A (FEGIME) DAY AT THE RACES
And now for something completely different: FEGIME United Kingdom celebrate FEGIME Day with a “Horse Racing Evening” at Royal Windsor Racecourse near London.
Almost 100 members and suppliers of FEGIME United Kingdom met up to enjoy a “Horse Racing Evening” at Royal Windsor Racecourse. At 7pm our British colleagues were the sponsors of their very own race: the “FEGIME Preferred Suppliers Handicap” which was promoted with advertisements in the race programme and on monitors all over the racecourse. In addition, they were able to choose the “best turned out horse” and present the prizes. The latter was done by the Chairman of FEGIME UK, David Shirt along with guests including the CEO of the Electrical Distributors Association, Margaret Fitzsimons, the CEO of FEGIME UK, Alan Reynolds, Preferred Suppliers and Members of FEGIME UK (see photo). The winner by the way was Sash at 7-2.
FEGIME DAY 2019 IN ROMANIA
FEGIME Romania celebrated FEGIME Day by meeting up with their major partner suppliers in Bucharest. Special guests this year were Ricardo Gomez, President of FEGIME, and Xavier Perrot, Global Distribution Strategic Accounts Vice-President at Schneider Electric.
In Romania FEGIME Day was celebrated by the members of FEGIME Romania getting together with their major partner suppliers Signify, Gewiss, Eaton and Schneider Electric. All the employees of the member companies were present and wearing FEGIME Day Polo Shirts made especially for the event. New member Electroglobal was of course also there and had the opportunity to present the company to their colleagues and suppliers. Costin Cuneşteanu, General Manager of FEGIME Romania, spoke about FEGIME’s Strategy 2020+ that had been officially launched at the Congress in Nice. As well as informative presentations by the guest suppliers, there was also the chance to talk and network in a more relaxed atmosphere at the traditional Gala Dinner which rounded off a great evening.
FEGIME DAY IN POLAND
On and around 28th June this year in all FEGIME countries events have been taking place to celebrate FEGIME’s values. After its successful introduction in 2016 FEGIME Day is now a permanent fixture on the annual agenda. Once again, our Polish colleagues were very creative and came up with lots of great ideas to celebrate FEGIME Day throughout the country – and abroad.
For FEGIME Day 2019 our friends from member company Asaj took FEGIME Day to Ireland participating in the charity rally “Złombol”. 450 vintage cars left Katowice in Poland and travelled a total of 2,500 km through the Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands and France to finally arrive in the Wicklow Mountains in Ireland. Team Asaj arrived at the finish without a single breakdown. Congratulations to them – and we hope the trip back to Poland goes just as smoothly! Their colleagues from Grodno organized a football championship in the stadium of FCB Escola Varsovia, Warsaw. It was the 10th time the Grodno Cup had taken place and 23 teams took part - including suppliers. We are proud to say that for the first time Team GRODNO were the winners. Nowa Elektro organized an open day for installers together with Strategic Preferred Suppliers EATON and LEDVANCE. And at FEGIME HQ there were several meetings where the almost obligatory FEGIME-blue cakes were served.
THE 2019 FEGIME CONGRESS IN NICE
“Driving Global Connectivity” was the slogan of the first FEGIME Congress ever to be held in France. From 30th May to 1st June 165 FEGIME wholesalers and 75 suppliers – many accompanied by their partners – took part: in total 350 people from 27 countries. In addition, FEGIME’s Strategy 2020+ - the group’s common game plan for the coming years at national and international level – was also presented.
In 2015 FEGIME was very happy to gain Algorel Electricité as a member and finally return to the French market after an absence of over 15 years. So, the choice of Nice as the venue for the 16th FEGIME Congress was a way of completing the process – not to mention the fact that the city provides a wonderful location. On 1st January FEGIME Latam officially joined the group and FEGIME became truly global. This big step forward for FEGIME was the background to the Congress slogan “Driving Global Connectivity”. And the new colleagues from South America proved the point: 11 participants from Argentina made the 12-thousand-kilometre journey to attend their first Congress as members of FEGIME. In addition to providing further examples of how connected the group is, the FEGIME Board of Directors - assisted by representatives of the National Organisations and FEGIME Future -– also presented and illustrated FEGIME’s Strategy 2020+ - the group’s common game plan for the coming years at national and international level. This ambitious project is divided into 5 strategic clusters: Expansion, Marketing, Knowledge Base, Digitalisation and Succession. FEGIME is constantly on the lookout for suitable, new member wholesalers and wholesaler organizations. The last two years were very successful in this respect with Denmark and Argentina/Latam joining the group. So, it was a natural choice for colleagues from these countries to present the topic of Expansion. Next up with Marketing was FEGIME Hellas & Cyprus, followed by FEGIME Nederland and FEGIME Norge with prime illustrations of Knowledge Base – the strategic initiative to prepare FEGIME for new markets, new products and new trends. To illustrate the vitally important topic of Digitalisation colleagues from Germany, Poland, Portugal and Spain presented FEGIME Connect - FEGIME’s Digital Programme that aims to guarantee its wholesalers a sustainable future. A future that allows them to develop their businesses, by taking advantage of all opportunities offered by digitalisation. To finish off the day with the topic Succession, the next generation organisation FEGIME Future took the stage to show by their “Proof of Future” how they are convinced that their organisation - and with it FEGIME as a close and connected family - is so very futureproof.
FEGIME FUTURE MEETING IN BUDAPEST
The last FEGIME Future meeting with Weidmüller was almost seven years ago. It took place at company Headquarters in Detmold, Germany, and was very focused on the production facility there. A lot has changed since then and so a totally different style of meeting was very appropriate. In Budapest there were not many products waiting for the next generation participants but a wide range of digital ideas and initiatives as well as thought-provoking workshops on Connectivity Consulting and Configure to Order.
“What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the name Weidmüller?” With this question Executive Vice President Division Cabinet Products, Dr Sebastian Durst, opened his presentation of Weidmüller’s latest cabinet production technology at the FEGIME Future Meeting in Budapest. And like a shot out of a gun he got the answer he was expecting: terminal blocks. Of course, this is the product that Weidmüller is famous for, a very successful product that they have sold for decades and still sell today. But by the end of the meeting it was quite clear to all present that they have much more to offer. A robot speeds up and down on its defined route between cabinets and magazines loading DIN rails with the required components, taking them for laser printing and finally installing them in the cabinet according to the given masterplan. And there is not a human being in sight. The impressive video showed what is already reality today at the home of a Weidmüller customer in Southern Germany that produces for example all the cabinets for the outlets of giant retail chains that are international household names. All Weidmüller products are today manufactured to be robot-friendly and thus support this development – just one of the reasons why they can claim with justification that they are “ready-to-robot”. Weidmüller thus provides an excellent model for a family-owned company mastering digital transformation. Founded in 1850 it is now in the 3rd generation and turns over more than €800 million, with a range of over 30,000 products and employs 4,800 people worldwide. FEGIME Future were happy to be joined in Budapest by the FEGIME Board of Directors, Willem Schuurman FEGIME Nederland), Ricardo Gomez (FEGIME España) & Kerstin Steffens FEGIME Deutschland as well as FEGIME Hungary Managing Director, Zsuzsanna Nedeczky. Weidmüller hosts Roger Kroon, Vice President Global Distribution Management, & Laurent Dussouchet, Head of Global Distribution Account Management, were also happy with the outcome of the meeting: “We would like to thank all the FEGIME Future attendees for their active participation. Distribution is a centric parameter in Weidmüller’s growth strategy, in between Manufacturer and Customers.”
A NEW MEMBER FOR FEGIME ROMANIA
Electroglobal has joined FEGIME Romania from 1st April bringing the group’s membership to 4 independent family owned companies with a total turnover of €70 million, a 12% market share, over 350 employees and branches in nine major cities.
Founded in 2004, Electroglobal has developed to become a specialist in the industrial sector and an expert in helping customers deal with the challenges of Industry 4.0. Its experienced team offers complex services such as system consulting, electrical design, lighting, automation, software development, technical support, commissioning and panel building – not to mention over 100,000 deliverable items in stock, many coming from FEGIME Strategic Partner Suppliers. Florin Niculae, President of FEGIME Romania and member-elect of the FEGIME Board of Directors commented: “We are delighted to welcome Electroglobal to the FEGIME family. It is a very positive development for us. Their expertise from the industrial sector complements the range of products and services that our group can provide to customers throughout Romania.”
FEGIME EXPANDS ITS POSITION IN LATVIA
Retrospectively from January 1st, the large Latvian company Energokomplekss has become a member of FEGIME Finland & Baltics.
Today Energokomplekss is the leading electrical wholesaler in Latvia and focused on the utilities and industrial markets. The company's HQ is in Riga and its portfolio includes a wide range of electrification products and systems for Low and Medium Voltage, as well as cable and telecommunications products. Our new colleagues started their business as a power utilities-focused distributor with only two salespersons back in 2006, at that time selling only compact substations. Now they have 35 employees selling electrical equipment with voltage ranges from 0.4kV to 330kV and a 20% market share in Latvia. FEGIME Finland & Baltics Managing Director, Dennis Belajevs, commented: “We are very glad to welcome Energokomplekss to FEGIME. The company is already doing business with several FEGIME Strategic Partner Suppliers and soon we expect to increase this even further and add new Strategic Suppliers to the list.”
NEW MEMBER IN BELARUS
FEGIME Finland & Baltics gains its first local member in Belarus. Since its foundation in 2008 Belarus has always been a part of the group’s geographical range but this is the first company from the country to become a member.
Retrospectively from January 1st the local Belarusian group of companies Overdrive Electro has become a member of FEGIME Finland & Baltics. The group comprises Overdrive Electro (OVD) and Lokalnye Systemy (LSYS) – both from the Republic of Belarus – as well as the Lithuanian company Gartek. Today our new members are the largest distributors of imported electro-technical equipment in the Republic of Belarus. With sales offices in Minsk, Grodno and Gomel, they are leaders in the low voltage, wiring devices and automation components markets. Our colleagues started their business as a mono-brand distributor with 4 salespersons back in 1999. Now the group employs over 90 people - more than 40 of these in sales - in 3 companies and has 3 warehouses at various locations amounting to 3,000 m2 of warehousing area with more than 8,000 articles in stock. FEGIME Finland & Baltics Managing Director, Dennis Belajevs, commented: “We are very happy to welcome the Overdrive Electro group to FEGIME. The company already does substantial business with several FEGIME Strategic Partner Suppliers and in the near future we expect to increase this even further.”
FEGIME FUTURE MEETING WITH PHOENIX CONTACT
It had been well over six years since FEGIME Future last visited Strategic Preferred Supplier Phoenix Contact in Germany. The outcome of that trip was a video for the Congress in Budapest. This time there was some filming, too – but the focus of the meeting was on the host’s digital technologies and the opportunities new business models using these technologies can offer to wholesaler and supplier alike.
Phoenix Contact are a self-financed, family company founded in 1923. Today they have an annual turnover of €2.4 billion, employ 17,500 people worldwide and have a range of 65,000 products. They are also very proud that they still make most of their own components themselves. For example, at their Blomberg headquarters they produce 8 million screws a day. This huge figure is of course proof of the efficiency of their lines but doesn’t mean that the quality suffers. Quite the opposite is the case: the slot in the heads of all Phoenix Contact screws is sawn and the thread is rolled to ensure a first-class product. But it was technology of a different class that was the focus of the meeting. It is Phoenix Contact’s ambition to be “The Digital Industrial Company” and at their Bad Pyrmont facility FEGIME Future began to see why. The building is managed and controlled by a state-of-the-art Building Automation System or Building IoT as it is sometimes called. The effects are immense. Here are just a few examples: the MYEMALYTICS app enables you to control the room environment (heating, light, blinds etc.) via Wi-Fi when you are in a room; sofas in seating areas are fitted with sensors that switch the lights on when someone is sitting on them; the lifts “learn” which times of the day to be at the bottom or the top to ensure optimal use and a balanced workload and use of the doors is monitored for predictive maintenance. Below ground level in the basement the group was able to see how the system’s energy management worked – solar power generated on site can be channelled for heating, eVehicle charging, or even switched off if it is unnecessary – and how Augmented Reality is used to assist maintenance. Of course, construction costs are higher when such a system is installed in a building but - compared to the German average - it halves the costs of maintenance for the whole building for the rest of its lifetime. And that was just the first day. On Friday FEGIME Future revisited the Blomberg facility which today is also the home to PROTIQ – a 100% Phoenix Contact company specialised in Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing). When it was first introduced this technology was used for design and prototypes but now it is also well established for production. The whole process from the uploading of the 3D data through the choice of material and printing company to payment and shipping is done online via the PROTIQ platform (now also a market place). Managing Director and proud creator of the company, Dr Ralf Gärtner, was on hand to explain and give the group a tour of this very different production facility. And the results – as FEGIME Future can testify – are amazing.
FEGIME BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING IN BADAJOZ
The first Board of Directors Meeting of 2019 was held in Badajoz in Spain, home of Electrofil Oeste, the company of Board Member Ricardo Gomez, FEGIME España. This also provided a good opportunity to visit the company and experience at first hand some of the innovative projects they are involved in.
Of all Spanish cities Badajoz is not a common tourist destination. It is situated in the West of the country on the border with Portugal in Extremadura which is characterised by its rugged landscape, rural way of life and very hot summers. The region is still very agricultural today and also sparsely populated. It has an area roughly the same as the Netherlands but a population of only just over one million. Anyone going to Badajoz and expecting a technological backwater could not however be more mistaken. First port of call for the FEGIME Board of Directors was the city’s Department of Lighting Application Services and Energy Efficiency. The department’s head explained how the city has invested €10 million in a state-of-the-art lighting system that creates energy savings of €1.2 million per year and consequently will achieve a return on investment in just 7 years. And of course, Electrofil was heavily involved in this project. From his desk, the head of the department can control every single public light in the city - and all its fountains. If a single citizen complains that he cannot sleep due to a bright street light shining into his bedroom window, it can be dimmed. The department can also monitor and control energy consumption, reducing it particularly towards the middle of the night as part of the city’s campaign to reduce light pollution, and receive all the information required for predictive maintenance - thus enabling the city’s technical workforce to operate more efficiently. The software was supplied by FEGIME Preferred Supplier Signify - who provided many of the fixtures - but it is also compatible with other brands. The Board of Directors then continued to Electrofil headquarters for their meeting which was joined by Kerstin Steffens from FEGIME Deutschland via Skype from Germany as heavy snowfalls had unfortunately prevented her from leaving Cologne Airport.
EXPANSION IN UKRAINE
More good news to start 2019: FEGIME Ukraine have added four new members to the group from 1st January.
Our Ukrainian colleagues have added four new member companies to the group from 1st January. This will take the total of members to 10 and should boost group turnover by over 40%. The new colleagues are: Svitlotek, Polo-Electro, Electroenginiring and Hauser. The first two companies are based in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, and the other two in Kharkiv, the country’s second city. Svitlotek (as the logo and the name in Ukrainian suggest) is a lighting specialist, the others offer a wide range of installation products. All already do substantial business with FEGIME Strategic Partner Suppliers. We welcome our new colleagues to the FEGIME family!
FEGIME DEUTSCHLAND BECOMES A MAJORITY SHAREHOLDER IN GENEON GMBH
In a move that will make the group even more digitally competent and provide additional IT resources for all countries, FEGIME Deutschland purchases a majority share in the software and systems provider Geneon GmbH.
On 4th December FEGIME Deutschland purchased a majority share in the software and systems provider Geneon GmbH retrospectively as of 1st January 2018. Geneon’s technology is already being used in many FEGIME countries. The company is the provider of - to name just a few – both the web2media tool FEGIMEmedia and the ELECTROtools app, as well as tools for the international database. In addition, at its two locations in Nuremberg and Berlin, Geneon creates software for a whole range of well-known companies from various sectors and runs its own data centre. “Already today we have many differentiators to offer supplier and member alike as far as digital services are concerned,” says Arnold Rauf, Managing Director of FEGIME Deutschland. “With our investment in Geneon we will be able to develop existing solutions and invest even more intensively in research and development. This is a significant move to provide first-class support for all the digital services of our family businesses.” Managing Director and founder of Geneon, Yong-Harry Steiert, is looking forward to the future cooperation: “We have been working very closely with FEGIME now for 18 years. Having FEGIME Deutschland as a majority shareholder will provide an impetus to both our continued growth and to new innovations.” “In the race for the best brains, Geneon will create an ecosystem in our community to attract highly skilled IT professionals,” explains Kerstin Steffens, Board Member of FEGIME and President of the Board of FEGIME Deutschland. “That is why Geneon should continue to work for customers in other sectors. Only exchange and learning bring innovation and progress.” David Garratt, Managing Director of FEGIME, is also enthusiastic: "These new resources will enable us to push ahead even more intensively with the expansion of our digital services."
EXPANSION IN ARGENTINA
More good news from our South American colleagues: with the fusion between founding member Redelec and the Unelec group FEGIME Latam cements its position as Number 1 in Argentina.
It could hardly be a better start: with the fusion between founding member Redelec and the Unelec group FEGIME Latam will enter FEGIME in the new year as clear market leader in Argentina. 10 new members have been added to the group to take the total up to 25. The facts and figures: 44 outlets, 1,400 employees, 500 employees in sales, 10,000 m2 of showrooms, a warehousing capacity of 65,000 m2 and a fleet of over a hundred vehicles. The President of FEGIME Latam, Fernando Gonzalez: “We are delighted that the agreement has now been signed and would like to give a very warm welcome to our new colleagues. We are looking forward to working with them. Together as FEGIME Latam we will generate value for our members, suppliers and customers.” Have a look at the video on the FEGIME YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/nM_jBj0LVmw
FEGIME SUPPLIER EVENT IN BUENOS AIRES - NOW WITH VIDEO
FEGIME President, Willem Schuurman (FEGIME Nederland), and Managing Director, David Garratt, were happy to welcome a group of almost 50 participants to the event in Buenos Aires. Watch the video now with this link: https://youtu.be/ANM_ZAheNxo
Representatives of 16 Strategic Preferred Suppliers travelled from both Europe and South America to meet up with FEGIME Latam (previously Redelec) members to experience at first-hand the excellent work the group is doing together - despite continued economic instability in the country - and to discuss mutual business opportunities. It goes without saying that FEGIME Latam is a young group: it was only founded this year and will not officially become a member of FEGIME until 1st January 2019. But at a national level the companies have been working together as Group Redelec since 2000 in a style inspired by their meeting with our Spanish colleagues. They have numerous projects such as business intelligence, CRM, a next generation group, training and sustainable energy sources. But perhaps most importantly they constantly monitor - and demand improved - quality from members and suppliers alike. And they are expanding. First at national level - before the end of the year they expect to merge with the second biggest player in Argentina and achieve a market share of 52% in the industrial market - and then in the next phase internationally. Discussions with wholesalers from Uruguay, Bolivia and Peru have already begun. But at the end of the day at FEGIME it is about family businesses. Willem Schuurman summed things up perfectly: “We have travelled thousands of kilometres to meet people with exactly the same mindset as ourselves: independent family businesses that are committed to working together to remain independent into the next generation. It is a perfect fit!”
FEGIME VISIT TO ELECTRICIDAD SAN MARTIN, BUENOS AIRES
As part of the Supplier Event in Buenos Aires, the FEGIME group visited FEGIME Latam member Electricidad San Martin in the Ramos Mejía district of the city.
After presentations, individual meetings and a visit to member company Pelba on Day One, the next day the group was shown around Electricidad San Martin by Past President and second-generation owner, Pablo Balan. Pablo described the many group activities his company is involved in - including a pilot digital project to integrate data from the FEGIME database into the webshop. Highlight of the tour of the company was the vertical warehouse system which has enabled Electricidad San Martin to improve precision of stock control and picking efficiency considerably. Now one employee can pick in 3 hours what 2 used to pick in 8 hours. It is not only very quick but very simple, too. After a short training session any employee can operate the system. Have a look at the video of the visit on the FEGIME YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Llnmd7sLl1o
FAMP 2018: PREPARING LEADERS FOR TOMORROW
This year’s Module of the FEGIME Academy Management Programme (FAMP) started on Monday and is being attended by 50 next generation entrepreneurs. Once again it is full, and once again it is a very international event. Participants come from 15 FEGIME countries and 15 of them are taking part in a FAMP for the first time. The host Business School is – once again - SDA Bocconi School of Management in Milan.
After a very successful FAMP in 2015 it was not a difficult decision to return to SDA Bocconi this year. An excellent programme – created and led by Programme Director, Prof. Paolo Morosetti – combined with top class accreditation – in 2018 Bocconi has been ranked 6th in Europe and 7th in the world by the Financial Times for such custom education programmes – made the decision even easier. The topic of this year’s Module is: “Preparing Leaders for Tomorrow” – an essential topic for the FEGIME Future group. The first day confronted the 50 FEGIME next generation entrepreneurs with a lot of essential questions: What is the right strategy for my family business? What are the pitfalls to be avoided at all cost? What is the future of electrical wholesaling? These were skilfully answered and aptly illustrated by Morosetti and colleague Carnevale Maffè. And the conclusion was that, even in the challenging digital age, wholesalers have the opportunity to become almost an institution with a pivotal role – with the appropriate strategic and scenario planning. The second day was more practical with Olga Annushkina providing a guide to scenario planning and Beatrice Bauer offering inspirational tips on the topic of leadership and the vital question: “How do I engage and empower co-workers?” Later Olga and Paolo returned to help participants in their group work for this year’s Tool to Take Home: “From Scenario Planning to an Action Plan”. This will provide participants with practical tools to not only identify new business opportunities for their companies but also to implement them – and thus future-proof their businesses back home.
FEGIME DAY IN GREECE
Our Greek colleagues celebrated FEGIME Day in all the 59 outlets throughout the country.
This year our Greek colleagues celebrated FEGIME day with lots of activities and surprises for their customers. A newsletter informing suppliers, customers and employees was used as the main communication vehicle to address different audiences and raise awareness about the FEGIME organization. On FEGIME Day special discounts were offered to customers when purchasing FEGIME partner suppliers’ products. In every store in the nation-wide network sales representatives wore special FEGIME t-shirts to welcome customers and explain the spirit of the day. A special event was organized in the newly opened store in the Oinofyta area north of Athens, inviting both B2C and B2B potential and existing customers to celebrate the day and join in the fun by – for example - participating in a lottery with more than one hundred surprises. And of course, they captured the best moments on video. Visit our YouTube channel to see for yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uljWzkyii7A
FEGIME DAY IN POLAND
Once again, our Polish colleagues were very creative and came up with lots of great ideas to celebrate FEGIME Day throughout the country – and even further afield!
For FEGIME Day 2018 in Poland the group Purchasing Directors met at Head Office in Lodz. First up on the agenda was of course traditional, blue FEGIME cake. Otherwise the major topic was the EU’s GDPR legislation and the procedures necessary to protect the private data of customers and employees. To promote both this important issue and the ELECTROtools app (also available in Polish) a FEGIME branded laptop camera cover was distributed to participants (see photo on the right). As in previous years Polish members also organised customer events at their premises – we will be reporting later. In 2016 the most ambitious project was undertaken by a team from Grodno – and this year was no different. They went on another epic motorcycle trip – this time travelling over 5,000 km to the mountains of Tajikistan.
FEGIME DAY IN LATVIA
FEGIME Finland & Baltics member Elektrika SIA – supported by their partner suppliers - celebrated FEGIME Day 2018 with an open day for customers at their premises in the Latvian capital Riga.
With the support of partner suppliers our Latvian colleagues, Elektrika SIA, invited customers to an open day at their premises in Riga. As well as booths from partner suppliers, breakout meetings and many interesting products from our sector there were – as ever - some nice things to eat in FEGIME style and some fun activities such as darts, a raffle, music from a DJ and virtual reality gaming. The good mixture of work and play made the event a great success and it was attended by over 100 customers. At the weekend employees and their families left for the Latvian countryside for a sports and leisure event together.
FEGIME DAY IN SPAIN
FEGIME Espana celebrated FEGIME Day by meeting up with partners and suppliers in Galicia.
In Spain FEGIME Day was celebrated by FEGIME Espana getting together with partners and suppliers to take a boat trip to an island in Galicia. Most of our Spanish colleagues took part - along with several partner suppliers including European Preferred Suppliers Schneider, Prysmian and Televes just to name a few.
FEGIME ROMANIA AT THE AMR GENERAL ASSEMBLY
In the presence of more than 60 mayors of Romanian municipalities, representatives of FEGIME Romania presented “SMART LIGHTING FOR THE CITIES” at the General Assembly of the Romanian Association of Municipalities (AMR) in Constanta.
The President of FEGIME Romania, Florin Niculae and the General Manager, Costin Cuneşteanu, were very happy to have the opportunity to present “SMART LIGHTING FOR THE CITIES” at the General Assembly of the Romanian Association of Municipalities recently held in Constanta on the Black Sea. Costin Cuneşteanu talked about the new challenges for cities, the transformations through which public lighting passes and the advantages of implementing intelligent lighting: low energy consumption, increased comfort and safety for the citizens and the possibility of integrating with other intelligent systems – to name but a few. At the end of the event, FEGIME Romania with the assistance of European Preferred Supplier Signify made a real-time demonstration of the functioning of an intelligent lighting system in the inner courtyard of the Administrative Palace. The Romanian Association of Municipalities (AMR) includes all 103 municipalities in Romania, as well as the 6 sectors of Bucharest Municipality, in total 109 members, representing about 10.5 million inhabitants. The organisation stimulates and supports municipal initiatives and actions, provides advice and supports their efforts in the overall approach to the alignment with European standards.
FEGIME SHAREHOLDER MEETING IN KIEV
The second FEGIME Shareholder Meeting of 2018 was in other ways a first: the first ever FEGIME Meeting to be held in the Ukraine. The location was the capital, Kiev.
FEGIME’s second Shareholder Meeting of 2018 was the first ever to be held in the Ukraine. On the agenda were FEGIME’s “Strategy 2020+”, best practice exchanges, updates on the FEGIME Advanced Management Programme 2018 – to be held this year with SDA Bocconi in Milan – and the FEGIME Congress 2019, as well as internal business reviews and meetings with partner suppliers. As is customary the meeting also saw the annual change in the Board of Directors: current President, Nikos Kafkas from FEGIME Hellas & Cyprus, stepped down from the Board to be replaced by Kerstin Steffens, FEGIME Deutschland, and Willem Schuurman, FEGIME Nederland, took over the presidency.
TODAY IS FEGIME DAY 2018
On and around 29th June this year in all FEGIME countries events are taking place to celebrate FEGIME’s values. After its successful introduction in 2016 FEGIME Day is now a permanent fixture on the annual agenda.
A whole week of events in Norway. A supplier day in Spain. Employee events in Romania, Ireland, Latvia and Poland. A special catalogue in Hungary. These are examples of events taking place throughout FEGIME countries on and around FEGIME Day 2018. In this way the FEGIME family will continue to grow closer and spread its values across Europe – and now with FEGIME LatAm into the world. We will be reporting in more detail about these events online and in our “FEGIME Voice” Newsletter.
THE FEGIME LIGHTING COMMITTEE MEETS LEDVANCE
FEGIME’s latest initiative - the Lighting Committee – is picking up momentum. The recent meeting hosted by Ledvance at their HQ in Garching near Munich was attended by 10 participants from 9 FEGIME countries. It provided an excellent opportunity both to discuss with the hosts – including CEO Jacob Tarn - and to push internal projects forward.
Ledvance’s HQ in Garching near Munich is a very practical location for international meetings. Not only is it very close to Munich airport but also all the Ledvance lighting experts are on hand to discuss the latest trends, products and developments in one of the most dynamic sectors of our industry. When the 10 FEGIME Lighting Committee Members from 9 countries arrived, first up for the Ledvance team was none other than CEO Jacob Tarn. His aim is to transform Ledvance into a “global, innovative, full-scale lighting company” and he is pleased with the progress so far. In less than 2 years Ledvance has gone from being a manufacturer of traditional lamps, to a global lighting company with an impressively wide range of LED solutions. And their latest professional luminaires were the next topic on the agenda. To present them, FEGIME’s host and Global Account Manager, Bernd Kobusch, introduced his specialist colleague Nuno Paiva, Head of Luminaires Europe. After new products the next topic – logically – is marketing and Klaas Heinrichs, eCommerce Sales Director eRetail Western Europe, explained to the group all the ways in which he and his colleagues could support FEGIME members in their online business. An overview and discussion of FEGIME/Ledvance business then brought the day to a close. The event was rounded off next day by a FEGIME internal meeting to work on the Lighting Committee’s initiatives: the FEGIME Lighting Survey and lighting strategy for the future.
FEGIME BECOMES GLOBAL
At their General Assembly in Munich the members of FEGIME unanimously voted to accept the application for membership of Grupo REDELEC Argentina S.A. from 01.01.2019. But the new colleagues’ ambition does not stop here. In the near future they want to expand not only nationally but also internationally on the South American continent. To accommodate this, the new organisation’s name will be FEGIME LATAM. Through the addition of Latin America the number of FEGIME member organisations will increase to 19.
Redelec was founded in 2001 and has long since established itself as the biggest group in Argentina with a market share of ca. 35%. It currently has 15 member wholesalers with a total of 30 outlets and 1,000 employees. The group is active in all the business areas of our sector and already does substantial turnover with several FEGIME Preferred Suppliers. The contact between the groups began over 15 years ago when founding members of Redelec visited FEGIME members in Spain for an exchange of ideas and best practices amongst independents. The result was a very similar group with a similar vision, philosophy and mission - a solid foundation for working together which was already strengthened by Cooperation Agreement in October 2016. Vice President of Redelec, Pablo Balán, said: “I am delighted that we have been accepted as a member of FEGIME. I am convinced that this step will be a game changer for our market – and also those of neighbouring countries. We are already in the process of linking up with like-minded, independent wholesalers in Uruguay, Bolivia and Peru who we expect soon to join FEGIME LATAM. In this way we will all gain from the exchange of ideas and best practices within FEGIME.” Nikos Kafkas, President of FEGIME, added: “Our Argentinian colleagues are a close-knit, highly motivated and dynamic group. I look forward to working with them in the future and learning more about their numerous projects. We have a lot to offer each other and we will all benefit from this new alliance. As will our partner suppliers of course. We are now opening up a whole new continent to them.”
FEGIME GAINS ITS FIRST LOCAL MEMBER IN LITHUANIA
Retrospectively from January 1st the family-owned Lithuanian company Elektrokomplektas UAB has become a member of FEGIME Finland & Baltics. Elektrokomplektas is one of the biggest players in our sector in Lithuania and is financed with 100% local capital.
Founded in 1993 by Audrius Šukys Elektrokomplektas is today one of the market leaders in Lithuania in its sector. The company has over 40 employees and branches in all 5 major cities: Panevėžys (where it is based), the capital Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda and Šiauliai. It is a specialist in cables but offers the full range of electro technical products. The company already works with several FEGIME European Preferred Suppliers including ABB, Draka, GE, Nexans, OBO Bettermann, Prysmian and Schneider Electric. Since the foundation of FEGIME Finland & Baltics in 2008 Lithuania has always been a part of the group’s geographical range but this is the first company from the country to become a member. FEGIME Finland & Baltics Managing Director, Dennis Belajevs: “We are very happy to welcome Elektrokomplektas to FEGIME. The population of Lithuania is approximately 3 million and the electrical wholesale market is estimated at around €180 million. With our new member we now have a market share of ca. 15%. We are confident that soon more companies will follow and we will be able to improve our market share in the whole Baltic region even further.”
FEGIME FINLAND & BALTICS AT THE SÄHKÖ-TELE-VALO-AV FAIR
Last week the biannual International Trade Fair for Electricity, Telecommunications, Light and Audiovisual was held in Jyväskylä, Central Finland. FEGIME’s Finnish members were well represented.
Every second year representatives from our sector in Finland meet for three days in February at the International Trade Fair for Electricity, Telecommunications, Light and Audiovisual (or in Finnish: Sähkö - Tele - Valo – AV) in Jyväskylä. With almost 250 exhibitors and a total area of 9,331 square metres the fair is the biggest of its kind in the country. Once again this year FEGIME’s Finnish members were well represented. Markus Eronen, President of FEGIME Finland & Baltics, commented: “There was of course a lot of new technology to be seen this year. At the EL-Parts booth we concentrated on virtual reality and were happy to make demonstrations to many of the over 14,000 trade visitors – including our FEGIME European Preferred Suppliers OBO Bettermann!”
A NEW MEMBER IN UKRAINE
As of December 21st, 2017 FEGIME Ukraine has a new member: the company SFERALINE LTD based in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.
At the very end of last year SFERALINE LTD joined FEGIME Ukraine taking the group’s number of members up to a total of six. The company was founded in Kiev six years ago and is a specialist provider of electrical equipment, cable and lighting products. Among its partners are several European Preferred Suppliers including GE, OBO Bettermann and Schneider Electric. On site at its headquarters in the Ukrainian capital it has a logistic centre and its own warehouse handling over 40,000 SKUs. SFERALINE also has subsidiaries in the Ukraine’s major regional centres.
CYPRUS JOINS THE FEGIME FAMILY
Our Greek colleagues - in their search for new business opportunities - have turned their attention to the booming Cypriot market.
Our Greek colleagues - in their search for new business opportunities - have turned their attention to the booming Cypriot market. As of 2018, KAFKAS will enhance their commercial presence on the island including a store there for the first time. To accommodate this development FEGIME Hellas has been transformed into FEGIME Hellas & Cyprus with immediate effect. The Republic of Cyprus has a population of ca. 1.2 million and has been an EU member since 2004.
A NEW MEMBER IN FRANCE
As of January 1st, 2018 the company Legallais will be joining Algorel, Algorel électricité and FEGIME France. Founded over 125 years ago in Caen, Normandy, the new colleagues are market leaders in the fields of hardware and tooling but as a provider of building solutions also very strong in plumbing, heating and electrical material.
Legallais today is still a family business. Founded in 1889 by Daniel Legallais in Caen, Normandy, it has grown to become a market leader in the fields of hardware and tools. With an annual turnover of €235 million, it employs more than 900 people in 15 outlets spread throughout France between the Channel and the Mediterranean coasts. As a provider of building solutions our new colleagues are also very strong in plumbing, heating and electrical material. And it is to take the opportunity to develop these sectors even further that they have joined Algorel.
FAMP 2017: HOW TO MANAGE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION
Digital technologies combined with new customer behaviour will transform entire industries or simply our lives. To make sure FEGIME members will be able to continue playing a decisive role in the digital age, the topic of this year’s Module of the FEGIME Academy Management Programme – FAMP – was: How to Manage Digital Transformation. And once again it was attended by 51 next generation entrepreneurs. Participants came from 14 FEGIME countries and 12 of them were taking part in a FAMP for the first time. The host Business School was ESCP Europe at its German campus in Berlin–Charlottenburg.
We live in the early days of the so-called 4th Industrial Revolution. Machines support humans, replace them and communicate with both other machines and humans. The world has become volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous: a VUCA world. Obviously the digital age is knocking at all our doors. It is a vital development that all FEGIME wholesalers and family businesses in general just cannot afford to ignore. For this reason “How to Manage Digital Transformation” was chosen as the topic of this year’s Module of the FEGIME Academy Management Programme – FAMP. So for a whole week in October 51 next generation entrepreneurs from 14 FEGIME countries - 12 of them taking part in a FAMP for the first time – met up at ESCP Europe’s German campus in Berlin–Charlottenburg. Established in 1819 in Paris, ESCP Europe is the world’s first and oldest business school. With its 6 European campuses it is ranked a Top Three school in several countries and is currently 12th in Europe in the overall Financial Times “European Business Schools” ranking. In 2017 the Core Subjects at the FAMP were: Managing Digital Transformation, Digital Marketing, Digital Strategy & Technologies, Big Data and Digital Business Models. In addition the Soft Skills were Digital Competence and Digital Leadership. The FAMP aimed above all to help participants learn about new technologies, new customer behaviour, new ways of doing business and new ways of leading. Markus Bick, Professor for Information Systems at ESCP Europe, designed the course to offer an interdisciplinary and collaborative learning experience. Based on lectures, real business challenges, academic mentoring, and peer learning a conceptual grounding was provided to facilitate multiple discussions on the changing landscape of wholesale and family business. Moreover participants applied conceptual frameworks, practical tools and guidelines directly to solve various digital challenges related to FEGIME, its members, partners and customers. The whole week was pointed at the “Tool to Take Home”. The main objective was to examine digital strategies following a bottom-up approach for family businesses thus developing and crafting potential new digital projects for FEGIME. At the end of the week 11 such digital initiatives were presented to the President of FEGIME, Nikos Kafkas from FEGIME Hellas: “I was very impressed both by the amazing spirit of the group and above all by their excellent ideas and the extremely high level of professionalism with which they were presented,” he commented after the Graduation Ceremony. “It has been a great experience for me to attend the last session of the FAMP. Congratulations FEGIME Future!”
FEGIME SUPPLIER FAIR IN SPAIN
On Wednesday 18th October FEGIME España’s second Supplier Fair took place in Madrid. Once again FEGIME partners and suppliers were able to get together and align their positions. This year awards were presented to suppliers and members for excellence in various categories.
FEGIME España’s second Supplier Fair started with a warm opening and welcoming speech by David Fernández, the group’s President. After some relaxed and informal discussion the individual meetings started. This year’s event had a more practical approach than last year’s, so that the focus was not only to increase turnover in the long term, but to quantify the high commercial and business value of this for example through a new system concerning commercial offers and binding orders that was introduced. The meetings, which took place from 10am to 7pm, were only interrupted for lunch, before which a solemn award giving ceremony took place recognizing the excellence of participating companies and wholesalers in three different categories. The winners in each of these categories were chosen by the attendees. FEGIME España’s Managing Director Jorge Ruiz-Olivares presented these awards to three suppliers and three distributors for excelling in their own categories. The award-winning suppliers were Simon for the most innovative product, Legrand for the best commercial strategy and Schneider Electric for brand leadership. On the wholesaler side the winners were Covama for the best digitalization of the business, Digamel for the most innovative enterprise and Javier Fierro from Berdin for the best professional record. After lunch and the second round of meetings, David Fernández returned to the lectern to give his closing speech. In total the event was a great success with almost 500 meetings between suppliers and member wholesalers. The Fair is already on the agenda for next year, but with even more representatives from each wholesale partner to maximize the event’s results - and some more innovations which will be revealed nearer the time.
LAUNCH OF THE FEGIME LIGHTING COMMITTEE
When FEGIME colleagues from across Europe were invited to the Philips Lighting High Tech Campus in Eindhoven, Netherlands, they not only saw the very latest Philips connected lighting systems, but also had a tour of the Lighting Application Centre (LAC) and the opportunity to launch a new FEGIME initiative: the Lighting Committee.
It is a well-known fact that lighting is one of the most dynamic sectors of our industry. With this in mind FEGIME colleagues from across Europe were delighted to take up an invitation from Philips Lighting to visit their High Tech Campus in the historical “Philips town” of Eindhoven in the Netherlands. First up on the agenda proposed by Munish Suri, Head of International Key Account Management & Vice President at Philips Lighting, and his Senior Key Account Manager, Frank Suntinger, was an introduction to the company’s latest connected lighting systems. After a presentation about the transforming lighting industry and jointly addressing new opportunities, the FEGIME group visited the Philips Lighting Innovation village for an impressive practical demonstration of the system by the experts. Next day, FEGIME was given a tour of the Lighting Application Centre (LAC) also located on the High-Tech Campus. Here Philips Lighting has an impressive showcase containing information on - and presentations of - light and lighting in general. But more importantly three major applications - Industry, Office and Retail - are presented in depth with all their challenges, possibilities and above all solutions. The day was rounded off by internal meeting time to launch the latest FEGIME initiative: the Lighting Committee. “Many thanks to our Philips Lighting hosts for making the visit possible,” said FEGIME’s Managing Director, David Garratt. “The company’s connected lighting systems are very impressive. In future our Lighting Committee will be in an ideal position to develop strategies for the rollout of such innovative products at FEGIME.”
NEW MEMBER IN DENMARK
At their General Assembly in Sicily the members of FEGIME unanimously voted to accept the application for membership of the Danish independent wholesaler “Brødrene A & O Johansen A/S” from 01.01.2018. Through the addition of Denmark the number of FEGIME member countries will increase to 18.
A & O Johansen was founded in 1914 as a plumbing and sanitary wholesaler and has a total turnover today of €375 million. The company entered the electrical sector in 2000 but has since advanced to No. 3 in Denmark with a market share in double figures. AO are based in Albertslund near Copenhagen and have in total 50 outlets throughout Denmark which are essential to their customer-centric strategy. CPO Ian Schlottmann, said: “I am delighted by the decision! We are convinced that joining FEGIME will help us to take our business to the next level. We are looking forward to sharing best practices and participating in FEGIME’s European projects.” Nikos Kafkas, President of FEGIME, added: “I am very pleased to welcome our new Danish colleagues to the FEGIME family. From what I saw at their headquarters I am sure that we have a lot to learn from each other.”
SHARING SUCCESS ACROSS NATIONS
As part of the next phase of their central IT project members of the FEGIME Portugal IT Task Force – accompanied by representatives of their service provider - visited FEGIME Head Office in Nuremberg.
“Sharing Success Across Nations” was the slogan of the 2017 FEGIME Congress. But it is not just a slogan. It is FEGIME reality - as was shown recently by the visit of the FEGIME Portugal IT Task Force – accompanied by representatives of their service provider – to FEGIME Head Office in Nuremberg. When you are in the early stages of such a major project as a central IT system for the FEGIME Portugal group, what could be better than an intensive Q&A session with someone who has been leading such a project in his country for over 25 years? This was the thinking behind the visit by our Portuguese colleagues to Head Office – and above all to Klaus Schnaible, FEGIME Deutschland’s IT Manager. “It was a very important, instructive and rewarding trip for us,” said FEGIME Portugal Managing Director, Nuno Requetim. “Klaus has such a wealth of experience in setting up an IT system for a group of independent electrical wholesalers. We learnt a lot in a very short time.”
NEW E-LEARNING COURSES FROM LEDVANCE
There are now 11 new courses from LEDVANCE in up to 9 different languages (92 in total) available on the FEGIME Academy eLearning platform - and new courses from SIEMENS in the pipeline.
There are now new video courses from Academy partner supplier LEDVANCE available on the FEGIME Academy eLearning platform. These introduce the different types of Ledvance LED luminaires (damp proof, downlight, floodlight, linear, panel, high bay, spot & surface circular) as well as some major lighting applications (parking garage, corridor & stairwell, office). They are available in a minimum of 7 – and up to 9 - different languages. All are in English, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Hungarian and Russian - and most are also in Finnish and Greek. So – if things are a bit quieter in the holiday period - why not take the opportunity to log on to the platform at www.fegimeacademy.com and check out some of the new courses? The platform is open to all FEGIME members – and their customers – but a login is necessary. If you need information or assistance please contact your FEGIME National Organisation or Head Office in Nuremberg. Coming soon: there are also new courses from partner supplier Siemens in the pipeline.
FEGIME DAY 2017 IN ROMANIA
FEGIME Romania celebrated FEGIME Day by meeting up with their major partner suppliers in Bucharest.
In Romania FEGIME Day was celebrated by FEGIME Romania getting together with their major partner suppliers Philips, Gewiss, Eaton and Schneider Electric. All the employees of the member companies were present and wearing FEGIME Day T-Shirts made especially for the event. As well as informative presentations by FEGIME Romania and the suppliers there was also the chance to talk and network in a more relaxed atmosphere. The event was rounded off with traditional Romanian music and dancing.
FEGIME DAY 2017 IN POLAND
Our Polish colleagues were once again very creative and came up with lots of great ideas to celebrate FEGIME Day throughout the country – and even further afield!
At Head Office in Lodz the members of the Board met in their FEGIME shirts, enjoyed FEGIME Day cakes and - when their work was done – moved on to a cooking studio risking their lives preparing dinner for themselves in the evening. Nowa Elektro held a table soccer competition for employees. Another member – Grodno - held a football tournament for staff and their clients. And in addition organised a motorcycle expedition to explore the Caucasus. Asaj, Kopel and Libra had special FEGIME Day cakes for everybody. Eltech organised a cruise on the river Brda for their employees and clients. But perhaps the most ambitious project in 2017 once again involved a mountain. This year it was a team from Nowa Elektro that succeeded in climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro which at 5895 m (19,341 feet) above sea level is the highest mountain in Africa.
FEGIME DAY 2017 IN HUNGARY
In collaboration with all their national partner suppliers FEGIME Hungary members are celebrating FEGIME Day 2017 with a catalogue of special offers for customers.
Starting on FEGIME Day – 30th June – and up until 14th July FEGIME Hungary’s customers can enjoy the advantages of special offers from all the group’s partner suppliers. To promote these products the group has created a FEGIME Day catalogue in pdf format for its members and their customers. “So far response has been exceptional,” said Office Leader, Zsuzsanna Nedeczky.
FEGIME DAY 2017 IN SPAIN
FEGIME Espana celebrated FEGIME Day by meeting up with partners and suppliers in Madrid.
In Spain FEGIME Day was celebrated by FEGIME Espana getting together with partners and suppliers. After a meeting in which future projects regarding digitalization were discussed, our Spanish colleagues and their guests enjoyed a nice lunch - accompanied by cakes and cupcakes celebrating FEGIME Day. But most importantly, it gave all participants the chance to enjoy each other’s company in an informal, relaxed environment. Conversations about the state of the industry, the path forward and mutual projects began and it was clear that a common passion for finding the best way forward together characterised the spirit of good cooperation to help our sector to grow in Spain.
FEGIME DAY 2017 IN LATVIA
FEGIME Finland & Baltics member Elektrika SIA had a very full agenda including supplier presentations and sailboat races to celebrate this year’s FEGIME Day in the Latvian capital Riga.
The website http://fegimeday.lv/eng promoted FEGIME Day 2017 in advance. With the support of partner suppliers our Latvian colleagues, Elektrika SIA, invited customers first of all to attend informative lectures where suppliers presented their new products and answered questions. Then the programme continued with test drives and demonstrations of electric vehicles, a mini-fair with FEGIME European Preferred and local suppliers, sailboat races at the marina, a raffle, a special archery tournament and many more contests and competitions throughout the day.
TODAY IS FEGIME DAY 2017
On and around 30th June this year in all FEGIME countries events are taking place to celebrate FEGIME’s values. After its successful introduction last year FEGIME Day is now a permanent fixture on the annual agenda.
A regatta in Latvia. A supplier day in Italy. Employee events in Germany and Poland. A special catalogue in Hungary. These are examples of events taking place throughout FEGIME countries on and around FEGIME Day 2017. In this way the FEGIME family will continue to grow closer and spread its values across Europe. We will be reporting in more detail about these events online and in our “FEGIME Voice” Newsletter. And, yes – there will be a lot of blue cake :-)
THE 2017 FEGIME CONGRESS IN WARSAW
“Sharing Success Across Nations” was the slogan of the first FEGIME Congress ever to be held in Poland. From 18th – 20th May over 120 FEGIME wholesalers and over 100 suppliers - in total well over 300 participants from 27 countries – were able to enjoy an informative and entertaining Congress Day and the attractions of the Polish capital in glorious sunshine.
As an organisation of independent family businesses, cooperation, mutual support, networking and the exchange of best practices combine to form the foundation that FEGIME was built on. In recent years this “raison d’être” has been channelled into concrete projects to further the well-being of FEGIME wholesalers throughout our member countries. And these projects are thriving. “Sharing Success Across Nations” was the slogan of the 15th Congress in Warsaw and it was chosen with this in mind. The Board of Directors - assisted by representatives of FEGIME National Organisations – presented the topic and illustrated latest developments. And of course there were also updates on the progress of the European Database and the FEGIME Academy. With “Sharing Success Across Nations” the intention is not that the “Haves” should share with the “Have-nots”, or that those who have already had successes, should give to those who have not. As Managing Director, David Garratt, explained: “At FEGIME we believe that sharing – above all the sharing of knowledge, experience, skills and expertise - is the way for us as a group to continue to be successful and to expand.”
FEGIME FUTURE MEETING WITH HELLERMANNTYTON IN HAMBURG
HellermannTyton have been a European Preferred Supplier since the beginning of 2016. They operate in 37 countries and offer their customers more than 70,000 products from a total of 15 manufacturing sites. To acquaint them with all these different articles was just one of the reasons why they invited FEGIME Future to come and visit them at their production facility in Tornesch near Hamburg.
FEGIME and HellermannTyton have always had a good geographical fit as the supplier is represented by sales offices in most – combined with distribution centres and production facilities in many – FEGIME countries. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that all their products are already well known to everyone. And this is something HellermannTyton wanted to change. A full team of Product Managers was therefore on hand in Tornesch to help FEGIME Future explore the full range and answer any questions. But it was not just theory. After short presentations, the meeting moved on to a very practical, “hands-on” session. FEGIME’s next generation managers – joined for this meeting by the FEGIME Board of Directors - were able to get to grips with HellermannTyton products and test their skill at fixing cable ties out of sight with just one hand, setting resin joints etc. The factory tour that followed was also very informative and provided many interesting insights into the production processes and the reasons behind them. In the internal part of the meeting FEGIME Future continued to work on their current projects – above all their slot at the FEGIME Congress in Warsaw in May and this year’s FAMP. On Friday morning a team from a potential host Business School in Berlin presented their proposal for the FAMP week in October. Alongside Family Business the focus in 2017 will be on digital topics such as strategy, marketing and communication. And it was with a very important digital topic that HellermannTyton finished off the meeting: an eBusiness workshop to examine mutual opportunities in this ever-expanding sector. Master data and digital marketing are HellermannTyton specialities and the workshop provided many excellent ideas and simple, practical tips for participants to get started or to improve their eBusiness performance.
FEGIME FUTURE MEETING WITH OBO BETTERMANN IN BUDAPEST
Today OBO Bettermann produce more products at their Hungarian facility in Bugyi near Budapest than they do in Germany. That was just one of the reasons why they invited FEGIME Future to come and visit them there.
Another reason had a lot to do with family. FEGIME Future were invited to visit the OBO Bettermann plant in Bugyi near Budapest to meet fourth-generation CEO, Andreas Bettermann as well as FEGIME European KAM, Global Account Manager and family member Frank Dahl. These two gentlemen have many years’ experience of family business behind them - and were willing to share it with the group. Germany has a very long and successful tradition of companies that belong to the so-called “Mittelstand” (substantial, independent, family businesses – from the “middle ground” between small independent businesses – SMEs - on the one hand and the huge multinational concerns on the other). OBO Bettermann, which now turns over more than half a billion Euros worldwide, is one of the stars of this sector. So the insights into the development of their own family companies provided by Andreas Bettermann and Frank Dahl were very interesting and a perfect introduction to the discussions around the Family Protocol planned for the meeting. This topic had been introduced at the FEGIME Advanced Management Programme (FAMP) in October last year by Prof. Hari Mann from Ashridge Business School. The Family Protocol (also known as a family charter or family constitution) is a written statement that serves as a record of the family’s heritage, culture, hopes and ambitions for future success, as well as a plan for how to achieve them. At its core should be the mission statement for the family and their clearly stated hopes and aspirations for the current and future generations. In groups FEGIME and OBO discussed different aspects of the problems facing all families in business and above all ways of resolving them which were then presented. In the internal part of the meeting FEGIME Future put in a lot of work on their current projects – above all their slot at the FEGIME Congress in Warsaw in May and this year’s FAMP.
The membership of FEGIME Belgium in our group was terminated on 31st January 2017.
At the end of last year the Belgian competition authority accepted the acquisition of our member in Belgium by a competitor. Membership of FEGIME was consequently terminated on 31st January 2017.
FEGIME SUPPLIER DAY IN ISRAEL
A group of 18 - including participants from 7 European Preferred Suppliers – accepted FEGIME’s invitation to take a closer look at the most southerly country in our group and explore the business potential our colleagues from FEGIME Israel can offer.
Israel – represented by Erco Ltd. - has now belonged to the FEGIME family for three and a half years. So it was high time to invite our European Preferred Suppliers to Israel to take a closer look at the country and explore the business potential our colleagues can offer. A group of 18 - including participants from 7 European Preferred Suppliers – accepted FEGIME’s invitation. The day began with presentations by FEGIME Managing Director, David Garratt, and FEGIME Israel President Amir Cohen. Erco - the family business of the Erez and Cohen families - was founded in 1984. It has now expanded to be No. 1 on the market and - with its 13 outlets and 300 employees - in a position to offer its customers nationwide coverage. When the new logistic centre is completed in 2018 this service will be even more efficient. Just as Erco continues to grow every year, so does the Israeli economy with a steady growth rate of around 3%. The government supports this with a host of infrastructure projects that provide a lot of business for our sector. Erco with its substantial team of engineers is specialised on providing the lighting for many of these public works. So it was not just by chance that after the presentations the group set off to Jerusalem to visit the construction site of the »HaUma« Railway Station. 80m below the streets of the old city the government is building a brand new station as terminus for the high-speed A1 train line from Tel Aviv. The decision to build underground was taken to protect historical sites in the city. Erco is responsible for the complete package of conventional and emergency lighting. Kitted out in the appropriate safety clothing the group enjoyed an extensive guided tour of this fascinating engineering project. Johannes Staudinger, Area Sales Manager/International Sales at Mennekes, reflected the group’s impressions: “Congratulations to FEGIME on a very successful trip. The exchanges with Erco in particular were very interesting and I hope that we will be able to intensify our cooperation in future.”
FEGIME ESPAÑA CELEBRATES ITS 30th ANNIVERSARY IN MADRID
A year of activities to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of FEGIME España reached its spectacular culmination on October 19th with a superlative multimedia event at the Theatre Philips Gran Vía in Madrid.
FEGIME España’s Managing Director, Jorge Ruiz-Olivares, welcomed over 200 participants to the event in Madrid. These included not only member wholesalers and partner suppliers but also the European Board and Management of FEGIME as well as the President and Management of the Spanish Wholesalers Association ADIME. After showing the corporate video with its depiction of the current achievements and status of FEGIME España, Jorge Ruiz-Olivares went on to present the group’s thoughts on possibilities and strategies for the next 30 years and also their current projects particularly in the field of IT. Other contributions came from John Powell, President of FEGIME, who took part in a panel discussion with FEGIME España’s partner suppliers Simon, Schneider and General Cable to offer their views on issues of relevance and importance to the group. Keynote Speaker was Prof. Jürgen Donges, Professor of Economics at the University of Cologne, Director of the Economic Policy Institute and Otto Wolff Institute and former economic adviser to the German Government. His thought-provoking speech generated a lot of questions from the audience during an extensive Q&A session. The President of FEGIME España, David Fernandez, closed the event with a speech of thanks to all present.
COPERATION AGREEMENT WITH GRUPO REDELEC, ARGENTINA
At their General Assembly in Budapest the members of FEGIME voted to sign a Cooperation Agreement with the Argentinian group of independent electrical wholesalers “Grupo Redelec Argentina S.A.” with effect from 1st October 2016.
Redelec was founded in 2001 and has long since established itself as the biggest group in Argentina with a market share of over 30%. It has 14 member wholesalers with a total of 32 outlets and 900 employees. The group is active in all the business areas of our sector and already does substantial turnover with several FEGIME European Preferred Suppliers. The contact between the groups began over 15 years ago when founding members of Redelec visited FEGIME members in Spain for an exchange of ideas and best practices amongst independents. The result was a very similar group with a similar vision, philosophy and mission - a solid foundation for working together.The areas of cooperation have already been defined and include suppliers, Product Information Management and next generation organisations. And in this latter category the first activity has taken place. Following a late cancellation, a place on the FEGIME Advanced Management Programme become available and within just a few days a Next Generation member from Argentina joined FEGIME Future for this year’s Module in Ashridge, UK. Vice President of Redelec, Pablo Balán, said: “I am delighted that we have signed the agreement. We are convinced that cooperation with FEGIME will help us to further improve our position as independents – in full alignment with the Redelec slogan Synergies towards Excellence. We are a group of like-minded, independent wholesalers and we are looking forward to an inspiring exchange of ideas and best practices with FEGIME.” David Garratt, Managing Director of FEGIME, added: “It has always been the task of FEGIME to guarantee the independence of electrical wholesalers throughout Europe. I am very happy that we have now decided to work with our Argentinian colleagues, to expand the network and to generate value on two different continents - both for ourselves and for our partners.”
RECORD ATTENDANCE AT THE FAMP
This year’s Module of the FEGIME Academy Management Programme – FAMP - is already a huge success. It is currently being attended by 51 next generation entrepreneurs from 15 countries. 13 of the participants are at a FEGIME Future meeting for the first time.
29, 38 and now 51 – this is how attendance of the FAMP has developed in the three years of its existence. It is currently being attended by 51 next generation entrepreneurs from 15 countries (three more countries than last year). 13 of the participants are at a FEGIME Future meeting for the first time. The hosts in 2016 are Ashridge Business School in Berkhamsted, UK. The Core Subjects are: Family Business (the Family Protocol), Managing People and Leadership. In addition the Soft Skills are Managing Change, Emotional Intelligence and Managing Yourself. The “Tool to Take Home” is an Employee Evaluation Tool. Participants are working together in groups to develop the most useful tool for evaluating the effectiveness of teams back home at their family businesses.
TWO THOUSAND PARTICIPANTS
1100 members of the electrical, sanitary, heating and plumbing sectors of the Algorel Group met up with 900 representatives of partner suppliers at this year’s Salon Algorel near Paris - an excellent illustration of the Algorel slogan "The Power of the Independents"!
FEGIME is represented in France by Algorel Electricité, the electrical division of the independent, Paris-based Algorel Sanitary and Plumbing Group – market leader in its sector. Nicolas Mugnier, President of Algorel, and Dimitri Both, Managing Director, were proud to announce the numbers on Friday night: 1100 owners, managers and employees of member companies and 900 representatives of partner suppliers had made the trip to this year’s Salon Algorel at the Disneyland site near Paris. Finding sufficient hotel accommodation for a group of this size is just one of the logistic challenges that our French colleagues mastered superbly. The European Disneyland site with its many hotels and experience of large groups on a daily basis, coupled with its excellent accessibility, make it a perfect choice – and one of the few possibilities in the whole country. Many FEGIME European Preferred Suppliers were present: ABB, Eaton, Feilo Sylvania, GE, Hager, Honeywell, Ledvance, Legrand, OBO Bettermann, Prysmian and Schneider Electric all had booths presenting their products to the members of FEGIME France. Norbert Géminard, President of FEGIME France, was very satisfied: “The Salon is an excellent opportunity to exchange information and strengthen the cooperation with our partners in the sector. Next year we will once again have the Reverse Salon in Lyon. There the system is that members have booths and the suppliers visit them for discussions and presentations. In two years’ time we will be back here in Paris. In this way we meet up every year but with a varying set-up.” This year at the Salon for the first time Algorel colleagues had the chance to vote for their favourites in 5 categories: Innovation, Design, Implementation, Electricity and Booth Presentation. An Algorel jury had nominated excellent suppliers and their products for all these categories and at the end of the day the “Algorel Star” Trophies were awarded to the winners. In addition to the honour of receiving the Trophy these suppliers also won an additional 9 square metres of exhibition area free of charge at the next Salon in 2018.
FROM THE BALTIC TO KASHMIR - FEGIME DAY IN POLAND
Our Polish colleagues were very creative and came up with lots of great ideas to celebrate FEGIME Day throughout the country – and even further afield!
At Head Office in Lodz members met in their FEGIME shirts and caps and enjoyed FEGIME Day cakes. Two members – Acel and Grodno - held a football tournament for staff and their families to compete with the European Championship in France. Kopel organized a bicycle trip for employees and their families. Libra had coffee and FEGIME Day cakes for employees who were also dressed appropriately in FEGIME Day clothes. And three FEGIME Polska members - Asaj, Eltech, Nowa Elektro - had a combination of the two with sporting activities and FEGIME Day cakes at their outlets. But perhaps the most ambitious project was undertaken by a team from Grodno. They went on an epic motorcycle trip and conquered the Khardung La Pass in Kashmir which at approximately 5,400 metres (18,000 feet) above sea level is one of the highest vehicle-accessible passes in the world.
FEGIME DAY IN HUNGARY
FEGIME Hungary members are celebrating FEGIME Day with a catalogue of special offers for customers.
Starting on FEGIME Day – 17th June – and up until the end of the month FEGIME Hungary’s customers can enjoy the advantages of special offers from participating partner suppliers. To promote these products the group has created a FEGIME Day catalogue in pdf format for its members and their customers. But this is not the only news from Hungary at the moment. Our colleagues have now also completed the translation of the FEGIME ElectroTools app and have joined other FEGIME National Organisations in offering it to their customers for Apple and Android devices.
FEGIME DAY IN LATVIA
FEGIME Finland & Baltics member Elektrika SIA celebrated FEGIME Day with an open day for customers at their premises in the Latvian capital Riga.
With the support of partner suppliers our Latvian colleagues, Elektrika SIA, invited customers to an open day at their premises in Riga. As well as many interesting products from our sector there were also some nice things to eat – in very special FEGIME-style. At the weekend employees and their families left for the Latvian countryside for a sports and leisure event together. But FEGIME Day was not the only cause for celebration in Latvia. The company is also celebrating its 7th Anniversary. We wish them all the best!
TODAY IS FEGIME DAY
On and around 17th June this year in all FEGIME countries events are taking place to celebrate FEGIME’s values. From now on FEGIME Day will become a fixture on the annual agenda.
A volleyball tournament in Russia. A supplier day in Italy. Employee events in Germany. An eLearning day at Head Office. A family day out to the zoo for all employees. These are examples of events taking place throughout FEGIME countries on and around FEGIME Day. In this way the FEGIME family will grow closer and spread its values across Europe. We will be reporting in more detail about these events online and in our “FEGIME Voice” Newsletter. Watch this space.
FEGIME FUTURE MEETING WITH SIEMENS IN ERLANGEN
The effects of digitalisation on products and work processes are always in the media. But what about its effect on our approach to the customer – for example via the internet? The fast growing capabilities of the digital environment enable new business opportunities, but require fresh ideas for an integrated marketing concept along the supply chain. As ever in a digital environment time is of the essence. So Siemens decided to invite FEGIME Future to come to their home city of Erlangen to take part in a workshop on digital marketing. And the FEGIME BOD came along, too.
The fast growing capabilities of the digital environment enable new business opportunities, but require fresh ideas for an integrated marketing concept along the supply chain. Businesses that want to keep up with the competition will have to consider their options as soon as possible. So Siemens decided to invite FEGIME Future and the FEGIME Board of Directors to come to their home city of Erlangen to take part in a workshop to discuss these possibilities with sales and marketing experts from several Siemens business units. The location for the event was the Siemens Med Museum and participants had the opportunity to take a guided tour during the lunch break. The Museum shows the historical development of the medical side of the company’s business – and is sure proof that not everything has developed for the worse nowadays as some people tend to think. Examples of early x-ray technology and dental equipment quickly expelled this thought! The workshop provided an excellent opportunity to discuss both individual and mutual projects as well as to elaborate on Digital Marketing trends, targets, strategies, tools and requirements on all sides - for example concerning future cooperation. For their internal meeting next day FEGIME Future were the guests of FEGIME Deutschland at FEGIME Head Office in Nuremberg. Arnold Rauf and his team were on hand to present the latest developments of the European Database, the FEGIME ELECTROtools app, and the FEGIMEmedia web2print system - and of course to answer any questions. In this way it was possible to show participants possible solutions and opportunities for dealing with many of the issues raised in the workshop the day before.
FEGIME AT THE LIGHT+BUILDING FAIR IN FRANKFURT
Once again the Light+Building Fair 2016 closed its doors after the scheduled 6 days with record-breaking attendance figures. FEGIME members from Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia and Spain were amongst the 216,000 trade visitors.
This year again the résumé from the Fair’s organisers was very positive: attendance at the Light+Building 2016 was up 2.3%. The 216,000 trade visitors came from a total of 160 different countries and 49% of them from outside Germany. This figure is up by 2% and the number of exhibitors by 4% to 2,589. This makes the Light+Building an increasingly international meeting place and an excellent venue to see the whole range of innovations in our sector as quickly and as effectively as possible. FEGIME members from 13 countries (Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia and Spain) took the opportunity to get updates on the latest products and catch up on the news from European Preferred Suppliers. Digitalisation, networking and energy efficiency were the major topics throughout the Fair.
FEGIME SHAREHOLDER MEETING IN PARIS
FEGIME’s first Shareholder Meeting of 2016 was held in the French capital. Algorel and FEGIME France took the opportunity to invite the other FEGIME members to visit them at their Head Office near the Champs-Elysées.
As hosts to a FEGIME Shareholder Meeting for the first time, Algorel and FEGIME France were keen to take the opportunity to invite the other FEGIME members to visit them at their Head Office near the Champs-Elysées. Nicolas Mugnier, President of Algorel, Dimitri Both, Managing Director, and Norbert Géminard, President of FEGIME France, were all present to welcome the FEGIME members and explain the synergies possible in a group uniting colleagues from the plumbing, heating, electrical and tiling sectors. For the FEGIME Shareholder Meeting as it is the first quarter of the year the final status of business development in 2015 as well as the Action Plans and forecasts for 2016 were key points on the agenda. Despite political and/or economic problems in some countries the provisional results for 2015 are very pleasing with almost double-digit growth for FEGIME. Other topics in Paris included updates on current FEGIME projects such as the European Database, ELECTROtools app and the FEGIME Academy. Guest supplier in Paris was ABB represented by Vincent Hurel, Group Vice President Global Distribution Channel Manager Low Voltage Products, and Global Key Account Manager, Dieter Lautz. Finally on Friday Marc Ortmann, Market Manager Distribution Europe at new European Preferred Supplier HellermannTyton, presented his company to the members.
FEGIME FUTURE MEETING WITH OSRAM IN MUNICH
The lighting market is currently going through a process of fundamental change. LED technology is taking over and – amongst other things - shifting the focus of the business from lamps to luminaires. This makes it a particularly challenging time for a major player like OSRAM. Solutions have to be found quickly that really work throughout Europe. And so OSRAM decided to invite FEGIME Future to Munich to take part in discussions of products and strategies with an OSRAM team comprising several top decision makers. FEGIME Future were delighted to accept.
So what does OSRAM propose to do to thrive and prosper in the lighting market? “Carve-out” is the magic word. The solution was first presented in a Press Release in June last year. Now the company-to-be has a name: LEDVANCE. In Munich Board Member and Head of Global Sales and Marketing, Erol Kirilmaz, was present to explain the move and answer questions. We can already say today that LEDVANCE will soon be FEGIME’s partner for all OSRAM-branded lamps (LED and conventional) and from 01.07.2016 also for trade LED luminaires. That’s why the new company needs a (new) brand. So Dr. Oliver Vogler, VP Strategy & Marketing, was on hand to present the Branding Architecture at LEDVANCE – including a “Sneak Preview” of the new corporate logo. Not only that, FEGIME Future were given their own individual “Sneak Preview” of the LEDVANCE products by Verena Rathjen, Head of New Business, and her international team. To finish the day, all the participants were divided into geographical groups for workshop sessions. The aim was to find out what is really needed from both products and marketing to launch the new luminaires successfully onto the various FEGIME markets. The ensuing presentations and discussions were very productive. In their internal meeting next day FEGIME Future worked on the latest developments in their own current projects. The major topic here of course was the FEGIME Academy. The group discussed above all this year’s FEGIME Advanced Management Programme (FAMP) in Ashridge, UK, and future courses.
FEGIME FINLAND & BALTICS AT THE SÄHKÖ-TELE-VALO-AV FAIR
Last week the biannual International Trade Fair for Electricity, Telecommunications, Light and Audiovisual was held in Jyväskylä, Central Finland. FEGIME’s Finnish members were very well represented.
Every second year representatives from our sector in Finland meet for three days in February at the International Trade Fair for Electricity, Telecommunications, Light and Audiovisual (or in Finnish: Sähkö - Tele - Valo – AV) in Jyväskylä. With almost 250 exhibitors and a total area of 9,331 square metres the fair is the biggest of its kind in the country. This year all FEGIME’s Finnish members were exhibiting. Markus Eronen, President FEGIME Finland & Baltics: “For us the fair was a big success. We were very pleased by the recognition our group and the FEGIME brand received from the 15,000 trade visitors. We are looking forward to being here again in two years’ time!”