N. 8 · Autumn/Winter 2010
Your 30 minutes team building guide
We turn our customers into fans 18
Logistics puts us ahead of the game
8 Steen Weirsøe reveals goals for 2011 · 10 Serious DIY’ers do it with Silvan · 22 private label is serious business
Why do customers keep coming back? World class customer service starts with you
HardTalk Serious DIY’ers do it with Silvan! How to move a segment
The story of windows Logistics puts us ahead of the game
For customers building or renovating, it is of paramount importance that they get the right products at the right time
Convincing customers one at the time Applied customer service
22 Private Label We mean business
USEFUL NUMBERS DT Group Wolseley Starkki STARK
+45 39559700 +44 118 929 8700 +358 3 850 900 +45 89343434
Charlotte Gullach Büttrich editor email@example.com
Are you being served? Our perception of service is coloured by our experiences in our own respective geographical environments. What is considered good service in Sweden does not necessarily work in Finland. You can even take it a step further. Different divisions cater to different customers who also have different needs and, therefore, different expectations when it comes to service. Good service in STARK might not swing it in Beijer or Neumann. Service is not a ‘one size fits all’ concept, and, therefore, there is not ONE good way of doing it. Hence, the importance of surveying customer opinion is clear, since this will tell us what our customers expect and to what extent we live up to their expectations.
In the forthcoming issues of DT Magazine, we will focus on customer service, customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. We will try to present an accurate picture of what the various divisions and stores are initiating to maintain loyal customers. We hope, we can offer some inspiration, or perhaps at least some food for thought. Always bear in mind, however, that one universal approach to service does not exist. We will continuously have to translate good ideas developed elsewhere to our own customers so that it meets their notion of good service. Happy reading. Remember, if you have any input, ideas and/or issues with the magazine send it to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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, Patrick May Graphic Design: Appetizer.dk, Simon Johnsen Photos: Flemming Schiller Translation: Languagewire Print: Trykcentret
DT Magazine // News
Däniken paves the way CEE’s Tobler Haustechnik AG provides the Swiss installation trade
Däniken benefits Reliable supply of the full product range to customers – within 24 hours Reduction of internal shipments Significant efficiency increase through optimised warehouse design and IT support A flexible and expandable logistics structure, which can accommodate future growth and allows for expansion of the product range
with a full range of products and systems for heating and sanitation. With a product range including over 20,000 items, all of which need to be available to installers throughout Switzerland within 24 hours, this can be a major logistical task. And since the business has grown steadily over the past eight years, logistics needed a revamp to improve supply availability. Therefore,
Tobler, in 2008, acquired the former post distribution centre in Däniken, 50 km from Zürich, and turned it into an impressive, modern logistics hub of three stories – each the size of three(!) football fields. The new centre is the crucial brick that completes the logistical puzzle of supplying the nationwide network of Tobler-Marchés (the Swiss name for their branches).
The math Length: 256 metres Depth: 105 metres Surface: Approx. 20,000 square metres Floors: 3 Ramps: 35 Materials handling: 3 heavy duty elevators 2 pallet elevators Conveyor belt Storage locations: Approx. 45,000
DT Magazine // Customer service
Why do customers keep
coming back? World class customer service starts with you
Just as movies have their Oscars, customer service produces its own awards (and rewards) by bringing kudos to companies offering world class customer service. If this idea seems pretentious or over the top, then try to remember the last time you experienced excellent customer service... Right! The truth is, it doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, it makes you feel appreciated. You make a mental note of the experience, and you promise yourself that you will come back. In our industry, where competition is fierce, excellent customer service is not a choice. It is a necessity.
Sometimes a “no” is the only right answer
Beijer Byggmaterial recently conducted a survey attempting to measure how customers perceive their stores. The survey started with a pilot where ten stores, varying both in size and performance, participated. For each
shop, 60 customers were selected to be interviewed. Half of them were professional builders, and the other half consisted of DIY customers. The participants answered 15 relevant questions during a 15-minute telephone interview about the individual stores’ ability to provide excellent customer service. After
a slight adjustment to the questionnaire, Beijer Byggmaterial extended the survey to the remaining 53 stores. The results of the extended survey were not yet available when DT Magazine went to press, but the results of the pilot, fortunately, were. “No big surprises here,” says Bengt Idinge, Sales
Director in Beijer Byggmaterial and responsible for the customer survey. “As we expected, stores performing poorly financially didn’t do very well in the survey either. Conversely, stores with good financial results were given a good rating by customers.
to define relevant and feasible goals for each shop, and support for staff and managers to improve customer service.” “Customer service always has been a strong feature of Beijer Byggmaterial, but since Anders Jakobsson, our CEO, start-
This proves, beyond a doubt, that good customer service has a positive influence on the bottom line. This proves, beyond a doubt, that good customer service has a positive influence on the bottom line.” “The results of this survey provide us with a deeper understanding of what parameters the individual stores need to develop,” Bengt explains. “The next step will be
ed about a year ago, it received an even higher priority,” says Bengt. “A good example of a recent initiative to improve the customer’s experience in our stores is the separation of customer interaction and handling of supplies. Staff members who pack don’t talk to cus-
tomers. People dealing with customers don’t pack. That way those dealing with customers can offer their full and undivided attention to the customer.” “Customers deserve our full and undivided attention.” Bengt was positively surprised that customers placed a lower priority on price than expected. “That is a very good sign. It tells us that our customers value service more than price. Our customers place a high value on service, especially the professional builders, for whom timely delivery and availability is essential. It is of vital importance that we keep our promises when it comes to delivery. Delayed deliveries cost those working at construction sites money and can cost
Don’t underestimate the small ones “The DIY segment appreciates our knowhow. The ‘ask someone who knows’ campaign is spot on,” Bengt Idinge warns. “We should remember to provide excellent service to all customers, including the so-called ‘small ones’. After all, the woman visiting our store to buy 20 nails might be related to the CEO of a large construction company.” To secure continuous development, the survey will be conducted twice a year.
us a customer. If you know that there is no way you can live up to your customer’s demands, tell them so up front.”
Details make a difference
STARK uses customer surveys - MAZE feedback - to determine how loyal customers are. Peter Schepler, regional manager for Nordjylland and responsible for the branches in Aalborg and Greenland, explains. “MAZE helps us to identify the potential in our customer base. We ask customers, as well as others, how large a percentage of their entire supplies they buy from STARK. If the survey indicates that a particular customer is satisfied with our services but only buys 25% of his supplies here, we are well positioned to expand our business with this customer.” All customers are invited to participate in the MAZE feedback twice a year. Participants are able to remain anonymous. Peter’s experience, though, is that most customers gladly reveal their identity. “What is important with surveys like this is that you consistently act upon the results,” says Peter. “If
a particular customer makes an effort to explain how we can improve, he/she provides us with an opportunity to maintain or even expand our business with him.” “The small things that you easily can fix,
you should not hesitate to fix. We have a customer who’s happy overall with STARK, but in the survey he commented that it was sometimes hard to get through to us. A day later, we provided him with the direct
What is important is that we act upon the results. Peter Schepler
phone numbers of his account managers so that he could bypass the main switchboard. Even though this takes little or no effort from our side, it is a gesture that does not go unnoticed by the customer.” Surveying customer satisfaction is an effective marketing strategy. The survey is used to bring the diverse services STARK offers to the customers’ attention. Peter: “We ask them whether they are familiar with our SMS service, our nationwide delivery service Continued on page 14
DT Magazine // HardTalk
HardTalk with Steen Weirsøe
In an enterprise with more than 10.000 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.
What are THE top priorities for 2011? Increase earnings. Keep focusing on efficiency. The market is under pressure, and it can be tempting to pinch the price in order to get business. At the same time, however, we have to keep an eye on our margins. They should not suffer as that will hurt our earnings. Instead, we have to distinguish ourselves by offering the best possible service to our existing customers. We aim to be our customers’ preferred supplier. After all, it is both easier and cheaper to get more business and better margins from existing, satisfied customers than it is to get new business from new customers. Maintaining our focus on efficiency is of vital importance, because it will keep costs under control.
In retrospect, how will 2010 go down in DT Group’s history? 2010 is another year dominated by the crisis in construction. The crisis hit Denmark harder than it did Sweden, Norway and Finland. This year, in Denmark, the construction of approximately 8,000 houses was initiated. That is only 25% of the number of new constructions initiated as compared to the number initiated three years ago. This has naturally had a significant impact on our business. Woodcote in Eastern Europe has been hit hard by the crisis as well. Remarkably enough, both Silvan and STARK have achieved fantastic results in spite of the crisis, results they can be proud of. Woodcote, too, has shown an impressive ability to reduce costs.
What has been the cost of the crisis in terms of loss of branches and staff? During the crisis, staff has been reduced by approximately 2,000 which is about 20% of the entire workforce. At first glance, this might seem like a lot, but it reflects the impact of the crisis and the business we lost. If you consider the situation more fully, we are actually doing very well. When it comes to branches, the reduction has been limited. We closed a few, but most of the branches we closed operated outside of the current business focus. CC Vejle is a good example, as they operated as re-sellers, which is not our core business. We made sure to keep the knowhow, however, by offering staff positions (mainly in STARK).
What would you like to ask Steen? Send your question to email@example.com – Don’t mince your words as you may remain totally anonymous.
We closed the Silvan branches in Sweden in 2009, but some of them were opened again under the Beijer brand. Once the crisis is over and business picks up, we have to be ready to pick up our pace as well. When viewing our current position, this is what we have to keep in mind.
What is the most important task of a CEO of DT Group? It is my job as the CEO to make certain that we react adequately to market opportunities and threats. To be able to do this, it is important that I have the right people on my team: managers and directors with a thorough understanding of the business, who take care of the details and daily operations. From my side, I support the team where I can with dialogue and advice. We all cater to construction, but each division has a different approach and focus on different customer segments. Dealing with those variations every day is what makes my job exciting.
What do you consider the benchmark for good customer service? We can learn a lot about efficiency by looking at other industries. Take, for example, the food industry. The margins are extremely small, and companies that have achieved success in this industry have developed a fantastic ability to be cost efficient. Scrutinising how they operate can be very inspiring. When it comes to customer service though, it’s a lot harder to find a relevant benchmark. What will set us apart in our business is individual performance – that makes all the dif-
ference. Our customers will appreciate personal and individual treatment and care, and, therefore, it is important that when staff members are dealing with customers they are motivated to go the extra mile. Too many guidelines, rules and policies can be counter–productive, because they have the potential to poison individual initiative.
DT Magazine // Silvan
Serious DIY’ers do it with How to move a segment 10
It’s a quarter past three, and Gitte inspects a stack of removal boxes. She’s one of the 80.000 Danes that will move this year, in Gitte’s case to a slightly smaller apartment.
The large boxes offer a lot of space, and she figures that three boxes ought to be enough to fit her kitchen supplies. On the other hand, the smaller boxes will be easier to handle, and, consider-
ing her bad back, that is probably a better option. She spots wrapping paper and bubble plastic and even though it’s not on her shopping list, she decides it won’t hurt to bring some. When parking
her car earlier, she noticed Silvan trailers, and she wonders how much it will cost to rent one. It might actually be cheaper than having to rent a van. Gitte is at the center of Silvan’s philosophy: she is a DIY’er, and she has got a project. She is moving and that means that she potentially will spend a significant amount of money in Silvan. That is - if Silvan is able to help her adequately to succeed with her project… “...which we will. Silvan’s objective is to make it convenient to do it yourself,” says Freddy Lauridsen, Silvan’s CEO. “The entire concept of convenience is where we distinguish ourselves from our competitors. We have two strong competitors in the DIY segment. The first one is a straightforward discount concept. We
have more items on stock and our service is better. The second one is a big box concept with huge outlets. In fact, their size can be rather intimidating to consumers which
means that it is easier to shop in Silvan.” Silvan was established in 1968 (the name comes from the Latin word for tree: silva), and since 1968, Silvan has become a well regarded brand. The store concept is well defined and whether Gitte enters a Silvan in Vejle or in Birkerød, the outlet has the same look and feel thanks to a detailed shop concept. Thanks to the manual, all the knowledge, experience and insights of 40 years of DIY retailing is being distributed to every shop.
Don’t argue with customers
Frontline competency is a key element for Silvan
When new items arrive, they arrive with detailed drawings explaining how they should be placed on shelves, how many there should be in the shop, stocking, how to display them and ...they come with coaches. Silvan has four traveling sales coaches, each responsible for a number of outlets. Whenever new items are launched, the coaches visit the shops to provide on the job training for staff. When hiring staff, they learn the Silvan way. Everything is
Shopping in Silvan is all about convenience, says Freddy Lauridsen, Silvan’s CEO
thoroughly thought through - nothing is being left to chance. However, not everything is written in stone or spelled out in manuals. Silvan has a strong set of values, an integrated part of the mission and vision of the organisation. These values guide our staff in doing their job of interacting with a homogeneous group of customers every day. This is done without the guidelines becoming counter– productive, because staff members need to have the ability to find creative solutions together with the customer, when and where required.
Nice to know
Established in 1968, has 40 shops and 12,000 items in stock and, on top of that, an additional seasonal assortment.
Staff’s most important task is to ensure that customers leave the shop 100% satisfied
Frontline competency is a key element for Silvan. Staff’s most important task is to ensure that customers leave the shop 100% satisfied, and staff members are empowered to do what is necessary. “We teach our staff not to argue with our customers,”
Freddy says. “A customer returning an item that is broken gets a replacement. If we run out of an item we announced in our advertisement, we offer the customer the option of either ordering it or finding a similar item for the same price.”
A trailer or a Trojan horse
Freddy: “The customer is right, and we will go all the way with them. We are here to solve problems, not to create them. Arguing with a customer to save a few bucks is misunderstood loyalty. Customers
To reach our ”guiding star” – the vision –
We create results.
we run SILVAN according to our values. We want to operate our stores using not only rules and manuals, but by attitude and conduct. Our slogan is ”We make it simple” in everything we do, to the benefit of SILVAN is the single most service-minded our customers do-it-yourself store merchant for fitting-out, and SILVAN!
renovating and maintenance of your home.
We ensure our customers success with their home-improvement projects, regardless of whether they ‘do-it-yourself’ or ‘do-it-with-help’.
V al u e s : Customer service and sales We are here for our customers
We must be innovative
We do the right things
Everything we do must create value for our customers
Everything we do has a consequence
Our staff are the entire foundation Behaviour Development and initiative
returning items that are broken because of maltreatment is a rarity. The few times it does happen, we will replace the item with a smile. The goodwill this creates is priceless. If I get a customer complaint on my desk, I make it my priority to solve it, regardless of what I was doing at the time. That is the Silvan spirit.” Let us return to
We are here to solve problems, not to create them
Gitte. She has finished shopping by now. She found a product to fill the holes in her soonto-be old apartment. She also found out that renting a trailer is free of charge. For Silvan that makes perfect sense because it is a double whammy or a Trojan horse if you like: It solves Gitte’s immediate transportation problem, and
Gitte will have to come back to return the trailer. At some point, she is going to need wallpaper, paint, glue, tape, brushes, etc. to make the new place her own place. Today, she experienced how easy it is to shop in Silvan, and she can’t wait to tell her colleague, who’s moving soon too, about the free trailer.
Continued from page 7
and whether they are familiar with our e-invoicing service. These are services that set us apart from our competitors, services that our customers greatly appreciate. We have made an effort to market these services, but that does not necessarily mean that all our customers are familiar with them. Of course, our sales people follow up by explaining the advantages to customers not using our services.” STARK is doing very well in the latest MAZE feedback. Customers perceive STARK as professional with an elevated level of service. Peter is convinced that the details make the difference. “When we deliver supplies, they are packed and wrapped, dry and ready for use. We send an SMS to let the contractors on the site know that their supplies are on the way so they can anticipate the arrival. Our drivers make an effort to get the supplies to the specific spot on the site where they are actually needed. We have tidy branches - always. Details, yes, but they matter.” 14
Customers don’t accept mistakes
Silvan has a long history, more than 12 years, of measuring customer satisfaction. It helps Silvan to stay in sync with the market. “If you want to penetrate the DIY market, the margin for mistakes is small,” explains Freddy Lauridsen, Silvan’s CEO. “To ensure that we’re in sync with market demands at all times, we conduct surveys four times a year.”
“Measuring is important because it provides you with hardcore facts,” says Freddy. “Nationwide, we distribute 1.7 million sales brochures, which is unique in this industry. We can’t afford to make decisions based upon gut feeling alone. You need facts to make balanced decisions. We survey customers that have visited our shops, but we also participate in an industrywide survey where we get facts about customers who don’t shop in Silvan. For us, these surveys
are also a way to keep an ongoing dialogue with our customers. They help us to develop our business.” “What I am particularly proud of is that we have improved the way customers perceive our staff. The results show that they think our staff is competent and attentive. That we managed to improve in this area is pretty amazing, considering the fact that we had to downsize due to the crisis. It shows that we focused on the right people.”
If we are able to provide excellent customer service, we can avoid competing on price Ian Meakins
Our customers are our best sales force For Ian Meakins, Wolseley’s CEO, customer service is, beyond a doubt, an integrated part of our business and the single most important parameter when it comes to distinguishing ourselves from the competition.
“A 24X24 piece of timber is a 24X24 piece of timber in any store. That rules out differentiating ourselves on products. What’s left is price and customer service. If we are able to provide excellent customer service, we can avoid competing on price. A satisfied customer will not focus on price only. A satisfied customer will give us a greater share of his business, and, on top of that, he will recommend us to others. In fact, the customers are the best sales people we could hope for. Measuring the quality of our customer service, on a strategic level, helps us to understand what improvements we should prioritise if
we want to have even more satisfied customers. On a tactical level, when customers tell us about their frustrations, like a forgotten receipt, that is something we can fix immediately.” “Due to the fact that our business is diverse, it is going to be hard to find one set of parameters that we can measure throughout the entire Group. We need to take into consideration that a professional construction company has different needs than the DIY’er who’s redecorating children’s rooms. What is important though is that we measure our results consistently, over time, so that we can compare the results and work on continuous development of our service throughout the entire company.”
DT Magazine // The story of
The story of
Windows What Bill Gates didn’t know It has often been said that ‘eyes are the windows of the soul’, and windows are arguably the soul of a building. Everyone needs light and ventilation, and so the technology of windows has been at the forefront of building developments, from stained glass set in lead 16
to hinged wooden casements, sliding sashes and double glazing. Today, we can make glass so strong it can be used as a structure in its own right. Primitive windows were just holes in a wall. Later, windows were covered with animal hide, cloth or wood. The history of glass windows is ac-
tually more interesting and older than you may realise. The production of glass has been occurring naturally for millions of years, but it is the development of manufactured glass that made the window as we know it today popular. The first instance of glass being used for windows in construc-
tions was during the Roman period in the 1st century A.D. It is known that the Romans used glass for a variety of purposes including mosaic tiles, decorating pottery and as windows! The glass window became more popular with the advent of churches. Around the world, the need for glass windows (and the manufacture of glass) did not really take hold until the 13th century. The Germans had found a way of making sheets of glass in the 11th century. This process was later perfected by the Venetians during the 13th century. During the 14th century, the French managed to perfect the art of blown plate glass (this is where
Thanks to the Norwegians
The word window originates from the Old Norse ‘vindauga’, from ‘vindr – wind’ and ‘auga – eye’, i.e., “wind eye”. In Norwegian Nynorsk and Icelandic, the Old Norse form has survived to this day (in Icelandic only as a less used synonym to gluggi), in Swedish, the word vindöga remains as a term for a hole through the roof of a hut, and in the Danish language ‘vindue’ and Norwegian Bokmål ‘vindu’, the direct link to ‘eye’ is lost, as in the word ‘window’.
glass is hand blown and then ground and polished to look smooth). The French, however, were reluctant to divulge their manufacturing secrets before the 17th century, resulting in Crown glass and blown plate glass not being manufactured anywhere else until this time. In the 19th century the world saw the rise in popularity of these two types of glass for making windows. After the demise of Crown glass and blown plate glass in the 19th century, sheet glass took over as the popular choice. This is
Germans invented sheet – glass, the ancestor of the glass we use for windows today.
the type of glass that was in use in the majority of European windows of this period. Sheet glass was quick to wane in popularity after the First World War as in1959, float glass, invented by Sir Alistair Pilkington, took over as the glass of choice. The history of windows and glass does not stop there.
Today’s window buyer faces a huge variety of products in terms of appearance, materials, design, price and quality. Making the right choices can be difficult, even for professional builders. New forms of glass have been developed since 1959, and there are more types being researched and developed as
the years go on. For instance, we have witnessed the rise of toughened glass and safety glass, which is common in most of the double glazing found in homes today. New developments such as Smart glass (which can change the light with the flick of a switch) are also set to join the history of glass in the near future.
DT Magazine // Logistics
Logistics puts us ahead of the game
The secret sixth gear
Logistics is defined by Wikipedia as: ‘the management of the flow of goods, information and other resources between the point of origin and the point of consumption in order to meet the requirements of customers.’ With a little imagination, one can argue that this is the core of our business. We forecast what supplies our customers need, we buy them from different suppliers and manufactur-
ers, and bring them together as close as possible to where our customers need them. “Logistics is about local availability of construction materials and supplies for our builders,” says Kari Wahlman, Sourcing Director for Starkki. “For customers building or renovating, it is of paramount importance that they get the right products at the right time, either by picking them up in
our stores or having them delivered directly to the construction site. It is our task to move goods where they are needed and to exchange the necessary information so that it is easy for people in the shops to track and find the goods.”
The right products at the right time…
Starkki has a rather complex supply chain. There are many ways the
to get the goods to turn up where they are needed, in the end, depends on the size and value of the products, on geography (where is the manufacturer-customer located) and the time frame.
Every store is a logistic hub
goods can reach their final destination: the customer. For starters, goods can be delivered directly from the manufacturer to the customer, from the manufacturer to our central warehouse, or from the manufacturer to one of our stores. Customers can get their deliveries directly from manufacturers, from the central warehouse, or they can pick them up from our stores. The number of steps needed
“In Starkki we have 21 stores and 1 central warehouse. In total, 270 people are working in logistics, 30 in the central warehouse and 240 people have logistical functions in the stores,” explains Kari. “These people take care of receiving the goods in the store/warehouse, picking up the outgoing orders and preparing the customer orders (packing, shipping). Purchasing is a separate support function between sales and logistics. Their task is to secure the overall service level and control the inventory. All of our transportation is outsourced.” “Our stores feature approximately 17,000 items (SKU’s). We consider our stores as not only typical stores, but also as logistic terminals.” He explains:
“Every store has its own local transportation system, serving local customers and their construction sites with regular deliveries. Since we have both typical hardware store operations and logistical operations in the same place, our logistics staff
We consider our stores as not only typical stores, but also as logistic terminals
members have to be able to fulfil both roles. This means that they serve our customers as yard salesmen, and, at the same time, they are picking and packing the outgoing deliveries. Their role is of extreme importance for our business.”
Nice to know
Starkki’s central warehouse has over 10,000 cubic metres of so-called warm space and almost the same amount of unheated space. The central warehouse is located in Lahti, and it is serving the store network 5 days a week. The deliveries to stores from the central warehouse and from the main suppliers take place during the night. This is to limit the heavy traffic in the yards during opening hours.
Wasco Holding BV is a company operating under CEE (Central and Eastern Europe). Wasco has 25 stores, 380 staff and provides heating and plumbing supplies to professional customers.
While you were sleeping
It’s an ambitious service, but we have a motivated team
Time is money and money not earned ... well, it is money spent. That must have been what Wasco was thinking when they came up with the ‘innight’ delivery concept. It is simple, yet brilliant. Every night a small army of vans and trucks is delivering supplies directly into the vans of plumbing and heating technicians. So when the technicians leave home, they
don’t have to pick up supplies at the office first. They can visit customers instead. “They easily save an hour or an hour and a half - which with their hourly rates means €45 - €65 extra income,” says Nico Kerk, Wasco’s logistics manager. Customers can order their supplies on-line. Orders registered until 17:00 hours are being processed the same evening and delivered between 23.00
and 07.00 hours to the customers’ vans. Return orders will be picked up at the same time. “It’s an ambitious service, but we have a motivated team. We also knew that our competitors will copy the service as soon as they find out about it, but by putting the bar high enough, it will be difficult for them to get anywhere near our level of service,” Nico says.
Nice to know Customers save inventory costs. Productivity increases by 10% to 15%. Approximately 600 technicians use the innight delivery service throughout the entire country. Wasco uses the postal service provider TNT as their distribution partner.
Logistics makes a significant difference Since last October, Beijer and Cheapy share space in a logistics terminal in Norrköping, owned and operated by Green Cargo, 160 km south from Stockholm. “Our logistical challenges are of a different nature than Beijers,” says Peter Jacobsen, Cheapy’s logistics manager. “We have relatively small units, and therefore we have to limit our inventory so we can offer our customers a good assortment of supplies. However, due to the small amounts we purchase per unit, we’d typically not be eligible for free delivery.” “Thanks to the terminal in Norrköping, we now can bundle our orders to get all the advantages you typically get
when purchasing volume, have it delivered centrally and divide it into smaller shipments for final distribution.” “In Cheapy we have three people in logistics, and we report to purchasing,” says Peter. “Purchasing is responsible for the assortment and negotiating prices whereas logistics’ main areas are inventory and distribution. We started a dialogue to integrate these two functions even more because it makes perfect sense. If you want to get total control of pricing, you have to start looking at the costs of an item during its entire life cycle.”
A growing jigsaw puzzle
“See, you can buy something cheap, but if you
Silvan opened its E-shop last year. Orders are being processed and shipped from either the Silvan shop in Valby or Odense. Depending on where in the country the Ecustomer lives. In some cases, suppliers and manufacturers deliver directly to the E-customer. Products frequently bought on-line are, surprisingly, greenhouses and tool sheds.
have to negotiate large volumes to get a good deal, you will have to store your stock, which costs money. It is down to the nitty-gritty details like whether a particular item should be presented hanging on a pin or be spread out in a box. Hanging it on a pin might be more presentable, but it also is more labour intensive.” “A pallet of tiles weights 1,200 kg. That makes it too heavy for warehouse racks to bear. Stocking pallets on the floor is not an efficient use of warehouse space. Should we invest in new racks? Should we split up the pallets when they arrive in Norrköping? Should they be split up in China when they leave
the factory? At the end of the day, the question is what can pay off. It’s a puzzle, and due to globalisation, private label production, and advanced technology the number of pieces has increased.” “There’s enormous amounts of money involved,” Peter continues. “And, there are a lot of parameters to take into consideration. You have to be something of a wizard in Excel to integrate all the different parameters that influence your costs into a model that you can use to make decisions. The competition is fierce. Making the wrong decision can be fatal. Making the right decision can put you ahead of the game.” DT MAGAZINE
DT Magazine // Private Label
About Private Label Private Label is an important building block of our strategy, and these pages will give you an insight into the new products added and provide you with inspiration and substantial knowledge about Private Label products we sell through our stores. The continuing development of these products and brands helps to ensure a healthy economy in the Group. Product ranges and brands may vary from division to division.
We mean business with our
Private Label Private Label is basically a retail company putting its own brand on a product, as opposed to a well-known branded supplier. However, there are two ways of thinking when it comes to a Private Label. You can either use a lot of different brands for different product groups, in which case the customers donâ€™t really get to know a specific brand very well, or
you can work with fewer brands and try to turn them into well known brands in their own right. Itâ€™s the latter course of action that DT Group and Wolseley have chosen.
We position our brands and market them as being on a par with the branded suppliers, and, gradually, through experience, our customers come to recognise our Private Label
Brand Manager, DT Group
brands as truly being on a par with the well-known brands in the different markets.
Protecting our brands
We monitor activity in Europe and our other important markets and oppose anyone who tries to use a brand that resembles ours. We do this actively with the help of legal firms in Denmark and the UK. We invest a lot of money and resources in our Private La-
We invest a lot of money and resources in our Private Label brands
bel brands and expect a return on that investment in the form of customer loyalty, increased sales and a better profit margin. However, please remember that the advantages Private Label gives us also benefits our customers in the form of better prices and broader choice, so you can help us build our brands by promoting our Private Label products to your customers.
New Private Label Paint
– even the birds are happier!
Good for the environment! Good for our children! Good for our profit margin! Our new Domestic Eco range of indoor paint and outdoor wood protection products are produced with the least possible impact on the environment and with fewer harmful substances in their formulas.
EU Eco-label on indoor paint
The Eco paint products bear the EU Eco-label flower logo. The EU Ecolabel is awarded to a product after a study of the total impact on the environment in the product’s life cycle, starting from the raw material extraction, through production, distribution and disposal. A paint bearing the Eco-label has to have good covering abilities and a limited amount of solvents. It cannot contain toxic or carcino-
genic substances, lead or other heavy metals. This is something to emphasise when talking to customers.
Good for the children – and nature
Because the Eco paint is produced with fewer harmful substances, it also contributes less of these substances to your home environment than standard paints. This is an important point to remember when talking to customers. Although children are more at risk, everyone benefits from there being less harmful emissions from the paint they use in their homes. Nature benefits from the fact that production and disposal also emits fewer harmful substances than standard paint.
Blind study = proof of quality
Beijerbygg in Sweden did a blind study on the standard Domestic 10 wall paint (the Eco paint is of even better quality), comparing it to both branded paint and other Private Label paint from competitors. The paint was poured into unmarked buckets, and the participants were asked to paint with all the types of paint and rate them. The result was that our standard Domestic paint was chosen as one of the three best, with a rating equal to 2 other well-known brands.
cheaper but still of good quality) and our range of Domestic wood treatment for outdoor use.
The Domestic paint and wood treatment range has taken a great step forward with the new Eco brand and answers our customers’ growing concern for the environment and the chemicals and other substances to which we subject our children. Don’t hesitate to recommend the products as a good alternative to the well-known brands.
Domestic Eco paint
The Domestic Eco paint comes in a few of the most popular standard colours but can also be tinted in thousands of different tones to suit the customer. Domestic Eco is priced just under the leading brand. Along with the new Eco paint, we still have our standard Domestic paint (which is slightly
DT Magazine // Private Label
Private Label brands in DT Group
In the following issues of DT News, we will be looking at some of our Private Label brands, which products they are used for, and what kind of quality to expect. There will also be some selling points you can use when talking to our customers. In this issue we are looking at building materials...
SOLID Range, target customers and quality
SOLID is our Private Label for building materials aimed at DIY customers. The brand is sold in our DIY stores like Silvan and Cheapy and will not be found in our buildersâ€™ merchants stores. SOLID products are very good quality at a competitive price.
The SOLID brand is used for building materials and related products. This includes diverse product groups like doors, cement, windows, flooring, roof tiles and nails and screws, among others.
Many SOLID products are complex, and customers typically need assistance in purchasing the right products. This is your chance for extra sales as you ensure that the customer has all necessary items for his/her project!
Selling points Lower prices than comparable products. Up to 30-year guarantee (depending on the product). 100% identical in quality to similar brands, but at a lower price.
RAW Range and target customers The RAW brand is for building materials aimed at professional users, i.e., the building trade and semi-professional DIY customers and will only be sold through our buildersâ€™ merchants stores.
The RAW brand is only used on products of very high quality. All products have been tested to ensure that they are suited to the Scandinavian environment and can meet the high standards set by the building trade.
In the RAW range, we have everything from flooring to plywood to cement and aggregate.
10-20% lower prices than comparable products. Up to 30-year guarantee (depending on the product). 100% identical in quality to comparable brands, but at a lower price.
You can be sure of the quality, so donâ€™t hesitate to recommend RAW as an alternative to well-known brands! You can find data sheets for all RAW products on the intranet.
New wardrobe range and brochure We have just launched a new brochure for Silvan with a complete range of wardrobes, from stand-alone to walk-in closets. Something new is our use of 3D digital photos where the entire room and wardrobe is built in a virtual environment on a computer. There are 3 of these 3D photos in the new brochure. You can see one of them below - see if you can spot the others in the brochure.
Raptor T-tap screws Beijerbygg in Sweden has introduced T-tap screws in the Raptor brand. T-tap is a patented evolution of the popular Torx type of screw. The innovation is the small tap on the end of the screw-bit which fits in a corresponding hole in the screw. This results in a much better grip that, among other things, makes one-handed screwing much easier. The screws are already a success in Sweden and Finland as craftsmen experience the advantages of the new design.
DT Magazine // Five for the road
Applied customer service
one at the time 26
Neumann Bygg, in Norway, is traditionally a heavyside supplier. Earlier this year, inspired by STARK’s one-stop shopping concept, Neumann decided to add clothing, shoes, gloves, hand and power tools coming from a.o. Mascot Workwear, Sækko, Bacho, and Dewalt in their store in Bryne. Roy Madsen, who has been working for Neumann for 20 years, was awarded responsibility for the pilot. The result, after just a few months, is impressive: selling light-side
in Bryne added 2% additional sales to their total sales. “DT Group has excellent purchasing agreements with manufacturers and suppliers that supply tools, clothing and shoes,” says Roy, “and since we have been talking for a long time in Norway about expanding our assortment, this was too good an opportunity to let pass. A lot of our customers buy clothes, shoes, gloves and tools, but since we did not offer these items they had to buy them from our competitors. We reasoned
that it would be good for customer loyalty to offer these products. This was also the main argument for selling the idea internally to the sales force in Bryne (33 people work in the store in Bryne). These products are new to us, so we naturally ran into some scepticism. We are good at selling heavy–side, but the margins for the new products are better. So our sales manager decided that I should give it a try.” “I started by printing out a list of our ten largest customers and prepared
my pitch. I did a lot of homework in the evening at home. I contacted the customers on my list one after the other, explaining the new product range to them, the focus on service, etc.. I met a lot of scepticism from them as well. You have to understand that these customers have been buying tools and clothes from our competitors for years and felt comfortable doing so. They know us from the heavy-side. It was not easy for me to convince them, but I managed to get all ten of them to accept an offer from Neumann. The fact that I have been in this business for 20 years and have had relationships with these customers for many years really helped me out.” “In the end, the hard work started
paying off, and all of them, without exception, wanted to give it a try. That was fantastic, very motivating indeed. In fact, I immediately started on another list of 30 customers. The biggest victory until now is that we managed to get two of the largest customers of our competitor Motek on this particular segment to buy from Neumann. And they buy huge volumes!” For the past three months, sales of light-side products have increased by 100% in Bryne. Today, light-side sales account for 6% of the total sales in Bryne, and that figure is still increasing. Roy’s success has opened up a new avenue for expanding the initiative to other Neumann units, in the newly opened store in Stavanger, for example.
Neumann Byg in Bryne Roy Madsen Define a well-served customer. Easy. It’s a pleased and satisfied customer. You can feel there’s a connection, a relationship. A good relationship creates room for an occasional mistake. They will forgive you because they know you will make it up to them.
What is the most memorable customer service you have experienced? In March this year, one of our largest customers agreed to allow me to come and visit him to demonstrate our collection of gloves and clothes. These are new products in our assortment and, until my call, he bought these items from our competitor. But when I called him and asked for an appointment, he told me it would be his pleasure. That made me feel very proud.
What is the shop’s strategy when it comes to service? We have a service strategy for sales to professional builders - called the right product for the right price. In essence we’re buying supplies to sell them again. Our added value is to have the right products in our inventory and deliver them to our customers when they need them.
What is your own strategy to keep your customers happy? I focus on the customer. I find out what his headache is, and I solve it for him.
Does that strategy always work? Of course!
I hate to send customers away STARK in Auning Lene Bønnerup
Define a wellserved customer. That’s a customer leaving the shop with everything he or she needs and more. You can always spot a happy customer who is satisfied with our service. They smile, they look happy and they might even pay you a compliment.
What is the most memorable customer service you have experienced? Six years ago, when I was still an apprentice,
a customer came in to buy a pair of trousers. By accident, I charged her twice the amount she should have paid. When I discovered my mistake, I called her immediately, and we settled the difference. She was very impressed that I bothered.
What is the shop’s strategy when it comes to service? I want to help customers to the best of my ability. I hate to have to send them to a competitor. For this reason, I am sorry that we stopped selling garden furniture. Customers are looking for garden furniture, and I have to send them away.
What is your own strategy to keep your customers happy? I will do whatever I can to find the items a customer needs. Besides this, I am honest with my customers. When I am unsure about something, I don’t pretend to know something just to sell the product. I will investigate, and, if I can’t find the answer, I will ask around. Customers respect that.
Does that strategy always work? The honesty part? Yes. Regarding finding items for customers, I must admit that it usually works for the customer, but every once in a while I am told that I am taking it a step too far. I guess it is in my nature to serve.
Put a smile on their lips Silvan in Hillerød Janni Jacobsen
Define a well-served customer. A satisfied customer is a customer that is being greeted with a smile and leaves with all the products needed for him or her to complete the project he/she is working on, not necessarily only the products that they came for. That’s the way I would like to be treated too. It can be a frustrating experience to come home and find out that you can’t finish the project because you have forgotten something, so you have to return to the shop. And it might not even be a Silvan shop they return to.
What is the most memorable customer service you have experienced?
When my daughter turned one, we decided to celebrate her birthday in a small restaurant which was recommended to us by some friends. We were shown to our table, but my daughter managed to get pretty impatient while waiting for the food to arrive. She started crawling around, and the restaurant staff took this very well. When the food arrived, it was too hot to eat, and my daughter had to wait again. Without asking, they found her a book she could look at, a small plate of her own with matching cutlery and a glass of milk. We experienced understanding from the staff. The food was excellent as well, and it will not be the last time we dine there.
What is the shop’s strategy when it comes to service? We should be visible in the shop so that customers in need of help can always ask for it. Another important factor is that we establish good contact. The sales will follow automatically if you have a good dialogue. Last, but not least, we want the customer to leave with all they need to finish their DIY project. A year ago we started receiving competition in Hillerød, when a Bauhaus store opened. That has motivated us to put even more focus on customer service.
What is your own strategy to keep your customers happy? You can go a long way with a smile and a twinkle in your eyes. Aside from that, I show an interest for the customer’s projects and ask relevant questions that can help them get inspiration and make them aware of all the details of the project.
Does that strategy always work? Nope. Some customers perceive your questions to be useless and maybe even irritating. They already have a good grip on their project. I respect that, of course, and try to help them in the best way I can.
Positive attitude rubs off Cheapy in Falkenberg Thomas Holmström
Define a wellserved customer. That would be a customer who is happy to be here and will gladly return. Yesterday, a customer told me how much he enjoyed visiting our shop. He thought
there was a fantastic atmosphere. We have five colleagues here in Falkenberg, and we are a great team. Customers can feel that.
What is the most memorable customer service you have experienced? Hmmm. I don’t know. But I can tell you a funny story. Last summer, a man came into the store to buy a tap for his kitchen. I found out that he was Norwegian, and he was on holiday here with his camping van. We talked and talked while he was browsing the shop. At one point he became interested in a wooden floor, which he actually ended up buying. So a sale worth 1,400 kroner ended up being 20,000 kroner. I
believe that if you approach customers with respect and honesty, they will buy anything from you.
What is the shop’s strategy when it comes to service? I can tell you my philosophy. Nothing is ever impossible, but the impossible might take a little longer to realise.
What is your own strategy to keep your customers happy? I am a positive person by nature, and I am not afraid to laugh at work. I believe that the fun you have in life is the fun you bring yourself. A positive attitude is contagious and you get positive thoughts back from the custom-
ers. I went through a rough time a few years ago, but then you have to be professional. You cannot let your personal problems influence your work. In fact, I went to work every day and tried to have fun with my colleagues. In a way you could argue that effort helped me to get through a difficult period.
Does that strategy always work? It works for me. There are customers that you can’t satisfy, no matter what you do. I have been working here for six years, and the first customer who spoiled my mood has yet to arrive. You also have to meet your customer where they are. If they are not in the mood for fun, than let it be.
From left: Sola-mayor HĂĽkon Rege, DT Group CEO Steen WeirsĂ¸e and Neumann manager Knut Christiansen
DT Magazine // News
Silvan opens shop in Hoje Taastrup (Denmark)
Neumann Bygg opens store in Sola, Rogaland (Norway) Neumann Bygg has strengthened its position in Rogaland by creating a new facility in Sola. Earlier this year, Neumann opened doors in Lingedahl. With these new shops Neumann expands its position in Norway significantly. The facility Neu-
mann calls the Stavanger department, includes 9,000 square metres and is ready to serve professional builders. The facility includes an enormous meeting room offering seating to up to 100 people that can be used as training facilities for staff and customers.
Silvan opened a new shop in Taastrup. Ironically enough, they moved into the old Bauhaus shop in City2, a prominent shopping mall. In the 5,000 square metre space, Silvan will try a new concept: a shop in a shop concept. The shop is divided into different units, all with a specific building theme like paint, lightning, flooring, etc. As a
result, it will be easier for customers to navigate through the shop and find exactly what they need to succeed with their specific project. Even if it is NOT on their shopping list since the products are grouped in a way that customers easily get inspired by the items presented that they might have forgotten when making their list at home.
Woodcote opens shop in Bucharest (Romania) Woodcote Romania opened a store with an area of 4,000 square metres on Bucharest
ring road. 820 square metres is indoor space, and the rest is yard and warehouse. Woodcote Romania used to deliv-
er goods to traditional large construction companies and smaller redistributors. The whole branch structure has changed, meaning that the location allows for the implementation of the drive-in concept: the warehouse consists of several slots, divided by product type, where the customer can reach and load goods in his van either himself or with as-
sistance from yardmen. The indoor space is similar to a retail shop, with an exhibition area and easy to reach shelves. The whole organisation of the warehouse is similar to STARK locations. Woodcote Romania has showrooms and logistical centers in Cluj and Arad, which they intend to reorganise in 2011 following the model of Bucharest store. DT MAGAZINE
The winner of the 5.000 kr. from last quiz: The lucky winner of our last quiz is Greif Andreasen, from STARK in Odense (DK). Congratulations to Lars and his colleagues.
Win a contribution for a party for you and your colleagues
5.000 earmark kr. ed your nex for companyt party
How well are you informed of what happens in DT Group? Take the test and answer the questions below and win a 5.000 kr. contribution for your next company party!
Send your answers before January 10th 2011 Use the coupon below or send your answers by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org Which Nordic
language is responsible for the word window?
A Tree B Roof C Marketplace
A Norway B Sweden C Finland
1: 2: 3: 4: 5:
What does the
word Silva(n) mean?
A Create results B Make life easier for the DIY’er C Create a worldwide chain of DIY stores
Name: Address: Zip and City: Country: Phone: E-mail: Employed at:
A A dog patrol surveying industry areas in the evening hours for irregularities
B Night delivery from Nörrkoping to Cheapy shops
C Wasco delivering directly into customers’ vans during the night
What is Silvan’s
What is ‘innight’
How many stores
does Neumann Byg have?
A 12 B 13 C 14
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