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!”
A REVIEW OF FEGIME PORTUGAL’S 20th ANNIVERSARY YEAR
2015 has been a big year for FEGIME Portugal, too. Our colleagues have organised three events to celebrate their 20th Anniversary.
20 years ago on 24th October 1995 five Portuguese electrical wholesalers met in Leiria, thus laying the foundations of the organization that later would become FEGIME Portugal. To celebrate this milestone the group has organised several activities this year. The first on 3rd October was dedicated to the FEGIME Family – members and employees – and held in Muge at FEGIME Portugal headquarters. It attracted more than 200 people and was also supported by the town council and local community. Representatives from all the member companies were able to enjoy typical Portuguese specialities and folklore. But it was not only relaxation! Together throughout the day they also recorded a memorable FEGIME Portugal anniversary hip-hop song (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOyyvG5P7MY). On 13th November, as the second activity dedicated to their clients, FEGIME Portugal introduced “Blue Friday” onto the Portuguese market – an exclusive nationwide day of special promotions sponsored by their preferred suppliers. The third initiative, dedicated to partner suppliers, took place on 3rd December and rounded off the cycle of celebrations. The event was attended by 100 guests, including members and preferred suppliers. Its location was both historical and spectacular: an ancient property dating from 1774 on the banks of the River Douro in the beautiful city of Porto. João Bencatel, President of FEGIME Portugal, and Managing Director, Nuno Requetim, presented an overview of the group’s development during the past 20 years and also the current projects and strategies for the future. FEGIME Managing Director, David Garratt, added a European dimension to the event with an overview of the European organisation and current projects. He focused on the contribution that FEGIME Portugal has given to FEGIME at European level since becoming its sixth member in December 1999: FEGIME Portugal has held the Presidency of FEGIME Europe from 2013 – 2014 with António Trancho de Oliveira and moreover played an extremely active role in both the FEGIME Future organisation and FEGIME’s most important European projects (the Branding Project, FEGIME Academy and European Database). Since 2007 FEGIME Portugal has been market leader in electrical distribution in Portugal, with 11 companies and 35 sales points ensuring a broad national coverage.
FEGIME’S ANNIVERSARY YEAR IS DRAWING TO A CLOSE
Throughout 2015 FEGIME has celebrated its 25th Anniversary. Now that the year is coming to an end there is even more reason to look forward to the next 25 years. What could the future bring for FEGIME - or for our sector?
If you attended FEGIME’s 25th Anniversary Congress in Athens in May you will certainly remember Nanon Soeters’ presentation: “Futureproof: FEGIME in 2040”. Nanon is by profession a Trendwatcher and so FEGIME asked her to look into the future of our business. As she herself says it is no easy task to predict the future because it “will be diverse, fragmented, polarized and highly individual”. Assisted by project work with FEGIME Future she nevertheless produced and delivered a very thought-provoking insight into possible trends in general and in our sector in particular. By popular request we decided to capture in print some of the ideas and thoughts from the presentation and made them available to our members and European Preferred Suppliers. What trends could be in focus? What decisions will have to be taken to exploit them? What could be in store for FEGIME, for our members or for our sector? We all know that “nothing is as constant as change”. So the sooner we get down to exploring the possibilities and the way ahead the better. FEGIME has been in existence now for just over 25 years and we are determined still to be here 25 years from today.
FEGIME SHAREHOLDER MEETING IN BERLIN
The fourth and final Shareholder Meeting of the year was held in the German capital.
The new Berlin airport is still many years away from completion. But this didn’t stop FEGIME choosing the German capital as the venue for the fourth and final Shareholder Meeting of 2015. As it is the final quarter of the year business development in 2015 and above all forecasts and turnover/bonus maximization with selected suppliers were key points on the agenda. Despite political and/or economic problems in some countries most members’ results for YTD are very pleasing and 2015 looks like being a year of good, positive growth for FEGIME. Other topics in Berlin included best practice presentations from FEGIME United Kingdom and FEGIME Deutschland, updates on current FEGIME projects such as the European Database, ELECTROtools app and the FEGIME Academy. After the Congress is before the Congress, as they say. So work on FEGIME’s 15th Congress in 2017 has already begun. Managing Director, David Garratt, was pleased to announce that the venue has now been decided: the next Congress will be held in Warsaw. Guest supplier in Berlin was Schneider Electric represented by Remi Paccou, Director - Corporate Strategy & Global Accounts, and Levent Fadiloglu, Industry Distribution Vice President.
FEGIME's APP "ELECTROtools" IS ALSO AVAILABLE FOR ANDROID
FEGIME’s "ELECTROtools" is a multi-language app with many important formulae for electricians and electrical engineers. As well as being free of charge and free of advertising it also provides many understandable diagrams and clear, informative tables. It is available for Apple smartphones and tablets and now also for Android.
Work out square roots in your head? It’s possible but you need either talent or a lot of practice. Now there is a much more modern method: “ELECTROtools” the app from FEGIME. The app is a practical aid in the day to day work of electrical wholesalers and a perfect tool for use on building sites, by customer service, in the workshop, the office or the meeting room. ELECTROtools contains important formulae for automatic calculation, understandable diagrams and clear, informative tables. For example cable dimensioning and voltage drop can be calculated. Also the “Sat Finder” to correctly align satellite dishes is very practical. Although ELECTROtools already contains an extensive range of information and aids for the installer, FEGIME Deutschland will continuously develop and add to these. The next development is to be a function to scan EAN/GTIN-Codes to access all the information on the European product database. FEGIME colleagues in Greece, Ireland, Italy and Spain have already translated and adapted the app for use in their countries, with Poland soon to follow. But Klaus Schnaible, Head of IT at FEGIME Deutschland, still sees a lot of potential: “From the very beginning the app was a hit. But now we have added a version for Android and are proud to say we have already had over 35,000 downloads. Other FEGIME members that also want to use the app should contact us or FEGIME Head Office in Nuremberg.” The free app can be downloaded at both the App Store and the Google Play Store. For more information see www.fegime-tools.de
THE 2015 FAMP MODULE STARTS IN MILAN
This year’s Module of the FEGIME Academy Management Programme – FAMP - is currently being attended by 38 FEGIME next generation entrepreneurs from 12 FEGIME countries. The hosts in 2015 are the SDA Bocconi School of Management in Milan.
Last year’s FAMP in Lisbon was a great success. With ten more participants from three more FEGIME countries this year’s event in Milan is well set to capitalise and even improve on that. 38 FEGIME Future members – FEGIME’s next generation entrepreneurs - from 12 FEGIME countries are meeting at the SDA Bocconi School of Management. The name of the course that Bocconi have customised for FEGIME sums up its aims perfectly: “Preparing Leaders for Tomorrow”. For five days with over 40 hours of tuition participants will be learning how to better evaluate the performance of their businesses. By defining Key Performance Indicators and learning how to create a Balanced Score Card tailored to the exact requirements of their family companies they will be returning home with a tool that can be put into practise immediately. Other topics to be covered are Stock Management, Logistics, Decision Making, Team Building and Negotiation. But of course first up on Monday was Prof. Paolo Morosetti with the subject which is at the heart of FEGIME and FEGIME Future: Family Business. “With 9 participants attending for the first time and 8 of the original FEGIME Future group founded almost 9 years ago, we have an excellent mix here in Milan,” said FEGIME Managing Director, David Garratt.
56 NEW COURSES ON THE FEGIME ACADEMY E-LEARNING PLATFORM
Schneider Electric as a major sponsor have made 12 additional courses in up to 7 different languages (56 in total) available for the FEGIME Academy eLearning platform.
The first Schneider Energy Efficiency courses on the FEGIME Academy eLearning platform have been up and running since 2014. Now 12 new courses – 11 on Energy Efficiency and one on Data Center Efficiency - have also been uploaded. These are available in a minimum of 3 – and up to 7 - different languages. All are in English and there are also versions in French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. So why not log on to the platform at www.fegimeacademy.com and check out some of these 56 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.
A NEW MEMBER FOR FEGIME ROMANIA
On August 1st Consolight joined FEGIME Romania.
Consolight was founded in 1996 as an importer and distributor of professional electrical equipment. Today the company is one of the largest electrical wholesalers in the country with over 130 employees. With 9 branches throughout Romania it offers suppliers and customers alike national coverage. Consolight already works with several major FEGIME European Preferred Suppliers. Levente Mezei, Managing Director of FEGIME Romania said: “We are very happy to welcome Consolight to the group. We are convinced that with them we have found a good partner and that they will make an excellent contribution.”
FEGIME FRANCE SUPPLIER DAY IN LYON
The suppliers of FEGIME France were invited to come to the Congress Centre in Lyons to have short, face-to-face meetings with the members. The result was three days of intensive and productive discussions.
In the July heat FEGIME France joined their colleagues from the Algorel sanitary, heating and plumbing group to invite all their suppliers to the Congress Centre in Lyons for three whole days. As all members were present, suppliers had the unique opportunity to meet every member they wanted within a few square metres – a very intensive but productive arrangement. Chairman Marc Fuchs said: “I am very satisfied with the event. My colleagues and their suppliers have been very busy and a lot of discussions have taken place. I am convinced we will repeat the event next year.” FEGIME Managing Director, David Garratt, also attended to get to know more of his new French colleagues and their suppliers.
POWER QUALITY DAY WITH EATON IN FINLAND
In mid June Eaton invited FEGIME members to a Power Quality Day at their UPS plant in Espoo, Finland – and 7 participants from 4 FEGIME countries accepted.
In mid June Eaton invited FEGIME members to a Power Quality Day at their UPS plant in Espoo, Finland – and 7 participants from 4 FEGIME countries accepted. Denis Safrany, Eaton’s Key Account Manager FEGIME, had gathered together a team of Eaton experts to provide more information about this type of product and above all show the potential business opportunities this sector offers to FEGIME members. In Western Europe total UPS business amounts to approximately €1.5 billion a year and FEGIME wholesalers could easily increase their share of this market. Nowadays there is a huge amount of sensitive electrical and electronic equipment in use in a wide spectrum of locations ranging from the private home to the high-tech production line. All this equipment needs not only to be protected from sudden extreme fluctuations in current but also in some cases to be kept running for a certain time when mains current is no longer available. And this – as the Eaton team explained - is where UPSs come into play. After a brainstorming session to explore potential customer segments for UPS amongst existing FEGIME clientele the FEGIME members were given a tour of the Espoo factory where a total of 250 people work. Espoo is the largest production facility for three-phase UPSs in Europe and since it was opened it has already turned out an impressive 250,000 units.
FEGIME FUTURE MEETING WITH HAGER IN OBERNAI
“Changing Customer Relations” was the workshop topic chosen by Hager for FEGIME Future’s return to their facility in Obernai, Alsace, after an absence of almost 7 years.
Glorious Spring weather welcomed FEGIME Future back to Obernai in Alsace to meet up again with European Preferred Supplier Hager. The last time they visited it was only the second FEGIME Future meeting ever. The topic that time was family business itself and the Hager family was on hand to share their own personal experience with FEGIME’s “next generation” entrepreneurs, exchange anecdotes and pass on hard-earned advice. This time it was a very different type of meeting. The selected topic “Changing Customer Relations” was introduced by a team from Strategy Consultants OC&C who are specialised on the construction and distribution sectors. There followed two rounds of workshops where FEGIME Future were divided into groups to discuss different aspects of the topic and then present their results. First up was “Changing Installers: Their Future Roles and Requirements” taking into consideration various types of installer. Then followed “Effects of Digitalization and Required Actions of Wholesalers” and “FEGIME 2020: Strategic Options and New Business Models”. The ensuing discussions were very productive and the proposals innovative. Daniel Hager and his team joined the group again for the final exchange of results. In their internal meeting FEGIME Future worked on the latest developments in their current project - the FEGIME Academy - and above all on their presentation of it at the upcoming Anniversary Congress in Athens. The visit was rounded off by a trip around the Obernai production site and above all to the Hager “Forum” - the soon to be opened but already very impressive new Hager Training Centre.
FEGIME AT SIEMENS INTERNATIONAL SALES MEETING
FEGIME Managing Director, David Garratt, was invited to make a presentation of the FEGIME organisation to the Siemens Digital Factory Control Products International Sales Meeting (DF CP ISM) in Hamburg.
Over 130 Siemens representatives from 70 countries were present at the international sales meeting organised by the Siemens Control Products division. As the only external participant, FEGIME Managing Director, David Garratt, was given the opportunity to present the FEGIME group, its strategy and its projects to the delegates: “I am very happy to have been invited. It is a great honour to be here and to have the chance to explain the FEGIME philosophy and our role in distribution to such an audience. Many thanks to Karlheinz Kaul and Valentin Dinkelbach for making it possible.”
ART AND LIGHTING
Osram take the opportunity to show FEGIME members – in town for the first Shareholder Meeting of 2015 - around their prestigious LED illumination project at the Lenbachhaus Municipal Art Museum in Munich.
The Lenbachhaus began life as the town villa of the artist Franz von Lenbach. It first opened its doors as a museum in 1929 having been sold to the city of Munich - along with his work - by the artist’s widow. It now houses a major collection of 20th century German art including many works by the Munich-based “Blue Rider” group made up of artists such as Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc. It has recently undergone considerable refurbishment. After a Europe-wide selection process, Foster + Partners architects were commissioned to create state-of-the-art facilities – and the lighting was done by Osram. For this they were awarded the German Engineering Prize 2013 and based on it they were invited to take on the project to light the Sistine Chapel. On tours of art museums the focus is usually on the pictures but this time just as much attention was paid to how they were lit. The LED lighting supplied by Osram is state of the art in terms of energy efficiency and colour reproduction. Senior Technical Project Manager, Martin Reuter (also responsible for the Sistine Chapel project), explained to the FEGIME members exactly which solution was found to create the best possible lighting for the different rooms, works of art and situations throughout the museum. Global Account Manager and FEGIME’s European contact, Bernd Kobusch, was of course also on hand to ensure the smooth running of a very interesting and enjoyable evening – and discuss more regular business matters with members at the Shareholder Meeting the following morning.
FEGIME SHAREHOLDER MEETING IN MUNICH
The first Shareholder Meeting of the year was held in the centre of Munich.
A strike by Lufthansa pilots did not make it easy to get to Munich but when they arrived FEGIME members were rewarded with some perfect Spring-like weather for the first Shareholder Meeting of 2015. A lot has happened at FEGIME since 1st January with new members in France, Spain, Poland and Ukraine coupled with a Solar PV offensive in UK promising an increase in group turnover this year of over €500 million. Other topics on the agenda included updates on suppliers and current FEGIME projects such as the FEGIME Academy and European Database. Managing Director, David Garratt, was pleased to inform the participants that FEGIME’s 25th Anniversary Congress in May was fully booked with a record number of registrations: “We are looking forward to a spectacular event in a spectacular location. Everything is running very smoothly with the support of our colleagues from FEGIME Hellas.” Guest suppliers in Munich were Osram and Eaton, the latter represented by Denis Safrany, International Channel Manager and Richard Rotolo, Manager International EWS-Channel Management. The Eaton team welcomed the chance to speak to the FEGIME participants and inform them about the company’s strategy and opportunities they see for improving cooperation throughout the group. One of these is in the UPS sector and Eaton invited FEGIME members to join them for a “Power Quality Day” at their UPS plant in Finland in June. Anyone wishing to take part should contact their FEGIME National Organisation or FEGIME Head Office.
A VISIT TO THE PHILIPS LIGHTING APPLICATION CENTRE (LAC)
Colleagues from FEGIME Espana member Berdin were invited to the “Philips town” of Eindhoven in the Netherlands to get a better insight into the company and their products.
Eindhoven is the birthplace of the Philips company and in its heyday 60,000 of the city’s 225,000 inhabitants worked there. Not only the PSV football club and most of the street names constantly remind you of the company’s presence but also the major hotel in the city is now located in the old Philips works and administrative buildings which have undergone a major conversion. Our Spanish colleagues Imanol Irazusta, Oscar Vilella, Mikel Rodríguez and Jesús Simón were the guests of Frank Suntinger, Senior Key Account Manager Philips Lighting. And of course the highlight of the trip was the visit to the new Lighting Application Centre (LAC) located just a short distance away from the city centre. Here Philips have an impressive new 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. In short the LAC illustrates perfectly just how important and complex lighting is today. In the afternoon the participants also had the opportunity to visit the Philips Museum in the centre of Eindhoven. “Many thanks to our Philips host, Frank Suntinger, for making the visit possible,” said Berdin’s Head of Lighting and Building Automation Projects, Oscar Vilella. “We were very interested to see the new LAC and got a lot of good ideas for our own projects such as the intelligent street lighting system we are currently implementing.”
FEGIME FUTURE MEET AT THE OFFICES OF FEGIME ITALIA IN MILAN
The meeting in Milan was an internal one with a lot of important topics on the agenda.
Once again FEGIME Italia were the kind hosts of the FEGIME Future internal meeting in Milan. The first point on the agenda was possible projects for the future. During the FEGIME Advanced Management Programme (FAMP) week in Lisbon in October 2014 participants had examined the question “How to use the FEGIME brand to leverage your business” in creativity brainstorming and group working sessions. This had produced a huge number of great ideas for potential development that now needed evaluation and short-listing. Second up was the FEGIME Academy eLearning platform www.fegimeacademy.com . Registration is currently in full swing as the initial step of the eLearning offensive “Project 2015”. To fine tune this year’s new developments and future processes the provider had come to Milan to join the discussions. Day two was dedicated to the FAMP Module 2 this October. Milan had been chosen as the location for the meeting with this is mind because it is the home of 2015’s host school the SDA Bocconi School of Management. As Milan is also hosting the EXPO this year the idea is to make the most of the opportunity and during the week to combine FEGIME’s FAMP with this international highlight. This and other topics such as the take-home tool for participants – a balanced scorecard for wholesalers – were discussed with Bocconi coordinator Dr. Maria Luisa Nigrelli (photo: front row 2nd from left).
REGISTER NOW FOR THE FEGIME ACADEMY E-LEARNING PLATFORM
2015 is going to be the year of eLearning at FEGIME. The platform has now completed its testing phase and members are kindly requested to register immediately.
Almost a year ago the FEGIME eLearning platform – www.fegimeacademy.com - was highly commended by “Moodle News” - the official newsletter of the Moodle Learning Management System - for its graphical presentation. In those days there was not much more to commend because the platform was only in its testing phase. Now it can offer the first content from partner suppliers Siemens and Schneider in the category “Products and Technology” – and this already in a total of 8 FEGIME languages: Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. And this is only the beginning with further languages, suppliers and categories to follow. In mid January FEGIME’s National Organisations were requested to get the process of registration of their members – and then in a second step their members’ clients – moving. This is now approaching completion but it is of course not too late for further members to get involved. If you require information or assistance please contact your FEGIME National Organisation or Head Office in Nuremberg.
2015 IS FEGIME’S ANNIVERSARY YEAR
It all started 25 years ago. Two groups of electrical wholesalers from France and Spain joined forces to cooperate across boundaries, thus laying the foundations for today’s FEGIME.
In the very last days of 1989, a group of Spanish and a group of French electrical wholesalers signed an agreement of international collaboration to commence at the beginning of the following year. Further countries joined until in 1993 the group comprised members from France, Germany, Italy, Spain and UK. At their European Congress in Berlin that year these countries founded the organisation with the name FEGIME. More members were recruited over the years. Since 2009 all have been using the name FEGIME, the same Corporate Identity and the same logo. Today – in the January of our Anniversary Year - the addition of FEGIME France increases the number of member countries to 18, over 230 FEGIME electrical wholesalers are active on 27 national markets and provide independent service out of over 1150 outlets.
A NEW MEMBER FOR FEGIME POLSKA
As of January 1st, 2015 there will be a new shareholder at FEGIME Polska: Grodno S.A.
At their General Assembly on 10th December in Lodz FEGIME Polska voted to accept the application for membership of Grodno S.A. from 01/01/2015. Through the addition of the new wholesaler with 43 outlets FEGIME Polska will increase total group turnover by € 50 million. Marta Kulza, President of FEGIME Polska, said: 'I am very pleased to welcome a new shareholder to our FEGIME family. I am sure that joining FEGIME will give Grodno and FEGIME Polska new possibilities for development.' Andrzej Jurczak, President of Grodno S.A., added: ‘Membership of FEGIME means access to international know-how in the electrical sector. Thanks to the support of the group we will be able to exchange best practice and contacts to new partner suppliers. It will also enable us to enrich our product range.’
FEGIME’S IT COMMITTEE MEETS AT ELEKTRO HARTL IN FREISING
Almost exactly two years after the FEGIME General Assembly voted in favour of launching the European Database Project 30 FEGIME members and IT specialists from a total of 11 FEGIME countries met in November near Munich to review the project’s progress.
First up on the agenda was a report by each of the participating countries on the status of the project in their country. 14 FEGIME member countries are now involved in the project. FEGIME colleagues from Greece, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia and Spain have already been using product data from the Nuremberg database in their ERP systems and/or web shops for up to 18 months. At the beginning of next year Norway and Finland & Baltics will be joining them with others to follow. FEGIME’s partner suppliers also play an essential role. The database in Nuremberg contains data for over 2.3 million articles, some provided directly by suppliers, some reworked by the Master Data Department. But this certainly does not mean that the work has already been done. Project Manager Klaus Schnaible, FEGIME Deutschland, commented: “The Committee’s verdict was very clear: we need more local data. This will be our major target for the coming year. We already have an online tool for the participating National Organisations to rework existing data. We call upon all our partner suppliers to provide us with accurate and comprehensive ETIM data for all our markets as soon as possible.” In addition to the input of more local data the implementation of the second step of the project – European web2print services – was agreed and scheduled for the first half of next year with FEGIME Hellas to start the testing phase.
GOOD RESULTS REWARDED
At Eaton HQ in Switzerland FEGIME UK’s Chief Executive, Jane Gower, collects her group’s award for double-digit growth.
Although they have been doing very good business with Eaton for many years now, last year still saw substantial, double-digit growth for FEGIME UK. This could not go unrewarded. So as part of the “Breaking Records Together” campaign FEGIME UK’s Chief Executive and FEGIME Board Member, Jane Gower, came to Eaton HQ in Morges on the shores of Lake Geneva to receive the award from Paula Latta, Director of Channel Management and Sales Operations at Eaton EMEA. Of course that was only a small part of the agenda. FEGIME MD, David Garratt, and the rest of the Eaton wholesale team - Head of Channel Management EMEA, Richard Rotolo and Key Account Manager, Denis Safrany – were also present to review projects and results from the past year, present strategy and discuss opportunities for the future. “With the recent acquisition of Cooper there is still a lot of potential for business,” commented Denis Safrany. “We want to make sure we make the most of this with FEGIME in UK and at European level.”
EUROPEAN PREFERRED SUPPLIER DAY IN PARIS
FEGIME’s European Preferred Suppliers were invited to come and get to know the French group of independent electrical wholesalers “Algorel Electricité” that from 01.01.2015. will become FEGIME France. 40 of FEGIME’s international contacts and/or their French colleagues took up the invitation and visited Algorel Head Office in November.
Who exactly is Algorel Electricité? To introduce the Algorel Group to FEGIME’s European Suppliers and FEGIME to their French colleagues they were all invited to attend a meeting at Algorel’s Head Office just off the Champs-Elysées. On the French wholesale market Algorel has been a major player for many years – but in the sanitary and heating sector. Matthieu Rolland, Managing Director of Algorel, was on hand to explain. The Algorel Group is market leader with a total of 160 member wholesalers, 800 points of sale and a turnover of almost €2 billion in the sanitary, heating and tiling business. With a staff of over 20 Head Office in Paris provides – as well as common purchasing initiatives - many marketing tools for members. At the beginning of this year Algorel Electricité was founded to widen the group’s range and provide an even better service to its customers. Chairman Marc Fuchs explained: “A high proportion of our customers are already active in both the sanitary and electrical sectors. We are convinced that this trend will continue. Together with our colleagues from the Algorel Group we will be perfectly positioned to generate synergies in marketing and purchasing and thus make the most of this development.” Algorel Electricité currently has 22 members with a total turnover of over €150 million. The target is to double this in the short term. As Purchasing Manager Gérard Coron-Dall’o explained: “We will be counting on the support of all our partner suppliers to achieve this.”
WORKING TOGETHER ON THE INTERNATIONAL JOINT MARKETING CAMPAIGN FOR 2015
Teams from FEGIME and Philips meet at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport to begin working on next year’s “Optimize and Save” campaign.
“If you stop getting better, you have already stopped being good.” This quote from the German entrepreneur Philip Rosenthal could be regarded as the motto for the meeting in Amsterdam. The 2015 FEGIME / Philips joint marketing campaign “Optimize and Save” should be the best yet. So to this end international teams from both companies joined forces to review past methods, discuss next year’s campaign strategy and brainstorm new ideas. FEGIME colleagues from Germany (Arnold Rauf), the Netherlands (Jos Kroon & Patrick Geurds), Belgium (Bart Desseyn) and Portugal (Nuno Requetim) joined Managing Director David Garratt in a productive exchange of ideas with Philips’ Frank Suntinger, Senior Global Key Account Manager, and Marinelle van den Munckhof, Head of International MarCom.
THE FEGIME ACADEMY MODULE 1 STARTS IN LISBON
28 FEGIME Future participants from 9 FEGIME countries have made the trip to the Portuguese capital to take part in the first module of the FEGIME Academy FAMP project and to begin a very busy week of tuition.
Over 40 hours of lectures and rooms available for additional group work till midnight – that is the tough schedule set down by FEGIME’s partner and coordinating business school Católica Lisbon for the first module of the FEGIME Academy management programme this week in Portugal. The theme that FEGIME Future will be working on until Friday is: “Strategic Decisions – Understanding Environment and Customers”. First up on Monday was Prof. Jon I. Martinez from ESE Business School, Santiago, Chile. His specialist subject is Family Business which he has taught around the world at leading institutions such as Harvard, UCLA and INSEAD. He is also senior associate partner at Cambridge Advisors to Family Enterprise based in Boston. That makes him the perfect choice to deal with this subject which is at the heart of FEGIME and FEGIME Future. The core topics for the week are strategy and marketing and the soft skills are creativity and communication. Each will be taught by specialists in the relevant field. In addition participants will be working in groups to develop methods for leveraging their own business by using the FEGIME brand. “Of course it is a tough schedule,” said new FEGIME Future member Artjoms Smertjevs from Latvia, “but a great opportunity to learn, develop new ideas and then put them into practice at home.”
VISIT BY ABB TO FEGIME HEAD OFFICE
FEGIME’s new European contact at ABB, Dieter Lautz, paid a second visit to Head Office in Nuremberg.
Dieter Lautz visited Head Office for the first time in July with his colleague Vincent Hurel, Group Vice President & Global Distribution Channel Manager (Low Voltage), for the introduction to his new role as Global Key Account Manager for FEGIME. But he is certainly not a new face at FEGIME Deutschland. He has been with Busch-Jaeger now for 17 years and remains their Head of Sales, BU Wiring Accessories Germany and as such is in frequent contact with FEGIME Deutschland. Topics on the agenda of the European meeting were reviews of the current year’s business, assessment of the situation in member countries, the FEGIME Congress next year in Athens and above all ABB’s support for the FEGIME Academy and European database projects.
FEGIME ISRAEL VISIT FEGIME DEUTSCHLAND MEMBER
Our colleague Amir Cohen from FEGIME Israel pays a visit to the Dressel EGU outlet in Soest during his trip to Germany.
Political problems in the region had prevented our Israeli colleagues from leaving the country for over 50 days. This had created serious backlogs in ongoing projects. Now that the situation has become less critical Amir Cohen has a lot of catching up to do – hence his trip to Germany. He nevertheless took the time to call in and visit a colleague nearby: FEGIME Deutschland member Dressel EGU’s outlet in Soest, Westphalia. Branch Manager Thomas Wehrmann and Managing Director Michael Kroner were happy to present their company Elektrogrosshandels Union Rhein-Ruhr (EGU) and then show their guests around the branch and warehouse.
FEGIME RETURNS TO FRANCE
The French group of independent electrical wholesalers “Algorel Electricité” will join FEGIME from 01.01.2015. This means that FEGIME will be present in France again for the first time for almost 15 years.
At their General Assembly in Lisbon the members of FEGIME unanimously voted to accept the application for membership of the French group of independent electrical wholesalers “Algorel Electricité” from 01.01.2015. This means that from next year FEGIME will be present in France again for the first time for almost 15 years. Through the addition of the Paris-based group the number of FEGIME member countries will increase to 18 and total group turnover by over € 150 million per year. Algorel Electricité was founded at the beginning of 2014 as the electrical division of the independent Algorel Sanitary and Plumbing Group – market leader in its sector - and already has 22 member wholesalers with several new additions in the pipeline. Algorel Electricité’s 108 outlets are spread throughout France thus providing comprehensive, independent service on the French market to clients and suppliers alike. Chairman of Algorel Electricité, Mr. Marc Fuchs, said: “I am delighted by the decision! We are convinced that joining FEGIME will help us to further improve our position as independents. In all our discussions over the last few months we have got to know a group of like-minded wholesalers and we are looking forward to sharing best practices with them and participating in FEGIME’s European projects.” Mr. Marian Nowak, President of FEGIME, added: “I am very pleased to welcome our new French colleagues to the FEGIME family and proud that FEGIME is once again present on the French market.”
PRYSMIAN VISITS FEGIME DEUTSCHLAND AND FEGIME HEAD OFFICE
Prysmian European and German contacts visit the FEGIME offices in Nuremberg.
FEGIME’s “new” European contact is not an unknown face in Nuremberg. Paolo di Biase, International Key Account Manager, was responsible for the FEGIME international account in the past before moving to Berlin to concentrate on Prysmian’s German business. This however was his first visit back to Head Office after taking on the international responsibilities again. The topics at the meeting included reviews of the current year’s business, assessment of the situation in member countries and mutual opportunities for the future. At the same time his German colleague Steffen Prag, Sales (Germany) – Trade & Industry, was visiting FEGIME Deutschland.
FEGIME ESPAÑA SUMMER MEETING NEAR TOLEDO
Our Spanish colleagues take time out of the office to meet up and discuss future strategy informally in pleasant surroundings.
At the beginning of July our colleagues from FEGIME España met for a weekend together at a resort hotel in the splendid countryside between the Gredos Mountains and the majestic Tagus River near the historic city of Toledo. In this wonderful and unique environment the members enjoyed a few days of conviviality which gave them time to discuss matters informally and made it even easier for them to maintain a united group on the basis of friendship and fellowship.
FEGIME UK MEMBER BEW WINS SECOND AWARD IN 6 MONTHS
Following up on their victory in the autumn at the Electrical Industry “Wholesaler of the Year Awards”, FEGIME UK member BEW Electrical have now also picked up the title of “Best Electrical Wholesaler” at the “Electrical Wholesaler Awards”.
As in the boxing world, in the UK electrical wholesaling world there’s more than one title up for grabs. In fact there are two, promoted and judged by separate, well respected bodies. Now FEGIME UK member BEW Electrical have also picked up the title of “Best Electrical Wholesaler (10 to 25 Branches)” at the inaugural “Electrical Wholesaler Awards”. This is true vindication for their win at the Electrical Industry Awards in the autumn and gives them just cause to claim that they are now the UK’s “Undisputed Electrical Wholesaler of the Year”! In the category of “Branch Manager of The Year” BEW’s Wandsworth Manager, Paul Clancey, was “Highly Commended”. The first Electrical Wholesaler Awards, organised by Datateam Business Media Ltd, took place at The Tower Hotel, London before an audience of 180 industry professionals. Judging for the wholesaler award categories was entirely independent and based on the decision of an invited panel of judges under the chairmanship of Tracey Rushton-Thorpe, Editor of Electrical Wholesaler Magazine. After the ceremony BEW Chairman, Phil Webb, commented: “Some of the industry’s biggest companies participated and were in attendance, so it was most gratifying for us to climb on that stage in front of our peers and collect our well-deserved award. A word of thanks must also go to all of our staff, customers and suppliers for getting us to the top and keeping us there.”
FEGIME HELLAS VISIT SCHNEIDER HQ IN PARIS
The FEGIME Hellas team visit “The Hive”, Schneider’s award-winning ecological headquarters in Paris, to find out how this important player sees future developments in our sector.
Visitors to Schneider’s headquarters in Paris are usually received in the International Customer Lounge (ICL). This is Schneider Electric’s showroom: 1000 m² of innovative, high-tech and user-oriented space welcoming visitors from all over the world. It enables them to discover all the aspects of the Schneider Electric group and exhibits a sample of technological innovations that will influence future products and solutions. The major topic during the visit by our Greek colleagues was digitization in distribution. “It was a very interesting trip,” said FEGIME Hellas President, Nikos Kafkas, “which has given me a lot of ideas and impressions to take back home.”
A VISIT TO LEGRAND’S DISTRIBUTION CENTRE NEAR PARIS
FEGIME members from Belgium, Israel and Portugal visit Legrand’s international distribution centre at Verneuil en Halatte, near Paris.
Legrand’s international distribution centre has been in operation since 2001. In 2007 it was extended to provide the 92,000 m2 of storage space it offers today. Verneuil en Halatte employs 340 people in two regular shifts per day. Whilst mainly supplying the French market (45% of dispatches), it also handles the complete range of Legrand brands for customers and Legrand subsidiaries in the rest of Europe and even further afield (in total 35,000 SKUs). This amounts to approximately 350 tonnes of goods or 1,300 pallets a day. “Many thanks to our Legrand host, Jean-François Fredon, for making the visit possible,” said FEGIME Managing Director, David Garratt. “The members were very interested to see such an extensive logistic system in action and have certainly been able to pick up a few ideas for their own companies.”
MARIAN NOWAK IS THE NEW PRESIDENT OF FEGIME
Now it is official: for the first time in its history FEGIME has a President from an Eastern European country.
At the Members’ Meeting in Dublin at the end of May Marian Nowak, FEGIME Polska, succeeded Antonio Trancho de Oliveira, FEGIME Portugal, as President of FEGIME. Jane Gower from FEGIME UK was joined by new member of the Board Christian Fischer from FEGIME Deutschland. At FEGIME there is a rotational system for the Board of Directors so consequently at the second Members’ Meeting of the year the Presidency is always passed on to the next recipient and the outgoing President leaves to be replaced by a new board member. FEGIME Managing Director, David Garratt, said: “I would like to thank Antonio Trancho de Oliveira for all his support during the past three years. It was a pleasure working with him. I look forward to continuing in the same fashion with the new President, Marian Nowak, and welcome Christian Fischer to the Board!” Other topics on the agenda of the meeting covered suppliers and business development in 2014 as well as updates on current FEGIME projects such as the European Database and the FEGIME Academy. Hager was guest supplier and Peter Caldwell, Corporate Marketing Manager, led an interesting discussion on home automation, ably supported by Tilo Kruger, General Manager Hager Ltd (Ireland).
FEGIME FUTURE MEET WITH SIEMENS IN LONDON AND GAIN BOTH INSIGHT INTO THE FUTURE OF OUR CITIES AND SUPPORT FOR THE FEGIME ACADEMY
The second FEGIME Future Meeting of 2014 was hosted by our European Preferred Supplier Siemens at a truly spectacular venue: The Crystal, their sustainable cities initiative in the London Docklands.
The Crystal is one of the world’s greenest buildings. It showcases state-of-the-art technologies to make buildings more efficient. It is all-electric and uses solar power and a ground source heat pump to generate its own energy. That means no fossil fuels are burnt within the building. The Crystal incorporates rainwater harvesting, black water treatment, solar heating and automated building management systems. The design of the building’s structure – inspired by the many sides of a crystal - provides additional insulation, thus taking energy efficiency to a new level. This of course is good news for the future development of our sector. It also influenced the programme of the meeting and the FEGIME Future group was able to learn a lot not only about global trends and future challenges, but also about existing technological solutions to build environmentally sustainable, safe and prosperous cities that are pleasant to live in. The other topic on the agenda was training and Siemens specialists from UK and Germany presented the company’s initiatives on Skills Management and Employee Qualification. This was chosen to fit in with the FEGIME Academy project to which Siemens has pledged full support. In their internal session FEGIME Future discussed the developments in the project and above all how to make the most of the generous offer from Siemens.
THEBEN AND FEGIME HELLAS ENTER INTO CLOSE PARTNERSHIP
From 1st April FEGIME Hellas has taken over the role of sole representative for Theben products in Greece.
When they joined FEGIME last year our Greek colleagues saw few opportunities with European Preferred Supplier Theben. But that was “way back” in 2013 and the distribution of Theben products on the Greek market took a different course. Now FEGIME Hellas has taken over the role completely. At a meeting at the Theben HQ and production facilities in Haigerloch in South-Western Germany the FEGIME team led by Vasileios Chatzikos, Director Marketing & Product Management, was able to take a tour around the plants and also finalize the details with Thomas Sell, Theben’s Chief Sales Officer, and Area Sales Manager, Edwin Soltek. Matters to be discussed included training sessions and product data – both no problem with the FEGIME European database and Academy projects – technical support, logistics etc. “We are happy to have such a professional and dynamic partner for our Greek business,” said Thomas Sell. “Our aim is - with FEGIME’s support - to be able to almost double our turnover on the market within the next five years.” By the way, if you have ever wondered where the name “Theben” comes from, it is the German spelling of “Thebes” so it already has a very strong connection with the Classical World – but not Ancient Greece. When the founder chose it almost a hundred years ago he was expressing his interest in Egyptology and referring to the Ancient Egyptian city of Thebes – although there was also an Ancient Greek city with the same name. But now for all modern Greek cities the situation is quite clear: FEGIME Hellas is Theben’s partner!
FEGIME AT THE LIGHT & BUILDING FAIR
At the end of last week the Light+Building Fair in Frankfurt closed its doors after the scheduled 6 days with record-breaking attendance figures. Many FEGIME members were amongst the 211,500 trade visitors.
Despite wonderful Spring weather attendance at the Light+Building was up 8% on last year. The 211,500 trade visitors came from a total of 161 different countries and 47% of them from outside Germany. This figure is up by 3% and the number of exhibitors by 7% to 2,458. This made the Light+Building a truly 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 throughout Europe took the opportunity to get updates on the latest products and catch up on the news from European Preferred Suppliers. One piece of good news for everybody: in a poll amongst all the visitors to the fair 85% of those questioned rated business in our sector as either good or satisfactory.
FEGIME ACADEMY E-LEARNING PLATFORM IN THE “MOODLE NEWS”
FEGIME's eLearning website www.fegimeacademy.com has been listed as one of “22 Awesome Moodle Site Themes” by the official newsletter of the Moodle Learning Management System.
The website has been online now for some weeks for internal testing purposes and already it has attracted praise from Moodle News, the official newsletter of the Moodle Learning Management System. Author Joseph Thibault posted: “When I mentioned doing a follow up to the top 5 Moodle sites post from 2010 and provided a place to enter a URL for your Moodle sites I was expecting to get awed. With all of the amazing submissions my expectations were definitely exceeded by the variety, look and feel, and design concepts that have been applied to sites worldwide. The sites I got to check out represented over 6 languages and 4 continents...... In any event, I think you’ll agree that there are some amazing Moodle sites out there.” And www.fegimeacademy.com was one of his “22 Awesome Moodle Site Themes”. Have a look and decide for yourself!
LED TUBES MADE IN GERMANY
A visit to Sylvania’s production facilities for LED & fluorescent tubes in Northern Bavaria
March 2013: LED production is often associated with low-wage countries outside Europe. But increasingly this is not necessarily the case. FEGIME new European Supplier Sylvania has long since joined the growing group or major European brands that are eager to show that it is not only possible but also profitable and practical to produce LED products in Europe. The Sylvania plant is in the university city of Erlangen in Northern Bavaria, a mere 20 km away from FEGIME Head Office in Nuremberg. So when Managing Director, David Garratt, visited in mid March it was not exactly one of his longest business trips. He was welcomed by Co Braber, Managing Director of Sylvania Germany, Austria & Switzerland and also European contact for FEGIME. The Sylvania factory has existed in Erlangen since 1968 but Co has recently also relocated his entire Central European team from Frankfurt to the site. “Before the move there was always one part of the team missing,” said Co, “but now that we are all together things are much more effective. We are convinced that in this way we can offer our customers a better service, too.” 260 people work on the production side in Erlangen and the man in charge is Ralf Hermanns, General Manager Operations. He explained during the tour of the facilities all the – often quite spectacular - processes that have to be completed before a tube is finally packed and dispatched. At the end of each shift in Erlangen a grand total of 40,000 tubes are ready to leave the factory.
FEGIME FUTURE MEETING WITH EATON AT THEIR HQ IN SWITZERLAND
“Breaking Records Together” was the motto chosen by the Eaton team for the first FEGIME Future meeting of 2014.
28.02.14: The Lake Geneva Region is home not only to Eaton’s European Headquarters but also to the International Olympic Committee. This – along with a visit to the very interesting International Olympic Museum in Lausanne on the Thursday evening - is the reason why the Eaton team chose the Olympic theme for the meeting. The working topic they selected was “Managing Growth” – something that has been of vital importance to them in recent years as a result of their acquisitions. To illustrate and present to FEGIME Future all the possibilities “New Eaton” can now offer they had assembled their top European team led by Frank Campbell, President Eaton Electrical EMEA, Kris Beyen, Vice President Sales EMEA, Paula Latta, Director Channel Management and Sales Operations, Richard Rotolo, Head of Channel Management and Denis Safrany, Key Account Manager FEGIME. They shared some of their best practices; presented tools the young FEGIME entrepreneurs could use to assess their own businesses and in workshops discussed possibilities of growing the cooperation in the future. In their internal meeting FEGIME Future worked on the latest developments in their current project: The FEGIME Academy. The E-learning platform www.fegimeacademy.com is online and in its internal testing phase and the FEGIME Advanced Management Programme is well on course for Module 1 in October.
FEGIME Board Meeting in Lisbon
The FEGIME Board of Directors met last week for the first time this year in the Portuguese capital
21.02.14: FEGIME President Antonio Trancho de Oliveira (FEGIME Portugal) was host to his colleagues Marian Nowak (FEGIME Polska) and Jane Gower (FEGIME UK) when the FEGIME Board of Directors met last week for the first time in 2014. As always the main business was to prepare for the next FEGIME General Assembly to be held from 19th – 21st March in Madrid. Amongst other internal topics Managing Director David Garratt presented the current status of the FEGIME Academy project with an online demonstration of the FEGIME e-Learning platform on the fegimeacademy.com website and an update on supplier participation. Projects for the 25th Anniversary Congress next year in Athens were also discussed.
A NEW MEMBER IN LATVIA
Just over a year after expanding to 5 members FEGIME Finland & Baltics can welcome a new member from 01.01.2014 – the Latvian company Elektrika.
Founded in Riga in 2009, Elektrika is today a major player on the Latvian market. With 26 employees and 4 outlets they have almost doubled their turnover since 2011 and plan to increase it to over €8 million in 2014. They offer a full range of electrical products and already work with several FEGIME European Preferred Suppliers. “This is an excellent opportunity for our group to work together even more with our partner suppliers,” said Markus Eronen, President of FEGIME Finland & Baltics and recently elected Board Member of the Finnish Electrotechnical Trade Association (STK). “Not only that,” added Managing Director of FEGIME, David Garratt, “but we will also be strengthening our presence in the Baltic states and gaining a new member of FEGIME Future as at Elektrika the second generation is already involved in the business.”
PUTTING THE FINISHING TOUCHES TO THE FEGIME ACADEMY E-LEARNING PLATFORM
Volunteers from the FEGIME Future group met at Frankfurt Airport to finalise details of the E-learning platform.
05.12.13: “Groups know more” is a general truth that FEGIME Managing Director, David Garratt, wanted to exploit when he invited volunteers from the FEGIME Future group to come to a meeting at Frankfurt Airport to work together on finalising details of the FEGIME Academy E-learning platform. The 15 FEGIME Future members were joined by the potential provider of the system and Antonis Zontos, Managing Director of FEGIME Hellas. As FEGIME Hellas has been operating an E-learning platform now for two years the advice and experience of their colleague from Greece proved invaluable in all the group discussions. “E-Learning is without a doubt the future of education,” said David Garratt. “And for us it is a perfect way of reaching the target groups that we have defined for the FEGIME Academy: our employees, our clients and - last but certainly not least – the FEGIME Future group.”
FEGIME SHAREHOLDER MEETING IN MUNICH
The fourth and final Shareholder Meeting of the year was held in the Bavarian capital, Munich.
13. - 15.11.13: Despite some typically grey November weather in Southern Germany, FEGIME’s final Shareholder Meeting of 2013 was far from dull. As it is the final quarter of the year business development in 2013 and above all forecasts and turnover/bonus maximization with selected suppliers were key points on the agenda. Other topics included updates on suppliers and current FEGIME projects such as the European Database. Managing Director, David Garratt, was pleased to inform the participants that a total of 13 FEGIME countries were now actively working together with FEGIME Deutschland on the project and that everything was progressing according to schedule. Preparations for the 14th Congress in Athens in FEGIME’s 25th Anniversary Year (2015) were also discussed.
FEGIME MEMBER BEW in the UK – WHOLESALER OF THE YEAR 2013
For the second time BEW won the Award as "Wholesaler of the year"
At The Electrical Industry Awards ceremony in the Kensington Garden Hotel, London, in October, BEW Electrical Distributors scooped the Wholesaler of the Year Award for the second year in succession in its category “5 branches or more”. The judges at the Electrical Times commented: "The awards are our way of recognising those in the Electrical Industry who go the extra mile to make it the best it can. BEW crowned off its 30th year by winning for the second time in succession, and we note its customer service, professional excellence and team work." Chairman Philip Webb comments: "With so many “newbies” entering the electrical wholesaling sector, BEW consolidated its position by adding its 13th branch at Cambridge; moving its Chelmsford branch and Head Office to a fantastic new facility, which gives us twice the warehouse and office space of our old branch; as well as planning the move of our Ilford branch early in 2014 to a new, purpose built unit, triple the original’s size. We continue to target the electrical contracting market, large and small, with our quality products; value for money and personal service and we are predicting a growth in excess of 15% for the calendar year 2013. We are thrilled to have collected our second successive win which is a great testimony to our incredible staff, loyal customers and first rate suppliers. My son Alex spearheaded our campaign for the award and it was pleasing to see how his involvement in Fegime Future, even though it was limited, has had some impact on his business acumen and has focused his attention. I think it made him realise “the bigger picture” and what a huge industry we are involved in.”
A EUROPEAN MEETING WITH HAGER
European and Spanish representatives of FEGIME and Hager visit Hager’s La Roca plant near Barcelona.
28.10.2013: Almost 30 years ago Hager began producing small plastic enclosures at La Roca del Valles near Barcelona. Today it employs a total of 65 people who produce goods to the value of € 12 million a year. 75% of these are destined for the European market but the rest travel as far afield as Australia. Peter Caldwell, Hager’s Corporate Marketing Manager, remembers them well from his days with Hager in that country: “The enclosures from La Roca were very important for the development of our market share in Australia. This is one of the smaller Hager facilities but is specialized in specific lines for niche markets. We supply the mass products from our main works in France and Germany.” Before the tour of the facility, the FEGIME and Hager group (in the photo from left to right: Gabriel Casals, Sales Director Hager Spain, Carlos Guiro, Operations Manager FEGIME España, Luis Garriga, Hager Spain, Xavier Valle, President of FEGIME España, David Garratt, FEGIME Managing Director, Jorge Ruiz-Olivares, Managing Director of FEGIME España and Peter Caldwell) discussed the difficult situation on the Spanish market and above all the possibilities of increasing business between Hager and FEGIME.
FEGIME HELLAS OPENS A NEW STORE IN THESSALONIKI
FEGIME Hellas’ new store in Thessaloniki will not only extend the company’s coverage of Greece’s second-largest city but also of the wider area of Northern Greece. This new addition brings the total number of stores up to 37.
FEGIME Hellas has just extended its network of branches with a new store operating in the western area of Thessaloniki (Μonastiriou Street). This store is the third one in the city already and aims to attract customers with its spacious serving space of 1,000 m2 combined with a 24-hour delivery service for 7,000 products from its total range of 105,000. “In this way we will enhance our local presence,” said FEGIME Hellas President, Nikos Kafkas. “And at the same time provide the best possible service for our retail and wholesale customers.”
FIRST DAY OF THE FEGIME ACADEMY LAUNCH MODULE
Over 30 FEGIME Future participants come to Amsterdam to inaugurate the FEGIME Academy project.
15.10.13: The weather wasn’t too good when they arrived but that did not dampen the spirits of the FEGIME Future members who had made the trip to the Dutch capital. They were welcomed by Frank Suntinger, Senior Key Account Manager Philips Lighting, his colleague Stefaan van Hooydonk from the Philips Lighting University and FEGIME Managing Director, David Garratt. Also present was Dr. Patrick Reinmoeller, Professor of Strategic Management at Cranfield School of Management and Associate Professor at the Erasmus University, who tomorrow will begin the module “Innovation through Market Orientation”. “We got to know Patrick at a previous Philips seminar,” said Nuno Lameiras from FEGIME Portugal, “and it was excellent. We are looking forward to working with him again.”
THEBEN PRESENT THEIR NEW CORPORATE IDENTITY
For the past month visitors to the Theben website have certainly noticed that things are different. And not only there: the new Corporate Identity is also already in use for product packaging, at trade fairs, in catalogues and in advertisements in the specialist press.
10.10.2013: When the Theben Area Sales Managers, Gunnar Halm and Edwin Soltek, came to FEGIME Head Office they of course had a PowerPoint presentation with them. This covered the main topics of the meeting: turnover development for the first nine months of the year, status quo in the FEGIME countries and new products. But the very first slide already created a lot of discussions – and not because of its content. It was in the new CI - more modern and emotional - and consequently very different from the “look and feel” of the past. The new CI also shifts the emphasis from the technical aspects of the products – which of course remain very important – towards their practical uses and applications for the customer. “Theben was founded in Stuttgart in 1921,” said Gunnar Halm. “In those days we did all our business on the domestic market. Nowadays – especially due to our KNX activities - we are a very international company. It was time for a change.”
FEGIME POLSKA CELEBRATES ITS 10th ANNIVERSARY IN LODZ
Ten years ago saw the foundation of FEGIME Polska – or PHE as it was then called. In 2005 the group joined FEGIME and continued on its success course. Today it is Number 1 on the Polish market - although some competitor organisations have more than five times as many members.
04.10.13: Izrael Kalmanowicz Poznanski was a textile magnate and philanthropist who became one of the most important - and richest - manufacturers in Lodz at the end of the 19th century. To house himself in appropriate style near his huge factory buildings he built the Poznanski Palace, today still a very impressive building after the recent restoration of the whole site. All in all a very fitting location for the 10th Anniversary celebrations of FEGIME Polska. Amongst the over 100 participants were the 8 members of FEGIME Polska with their Managing Director, Marta Kulza; FEGIME Managing Director, David Garratt, and representatives of all the major Polish suppliers. Before the Gala Dinner, Marta Kulza and Marian Nowak, FEGIME Polska shareholder and member of the Board of Directors of FEGIME, informed the guests about the current projects and strategies of FEGIME at European and local level. “It is very important to hear about everything that is happening at FEGIME. We will do all we can to support them,” said Anna Nowak-Jaworska, Vice President Schneider Electric Polska. “It was a very well organised, informative and enjoyable evening in wonderful surroundings.”
VISIT BY SIEMENS TO FEGIME HEAD OFFICE
From his office in the South of Nuremberg Valentin Dinkelbach, Global Account Manager for FEGIME at Siemens AG, only has a short trip to FEGIME.
26.09.2013: Travel time is only a matter of minutes for Valentin Dinkelbach but that doesn’t make the points on the agenda any less important: reorganization at Siemens from 01.10.2013, reviews of the current year’s business and assessment of the situation in member countries to name just a few. The major topic however was Siemens’ support for FEGIME projects – the European Database Project for example. Klaus Schnaible, FEGIME Deutschland’s IT Manager, joined the meeting to discuss ways of making the most of Siemens’ offer. Similarly for the FEGIME Academy Siemens are very keen to share their experience in the field of online training with FEGIME.
VISIT BY SCHNEIDER TO FEGIME HEAD OFFICE
Julian Adan, Schneider Electric Distribution Channel Director, at FEGIME Head Office - perhaps for the last time before moving on to new challenges within the Schneider organisation next year.
25.09.2013: The sun was shining this week in Nuremberg when Julian Adan visited FEGIME Head Office. But although the weather made a visit to a “Biergarten” or even the “Oktoberfest” in Munich very tempting, there were too many important issues on the agenda that had to take precedence. Reviews of the current year’s business, assessment of the situation in member countries, Schneider’s support for FEGIME projects and above all the mutual strategy for the coming years – these were the points to be discussed.
FEGIME GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN WARSAW
The General Assembly – the third group meeting of the year - was held this year in the Polish capital. FEGIME was delighted to welcome the new colleagues from Israel who – as they joined the group on 01.07.2013 – were attending their first meeting as FEGIME members.
18. - 20.09.13: September so far was a busy month for our Polish colleagues. Even before the important international power industry trade fair Energetab in Bielsko-Biala was officially over the rest of the FEGIME members had arrived in Warsaw for the 2013 General Assembly - not to mention all the preparations for the 10th Anniversary celebrations of FEGIME Polska on 4th October. As well as the balance sheet and review of the year 2012 the topics on the agenda of the General Assembly covered suppliers and business development in 2013 and updates on current FEGIME projects. FEGIME Deutschland Managing Director, Arnold Rauf, presented the progress in the European Database Project and some useful tips from his IT Manager, Klaus Schnaible. Managing Director, David Garratt, was pleased to inform members that a record number of FEGIME Future participants had registered for the “Pocket MBA” Launch Module in Amsterdam (15. – 18.10.2013) which will be the first event of the FEGIME Academy Initiative. Tele-Fonika were the guest suppliers - a home game for them. After a general introduction of the company and products by Ryszard Pilch, Senior Vice President Sales, and Wojciech Wiltowski, Vice President International Distributors Sector, they prepared future cooperation in small, regional discussion groups.
A EUROPEAN KEY ACCOUNT CUSTOMER IN THE MAKING
ZF Friedrichshafen AG is one of the ten largest automotive suppliers worldwide and a global leader in driveline and chassis technology with 121 production companies in 26 countries. In Germany the company has been a Key Account customer of FEGIME Deutschland for several years. The next step is to take this cooperation with FEGIME onto the European level.
13.09.2013: Friday 13th is generally regarded as a very unlucky – or at the least inauspicious – date but for FEGIME Hungary and ZF it could turn out to be quite the opposite. For on Friday 13th September FEGIME Hungary President and CEO of “Daniella Kereskedelmi Kft.”, Ernö Hadnagy, and his Product Manager, Peter Tanyi, came to the ZF plant in Trnava, Slovakia, to meet up with the Slovakian Service Center Procurement team under Zuzana Masarova. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss future cooperation. The Hungarian colleagues already have a lot of experience on the Slovakian market and deliver every week to customers in the nearby capital, Bratislava. Furthermore the FEGIME European Database Project will make it easier to fulfil the technical requirements of such a major Key Account customer especially as far as eProcurement is concerned. And Slovakia is not the only country where such cooperation is a possibility; several others are also in discussion.
A TRULY EUROPEAN MEETING
European and Hungarian representatives of FEGIME, ABB and Thomas & Betts visit the Thomas & Betts plant in Kecskemet near Budapest.
12.09.2013: Since 1999 Thomas & Betts have had production lines in the Heliport Business Park just outside the town of Kecskemet to the South of Budapest. Amongst other products the famous Ty-Rap and Ty-Fast fastenings are made here. “This area used to be a Russian helicopter base – hence the name,” explained Plant Manager, Tamas Insperger. “Now we have 238 employees and produce for three T&B product families: the electrical business unit, emergency lighting and conduits and fittings.” The latter are delivered directly to the UK market but all other production is transported on completion to the Thomas & Betts European Distribution Centre in Belgium. After an interesting tour of the facility, the FEGIME and ABB group (in the photo from left to right: David Garratt, FEGIME Managing Director; Zsuzsanna Nedeczky, FEGIME Hungary Office Manager; Antonino Sala, Sales Manager ABB SpA; Ernő Hadnagy, President of FEGIME Hungary; Norbert Haray, Division Manager, ABB Hungary; Gabor Fejes, Sales Manager, ABB Hungary and Ursula Kurer, ABB Group Vice President Wholesale) was joined by the European Thomas & Betts team: Sergio Bonalumi, Marketing and Sales Manager Europe, and Michael Kemmerling, Business Leader EMEA Wire and Cable Management. There then followed discussions of the possibilities of increasing T&B business in the FEGIME countries in general and Hungary in particular. “It was a very interesting visit,” said FEGIME Hungary President, Ernő Hadnagy, “and I certainly see possibilities for improving cooperation.”
VISIT BY EATON TO FEGIME HEAD OFFICE
Eaton’s European team come to Nuremberg to report on recent developments and plans for the future
11.09.2013: When at the end of last year Eaton and Cooper Industries announced that the acquisition of Cooper was complete, Alexander M. Cutler, Eaton chairman and chief executive officer made the following statement: “The $13 billion acquisition of Cooper, the largest in Eaton’s 101-year history, is a transformational milestone that expands our market segment reach, broadens our portfolio of products, services, and solutions, and strengthens our global geographic footprint.” That this would mean a lot of changes at all levels was quite clear. To present their new strategies at European level Denis Safrany and Richard Rotolo came to FEGIME Head Office. Their colleagues from the Eaton country organisations are in the process of doing the same locally. It will certainly be an exciting time, as Richard Rotolo said: “We are convinced that we have found an excellent way of combining our brands for the benefit of our customers in the distribution channel.”