal meat with rice and onions Eric the Red finds his way to Greenland: 982 AD Nuuk (capital) Founded: 1721 Population: 15.000
gender doesn’t matter. But you got to be prepared to live here at least two to three years. In return you will get an experience for life. We’re also a bit different up here compared to what you are used to STARK in Denmark. We sell dynamite, fishing equipment, boat paint and other boat products. Besides, the size of our shops might be smaller than you’re used to in terms of staffing but we have the same functions. This means that you really get to taste the trade from a lot of different angles. Oh, did I tell you that we have a company boat that you can borrow for the weekends to go out sailing?”
Do you want to know more? Than drop us an email at editor@ dtmagazine.dk
The time difference between Denmark and Greenland is 4 hours. When it’s eight in Denmark, it’s four in Greenland. Denmark
Greenland DT MAGAZINE
You find DT Group in: Denmark Norway Sweden Finland Greenland Austria Switzerland The Netherlands Luxemburg Italy Poland Czech Republic San Marino Slovakia Hungary Romania
Heavy meets 4
DT Magazine // CEE
CEE generates revenue exceeding one billion euro
Ole Mikael Jensen CEO CEE
Wolseley plc recently reorganized and as a result the company now is divided into four geographical business units: USA & Canada, UK, France and ... the rest of Europe. The latter cluster of countries includes DT Group, Woodcote and CEE (Central and Eastern Europe). Last year, DT Group took over Woodcote. This year it is CEE’s turn to be integrated into DT Group. But why? And how is DT Group going to benefit from this? And what about CEE?
CEE until recently has been an independently operating company with their headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, reporting to Wolseley plc. The company includes business units, seven in all, in Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Luxemburg, The Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark. Wolseley plc acquired these companies in the years before the crisis with an objective to expand their global footprint and consolidate their position as the world market leader for heating and plumbing. The main focus of CEE is heating and plumbing and the business units cater mainly to professional installers. The business
unit in Belgium is already sold again and it is not unthinkable that other CEE business units will follow.
“The business units vary in both size and performance”, says Ole Mikael Jensen who is responsible for the daily management of CEE. “Together the business units generate a revenue exceeding a billion Euros, which is twice the revenue of Beijer - just to give you an idea of the size of the business in CEE. Tobler in Switzerland with 750 employees and 38 branches is doing extremely well. They are hardly hit by the financial crisis and the business unit is producing very good results. Wasco in DT MAGAZINE
is what we’re good at.”
There’s great potential in CEE
the Netherlands and ÖAG in Austria have a great potential and for both business units we have developed strategic plans to get to a better exploitation of their potential. Wasco has a tradition of focusing on large customers but to retain these customers they also have a tradition to discount their products and services to a level where profit is marginalized. Something we’re working on at the moment.” “CFM in Luxemburg and Electro-Oil Int. in Denmark are both relatively small business units.”, Says Ole Mikael. CFM employes 120 people, Electro-Oil Int. has 25 employees. Electro-Oil Int. focuses on gas and heating systems. “Financially they are doing well. However, the technology they sell is not sustainable in the long run 6
We are developing so called BIG BANG plans.
as we’re increasingly relying on renewable energy as our primary sources for energy. Competition therefore abandons the market forcing existing customers that have not made a technology switch yet to find their way to ElectroOil Int. This of course is wonderful but not sustainable in the long run. But what is really challenging here is the size of both enterprises as we feel DT Group not necessarily is geared to live up to their immediate needs and requirements. What consequences this will have, we have not decided yet but probably we know more before the summer holiday already.” Finally there’s Manzardo, with their headquarters in Bolzano in Northern Italy. “The company has lost considerable sums of money in the past years. It is a com-
pany with a rich and long history, with a good reputation in their region as well. I feel we have developed a bold but realistic plan for Manzardo to get them on track again.” “We are using this period to assess the potential and opportunities of all business units. We have developed realistic 3 year - so called big bang - plans. The plains aim to remove all obstacles in the way of success in the first year - that’s why we call them big bang plans. Furthermore we create a culture where business decisions increasingly are made based upon hard core data and finally we focus on ensuring we have the right people. Developing this strategic framework to make these business units successful is what Wolseley expects DT Group to do, since it
Pulling heavy and light together
While current business units in DT Group mainly focus on heavyside - selling traditional construction material - CEE’s focus is on heating and plumbing. DT Groups management sees this as a fantastic learning opportunity. Ole Mikael, coming from a position in Global Sourcing where he was responsible for heavyside, explains. “Since long we have been flirting with the idea to integrate lightside into our business. If you look at it from a construction site angle, there’s a lot of benefits to gain from integrating heavy and lightside. We’d be able for example, to reduce the amount of lorries delivering to construction sites. Our customers get one place where they can order all they need for their project, they deal with one administration only and they would experience a seamless service as all material comes from the same supplier.” “Today DT already meet the typical lightside customers because a lot of the
material and tools they need, they buy in our shops. It would be only natural to cater all their heating and plumbing material needs”, says Ole Mikael enthusiastic. “We’ve been experimenting with the idea in Norway for some time, where Neumann Bygg has acquired H.R. Sandvold, focusing on pipes and ventilation. The past years working closely together with Wolseley however, also has taught us that the market approach for heavy and lightside differs. Heavyside has a strong focus on sales whereas lightside traditionally is about logistics. Heating and plumbing requires a lot of small parts, tubes, pipes and fittings. That of course has a consequence for
distribution. Thanks to CEE our learning curve now is able to take a quantum leap and we will be able to learn how to create more value for our customers.” “Last but not least we will gain knowledge about the development in heating”, says Ole Mikael. “This is an industry that is in development due to ground breaking technology that helps us benefiting from renewable energy sources. There’s a battle ongoing about the ownership of this area of expertise where both heating installers and carpenters are involved. Half of the CEE market is heating. DT Group will benefit big time from learnings in this industry.”
at a glance
Electro-Oil Int A/S
Wasco Holding BV
Switzerland (German, French, Italian) 750 employees 38 stores Heating and plumbing products Delivers to professional customers Tobler is market leader in Switzerland.
The Netherlands (Dutch) 380 employees 25 stores Heating and plumbing products Delivers to professional customers
Austria (German) 820 employees Heating and plumbing products Delivers to professional customers
Denmark (Danish) 25 employees 3 stores (Glostrup, Kolding and No. Sundby) Gas and oil heating systems Delivers to professional customers
Luxemburg (French, German, Luxembourgish) 120 employees Sanitary, heating appliances and pipes Delivers to professional and private customers
Italy (Italian) 440 employees 4 stores Plumbing, heating, sanitary and air conditioning Delivers to professional customers
This is a dream coming true for DT Group DT MAGAZINE
DT Magazine // HardTalk
HardTalk with Steen Weirsøe
In an enterprise with more than 7,700 employees, the distance to the top management may seem long. With HardTalk, it becomes shorter, because here we put you in contact with DT Group’s most senior manager. Steen Weirsøe answers your and your colleagues questions, however searching they are.
Will we buy necessitous competitors? Our company today has a stronger fundament than we had three years ago and we have the crisis to thank for this. We took a lot of the necessary pain in the beginning of the crisis. Most of our competitors reacted with a wait and see attitude and have not been able to make a successful turn around. As a result, some competitors now are in for deep water. This will most likely present us to new opportunities since some of our competitors will be up for sale. We will assess each opportunity individually and very thoroughly.
If an acquisition can improve our business platform, we are game.
Can you measure customer satisfaction? Sure you can. What you cannot do is develop one set of measurement and expect that it works for all business units equally well. The parameters by which satisfaction are to be measured are too individual to apply a one size fits all. We have always had a strong focus on customers satisfaction. What measurement adds is that we are able to adopt a more systematic approach, which I consider to be a positive development. It will
Our strength is that we’re good at establishing and applying best practice and good ideas from one country to another
teach us what parameters in our concepts, service and approach customers prioritize when they choose us and it will show us where we can improve.
How important is the well being of staff on the working place? It’s is of extreme importance. We want to have access to motivated and well qualified staff. Therefore we need to be able to offer them a good working place. Active leadership is the most important parameter if you ask me. It is crucial that people in the branches are well informed about how they should prioritize. They need to know what is expected from them. You don’t motivate people by placing ten of them in a field without telling them whether to play football or handball.
What would you like to ask Steen? Send your question to firstname.lastname@example.org Don’t mince your words as you may remain totally anonymous.
Why does DT Group take over the management of CEE? Wolseley recently reorganized and as a result, they needed to find a new place for CEE. In DT Group we have proven that we are good in managing operations in smaller countries. Our strength is that we’re good at establishing and applying best practice and good ideas from one to another country. Besides, we have simple but clear and effective strategic principles that creates positive results on the balance sheet. And this is what Wolseley is looking for from us. I have visited the various business units and I believe that we can help them improving their results. I also noticed that they have some experiences we can apply in the existing business units.
Is CEE not a ‘far from our bed’ show? Not at all. True, it’s a company focusing on heating and plumbing, the lightside if you wish. While DT Group traditionally focuses on the heavyside. But having said this, I can tell you that we have a lot of similarities. In fact, I was positively surprised about how similar we’re in reality are. The products we sell, might be different but the processes around it, are very similar. The
purchasing, the type of professional customers, the service parameters, the sales process, logistics and distribution as well as our way of thinking most certainly have common elements.
DT Magazine // A good place to work
is a shared responsibility Gitte Henriksen Silvan Grenaa
Working place specialist, DT Group
We would like to motivate people to adopt a healthy life style
Focusing on employees’ well being in our working place might seem like a ‘nice to have’ luxury in a time of crisis. But not if you ask Laila Therkildsen, working place specialist in DT Group. She says that an investment in a good working environment motivates people in a positive way, reduces the amount of sick days and has a long lasting effect on the bottom line.
“Absenteeism and employees leaving us is an expensive habit”, says Laila Therkildsen who’s responsible for health and safety. “More often than not, it is an indication of lagging well being on the working place. Therefore it makes sense, also from a business perspective, to go about well being seriously. We can identify four factors influencing well being: leadership, workplace happiness, meaningful tasks and good colleagues. Within DT Group we on business unital level share experiences and ideas focusing on prevention. We believe that we as a
working place have a responsibility to help our staff to increase their well being, not only on the working place, but their overall well being. Of course within limitations since we realize that we cannot force but only motivate people to for example adopt a healthy life style”.
Silvan Grenaa banns bad habits
Silvan recently started an ambitious project in nine of their forty branches focusing on both physical and mental health.The project is subsidized by the public prevention fund in Denmark. “Selected staff from each of the participating branches Continued on page 23
DT Magazine // Private Label
Private Label – why?
Why do DT Group and Wolseley devote resources to Private Label (PL) and why is it an important part of our strategy?
Brand Manager, DT Group
Private Label (PL) concept was ”invented” by supermarket chains in Great Britain over 100 years ago. It can only be described as a huge success and now PL products are an integral part of the grocery sector where they, for instance, help the chains become less dependent on brand name suppliers. Over time, other industries, including the construction industry, have also taken PL to their hearts to a greater or lesser extent.
Difference in quality
At DT Group, we have split products into 3 levels of quality: low
price or discount, medium quality and top quality. In order to clarify this stratification, we often have different brands for each of the different qualities. An example of this is tools, where we have Basic for the cheapest, Toolmate for the medium quality (sold to the DIY community) and Raptor for top quality (sold to our trade customers).
Our brand name suppliers are important too
Does PL affect the well-known brand name suppliers, who are, of course, an important cooperation partner for us? The answer is that PL cannot stand alone and typically retailers follow a strategy whereby they have 1-3 brand name suppliers in a range alongside their own labels. By limiting the number of brand name suppliers to the best in the market, at the same time we are giving them a bigger bite of the cake, so everyone wins. The only parties that can be said to lose anything are those brand name suppliers we don’t select,
but then all they have to do is up the ante if they want to ”come in from the cold”.
More freedom, increased competition and higher profits - that’s why!
Our work with PL means that we are able to offer products of a similar quality to the familiar brand names but at a slightly lower price. It helps increase competition and generally keeps the prices down - to our customers’ advantage. At the same time, it makes a bit more difficult for the brand name suppliers to increase their prices because we have alternative goods ourselves that we can offer customers and because our work PL means that we often know the cost of producing most products. This makes us less dependent on them and gives us more freedom. At the same time, there are normally higher profits on PL products and when you put all these advantages together it makes sense, both for us and, not least, our customers, that we devote resources to the sector.
News New range of electric radiators and ventilators from China Fourteen different electric radiators and ventilators from China are on the way to our Silvan division. They include both classical and modern designs. The
range also includes a number of oil radiators which are particularly effective at giving off heat. The brand name of the new range is Bright and the pack-
aging has been produced in all the Nordic languages so that they can easily be incorporated into other divisions, either as a complete range or just a selection.
Raw skylights STARK in Denmark will soon be introducing Raw skylights which are produced by a European manufactur-
28 new Raptor tools on the way Twenty eight different top quality tools are on the way to our professional customers. The products were found in China and have all been tested by impartial companies to ensure they are of the highest quality. The new range includes knives, knife blades, various measuring tapes, various pli-
ers and adjustable spanners etc. The packaging is international so that the tools can be taken by all our stores for professionals. The Raptor brandname is reserved for our trade customers and is therefore not being stocked by Silvan or Cheapy.
er. Initially they will be available in two of the most common sizes in the range in addition to apertures and adaptations for different types of roofing. The windows will be painted white as standard. The windows are of a high quality comparable to that of the well-known brands on the market and all STARK stores will have displays of the windows to coincide with the first products coming into stock.
DT Magazine // Private Label
The flooring brands which STARK focuses on are:
STARK in Denmark focuses on
Private Label flooring
STARK has just launched a new strategy whereby their range of wooden flooring - a sector with a turnover running to millions annually - consists almost exclusively of Private Label brands.
Flooring – for the cheapest types of laminate flooring. Generally, these are bought in jointly with other divisions in DT Group. Raw – for quality flooring - primarily slatted parquet flooring. NextStep – for very high quality, primarily exclusive solid wood flooring for housing associations and customers with particularly exacting requirements. Fjorddal – for solid pine flooring. Besides our own brands, there will only be a limited range from brand name suppliers. Purchasing Manager at STARK, Søren Lysemose says ”Our focus on Private label gives us a freedom to act proactively in the market and enables us to offer our customers some products that are not immediately comparable with others. We have structured our range in such a way that it
is significantly easier for customers to see the difference in qualities. Our salespeople tell us that it has also made it considerably easier to provide customers with a high level of service. The prices are competitive while, at the same time, our profits are higher. All in all, it is a win-win situation.”
The brand name suppliers are in no way left out in the cold
Now, it just means that they have to up the ante, which should be to everyone’s advantage. This being the case, Private Label does not necessarily mean the end of the familiar brand name suppliers. The reality is that many of these manufacturers produce Private Label flooring for us and other customers. ”Naturally though, we will buy flooring wherever we can get the right quality at the best price,” Søren Lysemose tells us, ”whether this is from a European or an Asian supplier will be decided once we have evaluated various factors such as price, quality, ability to deliver, logistics
and so on”.
Because we focus on Private Label doesn’t mean that we go for the cheapest and poorest qualities quite the contrary.
Quality and customer satisfaction above all else
”Because we focus on Private Label doesn’t mean that we go for the cheapest and poorest qualities - quite the contrary. We will never accept a lower quality just to make a few extra pennies,” Søren Lysemose adds, ”Our customers expect high quality and our employees must feel confident when they are selling the products. Therefore, we have some extremely capable purchases who make sure that we have the right products, of the right quality and for the right price”.
At STARK we believe that the range of products is so exceptional that we have formed a special organisation that targets those involved in the initial stages, namely architects and engineers, offensively and at the same time also has the resources to help professional customers get going on major projects. In other words, we work just as professionally as thoughwe were a manufacturer.
There may sometimes be a need to follow up on a product like wooden flooring once it has left our stores. This is true of both brand name and Private
Label flooring. Follow-up may be in the form of complaints, questions relating to maintenance and other things that our customers expect us to provide. When we sell Private Label flooring, to a great extent we take care of this ourselves and can’t refer the customer to a brand name supplier (unless it is a brand name supplier who has supplied our PL flooring). If a problem arises that can’t be resolved immediately in the local STARK store, it is the same capable purchasers who are responsible for the range who will resolve the problem so that our customers experience us as serious partners.
makes a (world of) difference 16
DT Magazine // Applied Strategy
The Financial crisis has an impact on branches throughout all business units in all countries and Starkki’s Kuopio branch in Finland was no exception here. The amount of customers for example, decreased because of the crisis. Management and staff put their heads together and came up with a solid and applicable solution to turn the tie. In fact, five months after they started, the branch has exceeded all expectations.
We found out that if we increased each sale with €1.48, we’d reach the same result as in 2009.
“We did good”, says Minna Tilles, store foreman and responsible for DIY sales in the Kuopio branch. “We sold as we always did, but to fewer customers than before. That of course had an impact on the result and ultimately could have consequences for the number of staff if the branch should live up to the strategic requirements as defined under P45. Instead, the branch choose to focus on income. “We involved both management and staff and in a meeting we shared the problem with them”,
says Minna Tilles. “We asked them to come up with ideas as to what we could do to create better results. I knew I had a good team but the reaction nevertheless was overwhelming. We got so many useful, concrete ideas. People took it dead serious and really started thinking about what they could do themselves to boost the result.” “The idea everybody was most in favor of was to increase the sales per customer. In average each customers bought for € 37,15 (cash and stock sales). We cal-
culated that we only needed to add € 1,48 to achieve the same result as the year before”, Minna Tilles explains. “That was such a small amount that everybody was sure they could manage this. A good way of getting more out of the customers entering our branch is asking them about their project. If you have a customer that asks for a cheap can of paint, we can easily convince them to buy a brush, some tape and often we’re also able to upgrade the quality of the paint and in doing so increase the value of the sales.”
The echo of success
€ 1,48 doesn’t sound like a lot but ... “It works wonders”, says Anne Koskinen, Starkkis DIY sales director. “In five months only, the branch in Kuopio has increased the average sale per customer from € 37 to € 48, a 30% increase. That is amazing. And it is far beyond the
intended € 1,48. In fact, they six doubled that objective. It’s good customer service too. We help customers remember to buy all the material and tools they need to complete their project and with better quality material which improves the end result.” The initiative in Kuopio did not go
The Kuopio recipe map the customers project sell total solutions to customers ensure campaign displays and shells are in excellent condition regular follow up on actions and development celebrate success
unnoticed. “During our monthly meeting where all branch managers meet, we discussed the success in Kuopio”, says Anne Koskinen. “Other branches immediately grasped the idea and started implementing it in their branches as well. It is too early to say something more concrete about the results but oth-
The branch in Kuopio has increased the average sale per customer from € 37 to € 48
er branches also have been able to increase the sales per customer significantly.” “I am so proud of my staff in Kuopio”, Minna Tilles says. “We get the results on a monthly basis and I can just see how happy they are that we have been able to turn this into a success. We of course celebrate the success every month with cake. We’re planning to follow up on the success and consolidate it. We have developed a sales training focusing on up and cross selling. This should motivate people to stay committed to the project.”
The strategic pillars:
2002+ is the name of the simple strategic plan followed by all business units and branches in DT Group. It consists of only a few requirements and lets the individual business units choose themselves how to fulfill them.
P20 A The profit margin must be above 20 per cent of the gross profit. P20 B Result that shows how well the shop yields interest on the money invested in it by the owners – the result must be above 20 per cent. P45 The staff costs must be max 45 per cent – the means to achieve the aim of P20 A.
DT Magazine // ProductCorner
He aint heavy,
he’s my brother In our daily construction lingo we refer to heavyside and lightside without giving it a second thought. But what is really hiding behind these terms?
All product categories are divided into eight main groups: On the lightside: 1. Heating 2. Plumbing 3. PVF/Plastics On the heavyside: 4. Timber & Panels 5. Heavy Building Materials 6. Plasterboard & Insulation 7. Flooring & Joinery Combined: 8. Tools & Hardware
We asked Ole Dahl, the European Sourcing director for Wolseley responsible for heavyside. “The easiest way to split both terms up is to look at who is the customer. Roughly speaking that is. On heavyside we sell products for the bricklayer, carpenter and entrepreneur and on lightside we sell products for the plumber and installer of heating and ventilation. Typically on lightside you end up with not seeing the products once they
are installed - as most of it is hidden behind the constructions.” That makes sense. It’s easy to remember. But what about a toilet bowl? It’s visible but is it heavyside? “No. That is lightside”, says Lars Kuch Pedersen, Senior Manager, Sourcing & Supply Chain in CEE for Wolseley responsible for lightside. “And yet, we sell them also in STARK, a heavyside retailer.” Another difference is the distribution network. “A lot
of lightside material is being ordered by phone, fax and/ or through the Internet”, Says Lars Kuch. “Whereas heavyside products typically are sold through shops. Not that our new colleagues in CEE don’t have shops but they are different from what we are used to. Typically you will find a counter from where staff will serve customers. Customers don’t go around and find what they need themselves.” Ole Dahl: “On heavyside a major part of the turnover is delivered to the buildingsites in a truck with the ability to load the materials directly onto the roof or scaffolds.” DT MAGAZINE
DT Magazine // The story of ...
Toilets The toilet. By some also referred to as the throne. Available in many different shapes and colors but preferred by most to be very simple and plain white. Not a very sexy invention at first glance. Yet one of great importance. The toilet goes back all the way to 2100 BC when the Egyptians started using sitting type of toilets. In 1596 John Harrington invented an indoor water closet for Queen Elizabeth I and in 1775 the flash toilet as we know it was invented by Alexander Cummings, a London watchmaker. Except for a few cosmetic changes and some minor technological improvements - the toilet hasnâ€™t been through any big revolutionary changes. But no matter how insignificant this white seat in your bathroom might seem, it meant a breakthrough in the history of human hygiene.
Imagine what a city like Århus or Helsinki would be like if everyone went about their ”business” wherever they pleased! But this is exactly what happened before the flush toilet made its entrance in peoples’ homes. It lead to highly contagious diseases killing thousands of people. In the old days, to keep epidemics under control, cities and villages weren’t allowed to grow beyond a certain population. The flush toilet saved lives and accelerated urban development as it allowed cities to grow bigger. In 1848, England was the first country to pass the nation-
al Public Health Act, which would become a model plumbing code for the rest of the world to follow. It mandated some kind of sanitary arrangement in every house, whether a flushing toilet, or a privy, or an ash pit. Today, 2.5 billion people still live without toilets. Toilet bowls and tanks are made from a special clay called vitreous china. Vitreous china is a mix of several kinds of clay, called ball clay and china clay, silica, and a fluxing agent. Clays are hardened by first drying in air, then being fired (baked) in a very hot oven called a kiln. Usually a shiny, waterproof coating called a glaze is applied only after a
Toilet seats are generally made from one of two materials – plastic or a combination of plastic and wood
first firing, and the clay is fired a second time. Vitreous china is an exception, in that clay and glaze can be fired together. The whole clay body vitrifies, or turns glassy, so the toilet is actually waterproof and stainproof through its entire thickness. Toilet seats are generally made from one of two materials. Plastic toilet seats are made from a type of thermoplastic called polystyrene. The less expensive and more common type of toilet seat is made from a blend of wood and plastic. The wood is hardwood, usually maple or birch, which
has been ground up into the consistency of flour. This wood flour is blended with a powdered plastic resin called melamine. Zinc stearate is a third ingredient in wooden toilet seats. This prevents the wood-resin mix from sticking to the mold in the manufacturing process. The metal tank fixtures are made of stainless steel or copper, and the joints that hold the seat to the bowl are usually a rubber-like plastic.
Toilet, the word
The french were the first to use the word toilet - almost three centuries ago. The word derives from
tela or plural tele which means cloth. French barbershops used the word toilette to describe the grooming activities typically associated with the barber shop.
Royal bum only
As with everything else, spoilt King Henry VIII had to be a show-off, also when it came to the matters of his own toilet. In fact his toilet, which was portable, was carried around everywhere the King went and, guess what? Henry’s was the only bum allowed to use it. Henry’s loo was a status symbol and was called a Close Stool: a lid would “close” and open to reveal a toilet seat and a pot beneath. Henry’s Close Stool could have been mistaken for a throne. Though it had no back rest, the toilet seat under the lid was padded
and covered in velvet, embroidered and beaded.
Paper before the toilet
Toilet paper is thought to have been introduced in China at around 850
Toilet paper is thought to have been introduced in China at around 850, long before the advent of the toilet.
The toilet is one of the largest users of water in the home with an average of 50 liters used for WC flushing per person per day. Dual flush and low water content cisterns can reduce the consumption of water in the household by 20%.
19 million US Dollar
That is what the world’s most expensive toilet costs. The Rusian designed toilet system was purchased by NASA for the International 22
Space Station (ISS) from S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation. It comes complete with leg restraints and thigh bars. It filters urine into drinking water.
be seen flushing the toilet shortly before getting stabbed to death by ”mother.” Unfortunately for the toilet, it was greatly upstaged by the shower.
No Oscar for this toilet
DT Group and toilets
The word on the seat is that the toilet’s big-screen debut was in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho in 1960. The toilet had one line: ”flusssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhh.....” Janet Leigh’s character, Marion Crane, can
Silvan sells about 15.000 toilets a year. These toilets are produced in China, Portugal, Poland, Sweden and Germany. Roughly 65% of these are our own brand or import, the rest is supplied by local resellers.
is a shared responsibility
Continued from page 11
attend a series of health seminars”, says Gitte Henriksen, from Silvan Grenaa. “We’re three colleagues from Grenaa functioning in the role of ambassadors. The learnings from the seminars we apply in our branch.” “The project was kicked of by an interview, a kind of base line assessment to identify ar-
eas we could improve. We have chosen to focus on initiatives that can help to decrease the amount of sick days. In Grenaa we started out with having a physio therapist helping us with creating the right conditions in terms of working position, but she also looked at our diets and habits. Following up
we have initiated a couple of competitions. One competition for example, focuses on habits. We all identified at least one habit that we wanted to work with. Drink less alcohol, drink more water instead. Sleep more. Train more. Or loose weight.” “In fact, there were eight colleagues out of six-
We lost 24 kilo’s so far
teen that wanted to loose weight so we initiated a weight club. Every thursday we step on the scales. There’s a small motivational gift when you lost 5% of your weight and again when you reached the 10% mark. After five weeks, as a group, we lost 24KG. At the seminars we get a lot of practical tips Continued on page 27
You can... Take the development of your staff seriously. interview them at least once a year about their perceptions and about their ambitions. Be realistic about their development potential, make clear and transparent agreements and follow through; Acknowledge your staff’s successes and focus on the positive aspects, for example their effort, also when the end result did not turn out as expected; Help your staff to prioritize in busy times to avoid they waste time on insignificant tasks.
You can... Focus on the positive aspects of your job and your tasks. Develop a positive mindset. Research shows that optimistic people are more lucky than average. You can actually train yourself to be optimistic. Write for example every day three positive experiences on a piece of paper. If you do this consistently, you will see it will start working; Acknowledge your colleagues’ successes, focus on the positive aspects; Take care of yourself. Stay fit by exercising and a healthy diet, fill yourself with positive impulses and get your sleep.
DT Magazine // Five for the road
We work in different business units and geographies, we work for different brands and concepts and our uniforms might not seem alike. We donâ€™t speak the same language, and yet, we speak a language we all can understand: the lingo of construction and business. In fact, we have a lot more in common than not. We have interviewed four colleagues from different business units as asked them what makes a good day for them. And guess what, we have that in common too! 24
Hans Jensen Business unit:
Sales assistant responsible for kitchens, heating and plumbing, light and electricity.
Arne Storedale Business unit:
Sales manager specialized in doors and windows for the professional market
Where are you in ten years from now: Right here in Neumann Bygg.
How many years: I have ben working at Neumann for 25 years and I love it. When you have been at a company for this long, you are a part of their identity. What inspires you most: Success. Especially when success is a result of a team effort. What did you dream of becoming: I wanted to become a professional football player or a famous singer. I also dreamt about being a famous cyclist.
How do you keep developing yourself: I am attending classes in evening school. Right now I focus on improving my English and later this year I consider to take modules in economy or marketing. I am keen on developing my brain constantly. Professionally I read a lot of magazines, I visit our producers and I attend exhibitions. What is a good day: That is when I have been out visiting a customer for a chat about the smaller things in life and come back to the office with a good order in my notes book.
lot of time doing voluntarily work for all kind of clubs and associations.
How many years: 7 years. What inspires you most: At STARK we are known for our professional knowledge about a lot of things. Therefore we also get the challenging requirements from customers. I just love solving those and provide the right solution for a customer. What did you dream of becoming: I knew I was going to work in retail and I couldn’t imagine working anywhere else.
How do you keep developing yourself: I attend the courses that are being offered within the areas of my responsibility. Even though I have a lot of experience to start with, I still go. You might not necessarily learn so much from the course itself, but you always learn stuff from being together with colleagues and talk about the every day practice. What is a good day: That’s a day where I solve the tasks I have to solve. More I don’t need.
Where are you in ten years from now: I will be retired and spend a
Mortan Leijon Business unit:
Sales consultant responsible for professional customers.
I met a woman here some years ago that I have been visiting every winter now for the past years and I think I would like to build a family with her.
How many years: 23 years. What inspires you most: Making a good deal where both the customer and my boss is happy. What did you dream of becoming: Speedway racer. I loved motor racing. Especially speedway. I still do. Where are you in ten years from now: I am retired and I might move to the Phillipines. 26
How do you keep developing yourself: I read a lot, especially books. For example Stig Larsson. I of course also read about new products and we regularly are visited by suppliers that come and tell us all ins and outs of their new products. What is a good day: I have many good days. In fact, nine out of ten days are really good days. The one bad day, only makes you appreciate the good ones even more.
Responsible for colors
How many years: 2 months, but worked in the industry for 25 years now What inspires you most: Good contact with customers. I take pride in giving my customers a good advice and make them feel comfortable with their decisions. What did you dream of becoming: I honestly donâ€™t know any more but I am extremely happy to be where I am today. Where are you in ten years from now: I am retired and hopefully I will travel through the states together with my husband as this is one of our big dreams.
How do you keep developing yourself: I keep myself updated on everything concerning colors, fabrics, interior design both through magazines, travels abroad and courses. What is a good day: When I feel I have been able to share my experience and knowledge with my customers, and that I have sold them exactly what they need - not more, not less. If I experience the customer has had a good experience, I have done my job well. That makes me happy.
is a shared responsibility
Continued from page 23
too, like what kind of diet you should follow, exercises and the like. I learned for example that fruit and almonds give you an energy boast. So now we have fruit baskets in the branch. During staff meetings we don’t order pizza’s any longer. Instead we order healthy food. Starting small and doing it together, really motivates everyone to do more. We’re now eight colleagues that attend zumba classes in the gym here in Grenaa. What I am particularly proud of is that among them are two men. Last time we were 200 women in the class and only two men, our Silvan men. Wearing Silvan t-shirts. In a local so-
ciety like ours, makes a difference because people talk about it.” “In November this year, we should see a change in both the amount of sick days and in how we rate working place happiness. It is our ambition to improve working place happiness. Currently we score an eight and we want to score a nine. So far I am very confident we will reach our target. Already now I notice that colleagues are more energized. We make sure to get our sleep and we adopt to a more healthy life style. It creates more energy and resources on the shop floor. Customers notice it too. There’s a very positive atmosphere in Silvan Grenaa.”
Eight colleagues – six women and two men – attend zumba classes
How changing focus created a healthy cardboard factory Traditionally organizations focus on what makes employees sick. Stora Enso, an international cardboard factory with headquarters in Sweden and 46.000 employees, was no exception. Until the companies’ physician Johnny Johnsson, started to pick up an interest for employes that had no sick days at all. What did they do differently? He started calling these employees ‘the long time fresh’ and the factory engaged in campaigns and initiatives to change the life styles of the other employees. Today the company can produce one of the lowest sick leave percentages in Sweden. But what’s more, the bottom line really sky rocketed, transforming Stora Enso into the business case for well being.
The winner of the candy machine from last quiz: Virpi Salmelainen, Starkki Lathi
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is CEE represented?
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In what countries
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Staff in Kuopio
decided to increase sales with ... how much?
A 7 Euro B 11,3 Euro C 1,48 Euro
A Speedway racer
B Professional soccer player
C Famous pop artist
What did Mortan
Leijon dream of becoming when he was young?
Name: Address: Zip and City: Country: Phone: E-mail: Employed at:
How many toilets
does Silvan sell in a year?
A 5.000 B 10.000 C 15.000
How many kilo’s
did the weight group in Silvan Grenaa loose?
A 18 kg B 22 kg C 24 kg
How big is the
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A 57.600 B 118.340 C 1.118.340
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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....