no. 15 winter 2013
Do you know the type?
Count every visitor â€“
make every visitor count!
Turn what you know into cash
In Neumann they know how to open doors
24 a part time Hero in randers 26 An
atypical journey of a typical hammer
e m e e k m a o T h
Mads Brejnholt Madsen Chief Editor for DT Magazine
An atypical journey of a typical hammer
The ultimate disrupter
with Ole Mikael
Turn what you know into cash
Count every visitor
For Arne, doors are more than his job, they’re his passion Our brands and new products Make every visitor count!
No customer is the same
A part time hero in Randers
So why treat them the same way?
From selling nails to eating smoke in five minutes
Win an iPad Mini
Do you know the type? Six different customer types served by the DT Group
USEFUL NUMBERS DT Group +45 39559700 Wolseley +44 118 929 8700 Starkki +358 93 541 3000 STARK +45 89343434
Amazon.com singlehandedly changed the entire book industry. What’s more, Amazon has changed not only the way we do business, but also the way we think about doing business. Its founder Jeff Bezos is quoted as saying: "Your margin is my opportunity" and his rogue attitude towards business has inspired many business people. Until Bezos revolutionised it, the book industry was highly-traditional, with little transparency for the consumer, where all of the merchants earned decent margins. If we want to return to double-digit growth, we can’t rely on incremental improvements in performance. It requires something radical, revolutionary. Very much like what Bezos did. In Copenhagen, we kicked off the strategic process that will get us there (page 3). You will hear and read a lot more about this in the coming months. We found a remarkable story about how one man in Neumann, Arne Storedale, uses his experience and
knowledge to build a sound business with loyal customers and passionate colleagues. We also talked to Silvan about the cameras they have installed at their store entrances to count the number of visitors they welcome every day. Combining this with what they already know, means they gain valuable insight. Which they will use to improve customer service. We look at the many different types of customers we serve in our branches and tried to portray them as semi funny arche types. The message os course is that different customers have different needs and requirements, which means they need to be treated individually.
You can write to Mads at firstname.lastname@example.org Feel free to share your ideas and comments – both positive and critical.
Colophon Beijer Neumann Silvan Cheapy
+46 752411000 +47 55549800 +45 87308730 +46 431443540
Editorial responsibility: DT Group/Mads Brejnholt Madsen Journalistic production and project management: Radical Communications/Patrick May Design and layout: Appetizer/ Simon Johnsen Photography: Das Buro, Per Lundgren, Ib Westersø, Thorhauge Fotografi Illustrations: WhatWeDoOnPurpose Print: Coolgray
DT Magazine // Strategy@work
Business as (un)usual
DT Group ver. III The economic crisis showed us how volatile the market really is. The crisis also revealed our strengths and weaknesses. We need to understand, develop and capitalise on the former. And we need to do something about the latter. It will take more than a few adjustments. In fact, it will require a different business model and cultural change. We have to reinvent ourselves. Thatâ€™s why in February, sixty colleagues from every part of the business met at a strategy conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. They discussed the future business model and the role we should and want to play in the market. Youâ€™ll soon hear more about the outcome of the conference. DT Magazine will bring you the insights and details of the changes that lie ahead of us.
Do you know the
? e p y t
“Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants as long as it is black”
hese are the legendary words of Henry Ford when his company introduced the Ford T back in 1909. If he were alive today he would be in for a surprise. Today’s Ford comes in many different sizes, shapes and colours. Different price tags too.
This example teaches us an important lesson. There are as many different preferences as there are customers. Treating all of them as if they were the same would be like travelling back in time to Henry Ford’s era. Instead, we have to respect - celebrate even - their differences.
But despite all of the options available, car buyers still want more. Thus leaving room for an extensive list of competing car manufacturers, offering an equally varied range of cars.
We did a little investigative work and came up with six different types of customers served in DT Group. Each and every one of them stereo typical and un scientific - but we hope you have fun recognising the type nevertheless.
DT Magazine // Spotlight
the local carpenter
Contact Orders by phone Picks up supplies at store Visits one store
Importance Value 6-6 Loyalty 6-6
Prioritises Assortment Stock Relation Pro-active approach Knowledge
Knud values his freedom. He lives from job to job, works from early in the morning to late in the afternoon. He expects you to do the same. Knud is not structured. He visits you three times a day because he forgets things. He works alone. You’re on his team. He trusts you. He wants to discuss his project with you. Service is more important than price.
Help him plan his supplies Make sure he leaves with all of the supplies he needs Share your opinions and ideas
Don’t make promises you can’t keep
Contact Orders electronically Orders by phone Picks up supplies at the store Has supplies delivered on site Visits multiple stores
the construction manager Importance Value 5-6 Loyalty 4-6
Prioritises Flawless delivery Quality Price Convenience
Svend is a manager for a construction company (e.g. NCC) whom we have a framework agreement with. To a degree, Svend can decide where he gets his supplies. He won’t accept delays caused by unavailable supplies. He’s structured, uses our online systems to place orders and keep track of them. He forces prices down. It’s not his money but it’s a ‘game’ he likes to win. His company buys in large quantities, which compensates for the lower margins we typically get out of him.
Dos Manage expectations meticulously Share your opinions and ideas
Don’ts Don’t make promises you can’t keep
Poul Contact Store Website
the eager beaver
Inspiration Magazines Internet
Knowledge Price Attention Assortment
Value 5-6 Loyalty 5-6
Poul is a proud DIY man. He likes bigger projects, like building a new terrace, carport, kitchen or bathroom. He prepares carefully and shops around too. He knows what he’s doing but wants you to confirm that he’s on the right track. His wife might want a new expensive kitchen. Poul will come to you to find something similar but which costs much less. He will want to negotiate price.
Help him plan his supplies Inform him about delivery times Make sure he leaves with all of the supplies he needs Share your opinions and ideas Offer him options
Pekka & Jenna (32)
Inspiration Magazines Friends Internet
Importance Value 4-6 Loyalty 5-6
Pro-active approach Knowledge Attention Assortment Price Relation
Pekka & Jenna have sold their city apartment and have bought a house, maybe ready assembled. They hire professionals but they will do a lot of the work themselves. Pekka will set up walls, put up tiles, but he’s not very experienced. He needs your help. Jenna focuses on the interior and needs help matching colours and materials. Chemistry is important to them. The couple need to feel they have come to the right place for help.
Help him plan his supplies Inform about delivery times Make sure he leaves with all of the supplies he needs Share your opinions and ideas Call or visit them Show interest in their project
Don’ts Don’t assume they’re experienced Don’t assume they thought about everything
DT Magazine // Spotlight
Inspiration TV Magazines Friends Internet Blogs Pinterest
Importance Value 3-6 Loyalty 3-6
Prioritises Pro-active approach Knowledge Attention Assortment
Emilie is a student. She and her friends have bought an apartment with financial help from their parents. They have agreed to turn the apartment into a New York style loft. They combine flea market finds with low-cost furniture (maybe from Ikea) and smaller DIY items. The apartment also needs a bit of fixing and shining up. Emilie doesn’t have a lot of money but she’s got bucketloads of creativity. Helping her to realise her dream without breaking her budget will be appreciated.
Dos Be creative in your solutions Create awareness for DIY courses Make sure she leaves with all of the supplies she needs Share your opinions and ideas
Don’ts Don’t assume she has the tools she needs to get started
Thomas Contact Store
Inspiration Magazines Facebook Friends
Value Value 4-6 Loyalty 4-6
Prioritises Knowledge Attention Pro-active approach
Thomas likes his home to reflect his lifestyle. He’s a busy man. His home and his garden are his refuge. He’s always looking for good offers, always making small improvements around the home. He’s not very practical but with online self-help movies and your help, he can manage. Thomas is the perfect candidate for a loyalty card combined with good offers, as well as a loan. The latter enables him to finance and realise more dreams at once.
Offer him hands-on guidance Help him plan his supplies Inform him about delivery times Make sure he leaves with all of the supplies he needs Share your opinions and ideas Be pro-active
DT Magazine // HardTalk
HardTalk with Ole Mikael Jensen
In an enterprise with more than 6,300 employees and 260 branches, the top management may seem very distant. With HardTalk, you get close to top management, because here we put you in contact with DT Group’s most senior manager. Ole Mikael answers you and your colleagues questions, however searching they are.
Our competitors in Sweden offer printed product catalogues to professional customers. We used to do this too. Today our product assortment is strictly online. But customers keep on asking us for a printed catalogue. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to revive the catalogue?
Perhaps. We plan to intensify our sales efforts. We want to be more visible to our customers. An important part of that plan is to upgrade existing sales tools. A printed version of our product catalogue may well fit into the plan. But at the same time, we shouldn’t necessarily be doing things just because our competitors are doing them. At all times, we have to consider alternative solutions which make us stand out.
We’re a strong and well-established player on the Nordic market with impressive logistic channels, a global network of suppliers and manufacturers - providing us with a solid advantage over our smaller competitors. When are we expanding to the much larger and more rapidly growing Russian construction market?
We had an operation in Russia but we closed it down about ten years ago. Until last year, we also had branches in Eastern Europe (Woodcote). As exciting as these markets are, both in terms of size and growth potential, our experiences are that we’re not very well geared to cater to these markets. The character of the business in these countries
more often than not is of a nature that doesn’t comply very well with our Wolseley code of conduct. Another issue which made it difficult for us to operate in this market is the difference in culture and understanding. We simply cannot compete in these markets. We’re better in mature markets.
Wolseley is a leading global name within the plumbing and heating business. Why don’t we have a private branded product line within plumbing? We do have a our own brand in sanitary: the Comfort line. It’s being sold primarily by ÖAG in Austria, Wasco in The Netherlands, CFM in Luxembourg and Tobler in Switzerland, all four business units being a part of Wolse-
ley Central Europe and all focusing on plumbers and installers. STARK is the first Nordic division adding Comfort to its assortment. We continuously evaluate whether there are opportunities to introduce Comfort to other Nordic divisions. This depends on volume: for a private label strategy to work, numbers have to be large.
How do we interact with the new generation of customers to secure the future of our company?
We’re living in exciting times. The world is changing more rapidly than ever before and keeping up with technological developments - it’s no longer a matter of choice - is a must if you want to survive in this industry. Ten years ago, we were one of the shining innovators. We have lost some of that shine because we chose to focus on other business parameters. To reclaim our position as an innovator - also when it comes to technology - we have intensified development on eve-
ry possible level. It is extremely important to understand the dynamics of the market and how our customers use the different channels. A couple of years ago, Internet guru’s swore that brick and mortar companies would not survive. The truth is more nuanced. Online and physical outlets go hand in hand - they need each other. We have experimented with online outlets. What is interesting is that sales didn’t accelerate until we added a team of telesales people. We’re developing an omni-channel strategy. This means we’re looking at all of the channels supporting sales. We’re well underway with this development. Right now, Sweden is the benchmark. That’s where it’s happening right now in the Nordics. We recently launched an electronic platform for Beijer Byggmaterial’s professional customers. We will
launch a platform for private customers soon. Other divisions are launching electronic solutions as well. And we’ve only just started. There are tremendous opportunities for us here and we’re well equipped to get the most out of them.
Turn what you know into
There are two things you need to know about Arne Storedale from Neumann Bygg in Bergen. For starters, he knows everything about doors. Everything? Yes. Just about everything! It’s safe to say that if Arne doesn’t know it, don’t bother Googling it. And the second thing? Well, Arne loves to talk about doors. A lot. His son claims that he can’t go any where with his father without Arne noticing and commenting the doors they pass. Well, what can you do? The man loves his doors. For Arne, doors are more than his job, they’re his passion.
DT Magazine // Specialists@work
There’s no way competitors can match our level of experience and insight do business with us. As part of our approach to potential customers, it’s crucial that we offer them something awesome. Something that our competitors don’t. They can buy their doors pretty much anywhere. So we have to give him a good reason why they should buy them from Neumann.” “That reason,” says Arne, “is our experience and insight. Contractors are not necessarily skilled when it comes to doors and/ or surrounding prod-
“I love to compete. Whether it’s cycling, football or sales. I want to win,” says Arne Storedale with a huge smile on his face. “I’ve been working with doors for 25 years, from seven in the morning until three in the afternoon. Naturally, I’ve learned a thing or two about this product.” Why doors? “Haha. It might as well have been shoes, radio’s anything. That it was doors, was just a coincidence.”
Give them a reason to buy from Neumann
Arne is part of a small team of five people supplying the Bergen region and beyond with doors. He’s somewhat of an oracle in the door industry. And a successful salesman too. His secret? “My philosophy is simple. There’s potential business in each new building or renovation project - regardless of who’s building it and whether they already
ucts. Yet there’s a lot to consider when purchasing doors as well as in the entire process that follows. There’s all kind of issues like safety, security and functions determining parameters like quality, design, material and electronics. Doors in public buildings like hospitals, schools or hotels have different requirements than doors used in private residences.”
Our business is to take care of our customers’ headaches
“If you have a fivestorey hotel with 200 doors, you need a solid plan,” Arne explains. “We talk to the architects, the building consultants - everybody involved.
We visit the site, we study the drawings. We find the perfect doors and make sure that every single door fits the doorway it’s meant for. We ensure doors are packed floor by floor and delivered in correct order. We ensure that every door is marked so it’s easy for the carpenters to know where each door goes. We also coordinate with the door locks and electronics supplier. We take over the coordination of the entire process - providing peace of mind for our customer. Often we save them a lot of time, frustration
More on next page
If you have a five-storey hotel with 200 doors, you need a solid plan DT MAGAZINE
Continued and money.” When dealing with private residences, the team services the customer and they also take care of the customer’s customers. “People who have reserved a residence, can visit us and pick the doors they like from a catalogue that we devised in cooperation with the building developer. We also have a permanent exhibition so the customers can examine the doors before they order. This is also a good opportunity for us to get close to potential customers and cross sell, while at the same time maintaining our customers’ interest.”
Arne is like the Wikipedia of doors
Arne respects the value chain and knows every step in the process. “I visit the factories where doors are produced. I talk to the people in the lab where they design and develop doors. To learn how they think. I visit building sites to talk to the carpenters who are fitting doors. What problems do they run into? How can we solve their headaches? I talk to customers. Not just the 12
We monetize our insight, experience and enthusiasm
final decision makers, but also the people handling the finances. What are important parameters to them? How do they want to get invoiced? Having an overview of the entire process, understanding what’s important to everyone involved, helps you understand where you can deliver value. That explains why customers prefer to do business with us.”
There’s good money to be made by this approach
Can it pay of to have
a specialist team dedicated to a niche product like doors? “Ha. Well yes, otherwise we wouldn’t be doing it, would we?” Arne says. “We are in good standing with suppliers and manufacturers. We’re doing an excellent job for them and we’re able to translate this into hard cash. We get significant better prices than our competitors. At the same time, we deliver a service to our customers that is second to none. In return, they don’t mind that we are somewhat more ex-
. 45,000 doors eveNeumann sells approx se are sold by Arne’s ry year, 20,000 of the team of turnover in BerDoors account for 13% n’s total turnover gen and 8% of Neuman
pensive. It’s a few percent her, a few percent there but when you multiply these percentages with large volumes - and that is what we are aiming for it adds up to a good business.” “Our base is in Bergen and here’s our most important customer base,” says Arne. “But we do cater to customers outside of Bergen as well. Right now, we’re pitching on a project involving 25 new hotels in Norway. If we get the deal, we’ll be delivering doors across the entire country.” Arne’s team frequently land jobs that include large volumes. “Last year we delivered doors to the University of Bergen. 1,100 doors! That was a dream come true. Also, because we put so much work into the pitch. We did everything right. I think we won that order because we did a terrific job making a sound budget for the project. It was excellent teamwork. We’re five people who love our work. Customers can sense our enthusiasm. It gives them a feeling of strong commitment from our side.”
e t a v i r p el ate priv el
rtant part l is an impo Private Labe and these pages gy of our strate insight into new an u yo ve gi will inspiration d give you additions an knowledge about th and in-dep bel products we sell La the Private
b a l
Stuart oup ager, DT Gr Brand Man
Private Label still going
strong An important part of our business strategy Private Label is still a very important part of our business strategy. The more Private Label products we sell, the
stronger we position ourselves in the market, not to mention that we usually end up with a better profit from our own brands. Our company’s size gives us a unique opportunity to develop and source Private Label products directly, a luxury that many of our smaller competitors don’t have. This gives us an important competitive advantage and puts us in a stronger position when negotiating with our branded suppliers.
So remember to sell, sell, sell!
Our own products should be your preferred products to sell, especially where our products meet the customer’s requirements. Your Product Managers will have ensured that they are a good deal, for both us and the customer.
Recognise our private label products
Our Private Label brands and their logos are shown below. This should help refresh your memory and/or help new staff to spot our own products.
this spring we have once again started a number of new Private Label initiatives and products, some of which I have listed here for your information and inspiration.
uing . The contin in our stores of these products t developmen lps ensure a he and brands omy in the group. healthy econ es and brands may ng Product ra sion to division. vi di om fr ry va
In Pro stores. Tools, screws, paint, sealants, etc.
Outdoor prod ucts, fences, gard en furniture, etc.
Price fighter brand for all products in DIY stores
In Pro stores. Building materials, flooring, tiles, etc.
Kitchen & bathroom cabinets, & wardrobes, paint wood protection
Price fighter brand for all products in Pro stores
, in DIY stores.Tools fas ls, too r we po teners, etc.
BBQ & accessories, leisure items, camping, etc.
Brand used in STARK for wooden flooring
In DIY sto re Building m s. flooring, ti aterials, les, etc.
Plumbing and sa tary items
or Furniture, do s, knobs, carpet s, m household ite etc.
Electrical items, light bulbs, batteries, etc.
Brand used in STARK for highquality wooden flooring
Brand used in Beijer for kitchen cabinets
ate v i pr bel
Helping the customer to help himself
Bright LED light bulbs â€“ best in test! This makes us proud! In a recent test in a Danish magazine, our own Bright LED light bulbs were awarded best in test. They were tested against existing established brands like Philips and
Professional customers would probably know what a Portland Cement CEM I 42,5 R is and how and where to use it. But private customers may become confused and even baffled by the names and labels on most cement and mortar packaging. To help customers, CHEAPY has come up
with a great way of showing them more information. As you can see in the picture, they have fixed a magnetic tape to the back of a large plastic price strip. This makes it easy to mount on a pallet rack and easy to move around. Information is kept to a minimum but it is sufficient for most customers to find the product they need.
Osram LED bulbs (both of which actually ended up coming last in the test!). Here you can see how SILVAN successfully used the test in their stores to inform their customers about the result.
CHEAPY starts selling a new Domestic paint range CHEAPY has just launched a new range of paint called DOMESTIC, which comes in eight pre-defined colours. The launch is supported by in-store material: both signs and a brochure,
which draw customersâ€™ attention to the new paint range.
DT Magazine // Private Label
Product catalogue 2013
New ACC TV brackets in SILVAN SILVAN has recently changed supplier and launched a complete range of ACC TV brackets, including brackets for iPads, tablets and mobile phones. The new range has been well received by the stores and SILVANâ€™s Prod-
uct Manager received compliments on the quality and range from several of the branches.
The comprehensive product catalogue has been updated and reprinted for 2013. SILVAN stores received the catalogue at the beginning of
March. At the beginning of April, STARK stores received a slimmer version, with their own range of products. Let the SPRING season begin.
STARK trade fair 2013 Following on from the success of previous years, STARK will again organise trade fairs for their customers this summer. Alongside a
number of branded suppliers, customers can become familiar with Raptor and Raw products, which have a combined stand all of their own.
CHEAPY Offers New Domestic Kitchen Range This spring, CHEAPY is launching a new, much larger range of kitchen cabinets. The launch will supported by a new brochure and other in-store mate-
rial. As a new added service, Cheapy customers will be able to get an all-inclusive price for the kitchen of their choice via a new online kitchen designer application.
ate v i pr bel
Raw composite decking
Raw wood panel ceilings Both Beijer and STARK are launching Raw wood panel ceilings this year (in Sweden the products are also often used as wall cladding). The products come from Norrlands TrĂ¤ AB in Sweden and they are top quality. The panels come in three qualities, depending on the degree of moisture left after kilndrying: Classic (16% moisture), Select (12%
moisture) and Premium (8% moisture). The less moisture left in the wood, the less it will move or deform over time. But low-moisture product costs more. In Denmark, Classic (16% moisture) is the most sold product. In terms of quality and results, the customer will have to decide which suits his project and budget best. The launch is supported by in-store displays and a brochure.
Last year, STARK had great success with our new Raw composite decking system. As a result, the range has been expanded with a wider plank and with more colours this year. The decking now comes in three qualities: Classic, Select and Premium. A box of samples has been sent to STARKâ€™s main customers. They can use the samples to sell the products to their
Beijer and STARKKI promote Raptor Ttap screws This year, Beijer and STARKKI will be making an extra effort to promote these screws. They will be delivered in special pal-
let sleeves to make them more visible. Ttap is a special recess, an evolution of the Torx recess, which offers a far better grip between bit and screw. DT Group has a license to use the patented Ttap recess on Raptor screws and they have already been successfully sold in Finland and Sweden.
customers. STARK stores have received new displays and brochures to promote the products. STARKKI also sells a range of Raw composite decking.
DT Magazine // Bessermachen
Silvan use cameras s in the batt le for custom er conversion
Count every visitor
make every visitor count! It’s a chilly Sunday morning (Denmark in February. What do you expect?) and we’re waiting in front of the entrance of the new Silvan in Odense. In a few minutes, the shop will open its doors. In spite of the weather - and the fact that it’s Sunday morning there’s a small crowd of people waiting to get in. Some will buy, others won’t. Thanks to cameras registering visitors, we know that 35% of all visitors entering Silvan, leave without buying. We want to lower that percentage - all the way down to an ambitious 15%.
“Until recently, we knew how many paying customers passed our cash registers but we had no clue as to the total number of people visiting our stores,” explains Jimmy Viedemann, Silvan Chain Manager. “Last year, we installed infrared cameras, discretely placed at the entrance, counting people going in and out. This might not seem like a big deal. But for us it is. We can use knowing how many visitors we have to grow our business. For example, one of the
things we can do is compare the amount of visitors we have, with the number of purchases. This gives us our customer conversion rate.”
Act on what we know
Currently the average conversion rate is 65%. “Lower than expected,” Jimmy says. “It basically means that more than three out of ten visitors leave Silvan without buying
More on next page DT MAGAZINE
Continued anything. We want to raise the bar to 85%. That’s a 20% improvement. Ambitious? Maybe. But not when you consider all the energy and focus we invest into customer service. Both in relation to our stock (Silvan last year started using an advanced replenishment system), but certainly also when it comes to customer interaction and sales performance.” “Thanks to the cameras, we have access to accurate data showing us where and how to improve. The 65% conversion rate is an average. Some stores score significantly higher, others lower. What is important, is to remember that whether you score 50% or 80% - there are visitors leaving our stores without purchasing anything. In other words, every store has a potential to improve their performance.”
Silvan in Odense has a conversion rate of 7.5% (4th best Silvan in the chain). A result they are proud of. “Especially considering how scep-
Thanks to the cameras, we have access to accurate data showing us where and how to improve
tic locals were when we last year opened ‘YET ANOTHER’ DIY store/builders merchant,” says Michael Vilhelmsen, responsible for the paint and environmental department. “We’re surrounded by competitors. The margin for errors is small. Every customer entering our store counts. To make them count, we have a so-called chase system. Every morning, before we open the store for visitors, we agree which colleagues are dedicated to chase customers. That way
visitors don’t have to look for help. We’re right by their side.” “This is not a shoe store where people browse the store and then move on to the next store,” says Michael. “People come here because they have a mission - a building project - and they need supplies. It is our job to help them find what they need. The average purchase amount is 250 kroner. Every time a visitor leaves empty-handed, we lost 250 kroner. Here in Odense, we tease each other when
a customer leaves empty-handed.We say: See! 250 kroner right down the drain. It keeps everybody sharp.”
Nothing but the real thing
“We use the cameras to plan our resources better,” Michael explains. “If we find that our conversion rate plummets on a Saturday, we know that we have to change our pattern. At peak times, when there are a lot of customers, we need to take care of them instead of focusing on filling up
As long as there are visitors leaving stores without buying, there’s potential for improvement
visitors not buying
65% visitors buying
DT Magazine // Bessermachen
supplies. And if possible, get some extra hands, temps, at times where it really counts. This is not about getting more staff, it’s about planning existing resources smarter.” Odense is home to about 160,000 people. It is the thirdlargest city in Denmark, after Copenhagen and Aarhus. The store we’re visiting in Odense opened its doors in April last year. It’s the second Silvan in the city. In total, Silvan has 40 stores spread across Denmark. According to Michael, who has worked in different Silvan stores, starting from scratch has been an advantage. “It enabled us to recruit people with the right attitude. We cannot treat each customer the same. They are different, they have different requirements. We need to identify their needs and adjust our service accordingly. Excellent customer service is not something you can learn from a text book. It requires passion. Service needs to come naturally. If not, it starts being mechanical and customers know very
You can’t act upon an idea that you do not have
well if they’re getting the real thing or a pre-defined sales pitch.”
Michael is happy for the cameras. “Before we had the cameras we clapped
each other on the back and were convinced that we were doing all the right things. Now we have an excellent tool to measure how well we’re really doing.” It doesn’t stop with the conversion rate. The cameras have
reasons WHY people don’t buy They can’t find the item they are looking for. Either because we do not have it in our assortment or because it is sold out. They did not get any help/the help that they needed. They are browsing, typically because they’re anticipating a large purchase (like a new bathroom or kitchen) and they want look around to get inspiration and prices.
a lot more potential according to Jimmi. “The camera’s will reveal how good we are at attracting customers. In time they will help us to optimise our marketing efforts. The cameras don’t lie. They give us an accurate view. We report all of the results on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. It works too. Since we installed the cameras, our conversion rate has increased. This is just the beginning. Why didn’t we think about doing this before? I’ve asked myself that question many times. But you can’t act upon an idea that you do not have.”
So why treat em h t No e h t r e same custohm way? is t e
Different customers want different things. They also want to be treated differently. Your sales textbook won’t teach you how. Being with customers every day, keeping your eyes and ears, and equally important, your mind open - will. What is your sales routine? And how do you differentiate? Have you thought about that? We talked to four colleagues about how they deal with different customers and their requirements. Here’s their approach.
It is more difficult to decode a person on the phone Simon Israel (32) Starkki in Helsinki, since 2008
My sales routine “I’m polite and understanding. I greet customers when they enter the store. When I know their name, I use their name. I say: ‘Hi Jani, how are you doing?’ Professional customers sometimes visit us two or three times a day. When I know what they’re working on, I ask them how the job is coming along. I ask them
what they need and make sure they leave with the right products. Listening to what the customer has to say is an important way for me to understand his needs. Even when he doesn’t actually have a clue. This sometimes happens when dealing with private customers.”
How I differentiate “I serve both professional (70%) and pri-
vate (30%) customers in the branch. Half of the time, I answer phone calls and mails. When I sense a customer is in a hurry, I don’t start feeding him with a lot of product information. I stick to the bare essentials and make sure he gets his products as soon as possible so he can get going. When I sense customers have more time on their hands, I take more time too. Spending time on small talk can be a very helpful way to strengthen the
relation with professional customers as well as guiding private customers. In general, private customers require more time. They need more help because they don’t necessarily know what products they need. They want choices and alternatives and they need guidance. Professional customers know what they want. Their products should be ready when they come to pick them up. They want a good price and a good service.”
DT Magazine // Colleagues@work
I treat customers like they were my personal guests Fredrika Egideus (42)
Beijer Stockholm, since 1986
My sales routine “I like to observe customers entering the store before I approach them. Some customers come here almost every day and they know their way around. I approach those that seem lost, and ask them whether I can help them. If there’s something they can’t find, I show them where it is. If they need help, I give them my time and my attention. Regardless of whether they want a piece of duct tape worth two Euros or a new kitchen. I want every customer to feel appreciated. I try to read their
body language, their tone of voice and of course what they say. I get a feeling of how they want to be approached, how they want to be addressed. I don’t treat them how I want to be treated myself, I treat them like they want to be treated. I love interacting with people. Naturally, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing this for more than twenty years. I view making the sale as my personal reward. If I can, I will also sell them more. But always for their benefit. I want to make sure they don’t forget anything. The people coming in here are my guests, I want to give them a good experience.”
How I differentiate “No two customers are the same. But they deserve the same attention and respect. You can’t always tell whether they want to spend a small amount or a small fortune. It shouldn’t matter either. They might buy something small this time around and then come back the following year to buy a new bathroom. I look at all of the signs. If they’re in a hurry, I adapt to their tempo. If they need a lot of
support, then I take them to my desk and make them feel comfortable. I want to deal with the the real person who happens to be the customer. What does he or she need? For me this is more than a job. I’m in it with my whole heart. At the end of the day, we’re all people. I’m a person too. And I relate to people. And all their differences. We as a sales team, we’re all different too. We have our different approaches. This is mine.”
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So why No er treat them custohm way? e e m a t s s e i th e sam
We have to be on the building site with our customers as much as we can Per Fredriksson (37)
Beijer in Stockholm, since 2006
My sales routine “What works for me is getting a detailed picture of what the customer actually wants and then tailoring my offer to what he actually needs. My largest customer is NCC. The nature of the projects they work on varies, from residential apartment buildings to bridges and public buildings. Understanding what they are working on, gives me a clear picture of the material that they will need. For the exact same reason, I spend a lot of my time on building sites. Talking to customers. I’m pro-active. I have my own opinions
as to what materials would be suitable for their projects. Customers appreciate this. Especially when they can see that my ideas will work better than what they had originally planned. And because I can relate my suggestions to what I have actually seen on the building site, my credibility is high.”
How I differentiate “To start with, I look at my competencies and also where I lack the expertise. I believe strongly in specialists doing a better job for customers than generalists when it comes to advising what materials to use.
I don’t know that much about paint, so if customers ask me about that, I call in a colleague who has the expertise. That makes perfect sense to me. Age is a factor. I have customers who have been working in construction for longer than I lived. For me personally, it’s important to listen to them. I can learn a lot from their experience. The fact that we’re from different generations, doesn’t mean that there has to be a gap. Or that the gap there is has to be a barrier. Having said that, it is easier to relate to people from my own generation. We have the same reference
and we relate to the same things. Personal contact is crucial. I spend a lot of time on building sites, meeting customers, talking to their carpenters, drinking coffee with the plumbers. You have no idea how important this is. In general, we spend too much time behind our desks doing administrative tasks. While we’re sitting behind our desks, our competitors are on the building sites talking to our customers. It would be good for business to reduce administrative tasks or reorganise them so there’s more time for sales people to visit building sites.”
DT Magazine // Colleagues@work
I have customers that have been in business longer than I have lived Ville Ranne (31)
Starkki in Helsinki, since 2005
My sales routine “I’m a straightforward guy. 75% of my time I spend working for NCC (Nordic Construction Company). I’m in it for the long haul. Not the quick fix. I want our customers to do business with Starkki until they’re pensioned. I try to make the 2030 construction managers I have contact with, feel as comfortable with me as possible. During the first meeting, I tell them who we are and what we do. I might tell an occasional joke but overall I keep the relation professional. I don’t send birthday cards, I don’t ask about
their family. I don’t push for orders either. And I don’t make promises I can’t keep. When they ask for a quote, I give them a fair price the first time around. They might think it’s too expensive. Instead of lowering my price, I get them to talk about their project. Maybe there’s other products they need and I can make them a package deal. That way I increase our sales volume but I also do them a favour. It saves them having to make phone calls to other suppliers.”
How I differentiate “My customers vary in age. Some are younger than me. We joke about that we might
not have the experience but we will figure it out together anyway. Others have been in business for longer than I have been alive. Dealing with them requires a certain amount of humbleness and respect. Another difference is the level of structure in our customers’ approach. Some are very focused on process and time frame. They buy products based upon availability and the price is secondary. Other customers are very much focused on price. Some might even think that it is our job to rip
them off. They want the cheapest product, even if they have to wait a couple of weeks before they can get it. Most of the contact we have is over the phone. But I make it a habit to visit every customer at least every second week. Some customers prefer to do business over the phone. We have worked together for two or more years, and I have never met them face to face. If they prefer that, I respect that. It’s about meeting the customer where they are and try to live up to their expectations.”
DT Magazine // Colleagues@work
From sellin g nails to eating sm ok in five e minutes
a part time
When confronted with a fire, you and I, like most people, will have a strong urge to get away as fast and as far as possible. Not Klaus Drachmann, STARK’s operational manager in Randers AND part time firefighter since 2000. Together with 13 fellow firefighters, he’s on standby to fight fires, free people trapped in wrecked cars and prevent oil slips from becoming environmental hazards in Randers, Denmarks’ sixth-largest city.
“It’s pretty bizarre sometimes,” Klaus Drachmann explains. “One moment you’re standing with your neighbour at a garden party, enjoying a conversation about football, enjoying a glass of coke. The next moment, you’re geared up, sitting in a fire engine, on your way to a car accident or a fire.”
It requires understanding from your family Klaus is just one of around 5,000 part-time firefighters in Denmark who make up 50% of the entire fire brigade. He’s on duty every third weekend - meaning that he has to be on stand by. Whatever he is doing, he
has to be able to make it to the fire station within five minutes. Last year, the Danish fire brigade was called into action 22,500 times! Frequently, Klaus will have to drop whatever he has in his hands to make it in time to the station. “Also when it is not convenient,” says Klaus. “I’ve got a family - a wife and three kids. And then I have this beeper in my pocket. When it beeps, I have to respond. At times it is frustrating for my family. When my kids were small, I could not be alone with them when I was on duty. What if I had to go all of a sudden? My wife had to be home as well. It takes planning. Recently, I had to leave my
son’s 18th birthday. Not exactly what you wish for. But then again, there might be people we know who need out help. If my wife had a car accident, I’d be happy that someone came to help her too. Thinking about it that way helps to ease the frustration.”
You have to have a calling
“You don’t exactly get a fat salary being a firefighter. I do it because I want to make a difference. Sometimes it’s people I know - even friends - that we drive out to. That can be hard at times. But it also makes me proud that I can help them.”
DT Magazine // News
Cheapy has a new home In November last year, Cheapy moved their headquarter to Energigatan 1 in Ängelholm. One block away from the old address. There were two reasons for moving: the old place was getting too small for the 37 people, counting head office, and the building was owned by Beijer and they needed the space themselves. The new headquarters are 2,000 square meters and are furnished the Cheapy way. The relocated colleagues are happy for the change. Employee satisfaction has increased since November.
Beijer’s distribution HUB got off to a great start In an interview with Beijer’s Maria Andersson in DT Magazine no. 14, readers
could learn about the new distribution centre in Stockholm that has been in operation since November
2012. The distribution centre delivers to customers in the Stockholm region. There’s around 6,000 SKU’s (unique products) in stock (the amount is still increasing) distributed over 17,500 m2. To date, the centre delivered approx. 8,000 orders. There are 17 trucks assigned to the centre and 30 colleagues work here.
Neumann opens second store in Kristiansand In January, Neumann Mjåvann opened its doors for business. The new branch is located 6 km West from Kristiansand, the fifth largest (83,000 citizens) and fastest growing city in Norway. In all, customers have 2,600 m2 at their disposal. The pro store has 171 m2. Neumann is al-
ready established in Kristiansand. Since 2005, they have had a branch in Sørlansparken, which is on the east side, about 12 km away. The existing branch has been experiencing limits to capacity, an issue solved by the new branch. Kristiansand is a growing market. The new branch had a dream start. In Janu-
ary the result was 20% higher than expected, in February sales were 11% higher. The branch has five colleagues.
CE independent from DT Central Europe leaves DT and has becomes a separate Wolseley Cluster. From February 1st 2013 CE has expanded with our French Import and Wood Solution busi-
ness (IWS) and CE is reporting directly to our Group CEO Ian Meakins. As a consequence, DT Group will again be focusing solely on developing our great businesses in the Nordics. It has
been exciting to be involved in CE over the past three years, and we have come far developing these businesses – although still with lots to achieve! Good luck onwards to CE businesses.
STEP BY STEP
An atypical journey for a
typical ypical t
hammer ammer h has a hamu r e d l i u b g o oolbox. Y respectin Any self- o or three) in his t gure out fi mer (or twe to be a genius to in our asy v t i don’t ha mer is a necess m . that a ha sortment ham e h t es w do p in your aro h t Bu r end u his p me nd why t Why er? ?A store lar hamm er costs ticu he hamm nd what t Help, does it costs? Ase hamo we lack a what ens to th selling? hammer p o hap we’re n t An increasing amount of mers customers ask for this wonder
tool they have read about in magazines: the hammer. The saleperson tells the manager, the manager tells the senior manager who contacts the product manager.
A hammer is a good idea. Let’s get one Customers are asking for it. It’s a hand tool that is used a lot. We have a product here that is easy to sell. Everybody agrees. The decision is made. We will get a hammer.
More than one kind, less than a lot
We need more than one model, so our customers have a range to choose from. But we don’t need ten. The product manager chooses a few based upon the most commonly used hammer. The hammer he chooses has to fit into the existing assortment as well.
3 Where do we get the hammer from? We ask existing suppliers whether they have hammers. We expect the hammer to be a hit. So we also make one ourselves and sell it under our own brand name, for example Raptor. Doing so, we differentiate ourselves from our competitors because we give our customers a choice that (most of) our competitors can’t.
Go on and place the order
By now, the product manager has already informed the stores that this wonder tool is on its way. Based upon their size and their expectations, stores make a sales forecast and order the amount of hammers they want. The hammer will be shipped to the stores.
Now we know what supplier, what models and how many. Time to place the order.
The hammer is on its way
We’re going to need many, or?
Now comes the tricky part. How many do we buy? How many do we think we can sell? Typically we look at how a similar tool has sold in the past. Another option is to send the hammer to one or a few stores and monitor how it sells before we send it out to all stores.
Oh we need to price it
Of course we want to make a profit but what the exact price of the hammer will be, is hard to determine beforehand. It depends on many things. For example how much the competitor charges for a hammer.
DT Magazine // The Story of
Promote the hammer
We need to create demand for the hammer among existing and new customers. We will definitely put it in our advertising material, and perhaps even advertise it on the radio and/or television. That depends on how hot we think this product is. This is a decisions made by the product manager together with the marketing manager.
It 10 arrived -
now go sell
The hammer is a hit
We learn very quckly if the hammer is hot or not. We can see this in our daily sales figures. Sometimes we have to keep promoting the hammer for a couple of weeks until sales starts to kick in. We have a replenishment system that helps us monitor whether our stock is balanced. If the hammer sudden becomes a hit, it would be a pity if we run out.
Factoid In the wrong hands The FBI claims that more people in the USA each year are killed by a hammer than a rifle.
Finally, the hammer arrived in our branches. Now it is up to you to make sure that everybody that is leaving the store, buys a hammer (or two).
The ‘hotness’ factor fades
Very much unlike the hammer, a lot of products have a fixed lifetime. We can see it in our sales figures. Slowly, the tool is fading out. Frequently this is because the tool is being replaced by something smarter. In that case, the first step is to get rid of the hammers we have in the branches and in the warehouses by putting them on sale. We might develop a campaign around the hammer. And what we don’t sell, we might be able to send back to the supplier. The hammer however, has been with us since 2,600,000 BCE. Probably it will be a hit for the next 100 years to come as well.
The winner of the iPhone5 is Johanna Hultman from Beijer Byggmaterial Örebro. Congratulations Johanna.
16 GB WiFi
How well are you informed about what is going on in the DT Group? Answer the questions below and win a brand new iPad Mini. You’ll admire its beautiful screen, fast and fluid performance, FaceTime and iSight cameras, thousands of amazing apps, 10hour battery life and best of all, you can hold it in one hand.
What is customer conversion? A The ratio between customers visiting and customers buying b The ratio between advertising and customers c The new customer loyalty programme of Cheapy
What is the average customer conversion in Silvan?
What is customer segmentation about?
A 100% b 75% c 65%
b It’s about treating all customers equally
b Happy people, large stores, low prices
c It’s about finding common determinators between customers for marketing purposes
c Experience, enthusiasm and know-how
A It’s about identifying the differences in customer groups and offering them the right level of service
What is the Neumann advantage according to Arne? A Cheap prices, broad assortment, fast delivery
Where can you find the latest Neumann store? A Bergen b Oslo c Kristiansand
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