FAMP 2018: PREPARING LEADERS FOR TOMORROW

This year’s Module of the FEGIME Academy Management Programme (FAMP) started on Monday and is being attended by 50 next generation entrepreneurs. Once again it is full, and once again it is a very international event. Participants come from 15 FEGIME countries and 15 of them are taking part in a FAMP for the first time. The host Business School is – once again - SDA Bocconi School of Management in Milan.

After a very successful FAMP in 2015 it was not a difficult decision to return to SDA Bocconi this year. An excellent programme – created and led by Programme Director, Prof. Paolo Morosetti – combined with top class accreditation – in 2018 Bocconi has been ranked 6th in Europe and 7th in the world by the Financial Times for such custom education programmes – made the decision even easier. The topic of this year’s Module is: “Preparing Leaders for Tomorrow” – an essential topic for the FEGIME Future group. The first day confronted the 50 FEGIME next generation entrepreneurs with a lot of essential questions: What is the right strategy for my family business? What are the pitfalls to be avoided at all cost? What is the future of electrical wholesaling? These were skilfully answered and aptly illustrated by Morosetti and colleague Carnevale Maffè. And the conclusion was that, even in the challenging digital age, wholesalers have the opportunity to become almost an institution with a pivotal role – with the appropriate strategic and scenario planning. The second day was more practical with Olga Annushkina providing a guide to scenario planning and Beatrice Bauer offering inspirational tips on the topic of leadership and the vital question: “How do I engage and empower co-workers?” Later Olga and Paolo returned to help participants in their group work for this year’s Tool to Take Home: “From Scenario Planning to an Action Plan”. This will provide participants with practical tools to not only identify new business opportunities for their companies but also to implement them – and thus future-proof their businesses back home.

50 FEGIME next generation entrepreneurs from 15 FEGIME countries are taking part in the 2018 FAMP in Milan – with (centre) FEGIME Managing Director, David Garratt
50 FEGIME next generation entrepreneurs from 15 FEGIME countries are taking part in the 2018 FAMP in Milan – with (centre) FEGIME Managing Director, David Garratt

FEGIME DAY IN GREECE

Our Greek colleagues celebrated FEGIME Day in all the 59 outlets throughout the country.

This year our Greek colleagues celebrated FEGIME day with lots of activities and surprises for their customers. A newsletter informing suppliers, customers and employees was used as the main communication vehicle to address different audiences and raise awareness about the FEGIME organization. On FEGIME Day special discounts were offered to customers when purchasing FEGIME partner suppliers’ products. In every store in the nation-wide network sales representatives wore special FEGIME t-shirts to welcome customers and explain the spirit of the day. A special event was organized in the newly opened store in the Oinofyta area north of Athens, inviting both B2C and B2B potential and existing customers to celebrate the day and join in the fun by – for example - participating in a lottery with more than one hundred surprises. And of course, they captured the best moments on video. Visit our YouTube channel to see for yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uljWzkyii7A

Our Greek colleagues welcoming customers to FEGIME Day. Also available as a video on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uljWzkyii7A
Our Greek colleagues welcoming customers to FEGIME Day. Also available as a video on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uljWzkyii7A

FEGIME DAY IN POLAND

Once again, our Polish colleagues were very creative and came up with lots of great ideas to celebrate FEGIME Day throughout the country – and even further afield!

For FEGIME Day 2018 in Poland the group Purchasing Directors met at Head Office in Lodz. First up on the agenda was of course traditional, blue FEGIME cake. Otherwise the major topic was the EU’s GDPR legislation and the procedures necessary to protect the private data of customers and employees. To promote both this important issue and the ELECTROtools app (also available in Polish) a FEGIME branded laptop camera cover was distributed to participants (see photo on the right). As in previous years Polish members also organised customer events at their premises – we will be reporting later. In 2016 the most ambitious project was undertaken by a team from Grodno – and this year was no different. They went on another epic motorcycle trip – this time travelling over 5,000 km to the mountains of Tajikistan.

FEGIME cakes and laptop camera covers for FEGIME Day in Poland
FEGIME cakes and laptop camera covers for FEGIME Day in Poland

FEGIME DAY IN LATVIA

FEGIME Finland & Baltics member Elektrika SIA – supported by their partner suppliers - celebrated FEGIME Day 2018 with an open day for customers at their premises in the Latvian capital Riga.

With the support of partner suppliers our Latvian colleagues, Elektrika SIA, invited customers to an open day at their premises in Riga. As well as booths from partner suppliers, breakout meetings and many interesting products from our sector there were – as ever - some nice things to eat in FEGIME style and some fun activities such as darts, a raffle, music from a DJ and virtual reality gaming. The good mixture of work and play made the event a great success and it was attended by over 100 customers. At the weekend employees and their families left for the Latvian countryside for a sports and leisure event together.

Elektrika’s owner, Aleksandr Smertjev, picking the winners of the FEGIME Day raffle
Elektrika’s owner, Aleksandr Smertjev, picking the winners of the FEGIME Day raffle

FEGIME DAY IN SPAIN

FEGIME Espana celebrated FEGIME Day by meeting up with partners and suppliers in Galicia.

In Spain FEGIME Day was celebrated by FEGIME Espana getting together with partners and suppliers to take a boat trip to an island in Galicia. Most of our Spanish colleagues took part - along with several partner suppliers including European Preferred Suppliers Schneider, Prysmian and Televes just to name a few.

FEGIME Espana with partners and suppliers waiting for the boat to take them on their FEGIME Day trip
FEGIME Espana with partners and suppliers waiting for the boat to take them on their FEGIME Day trip

FEGIME ROMANIA AT THE AMR GENERAL ASSEMBLY

In the presence of more than 60 mayors of Romanian municipalities, representatives of FEGIME Romania presented “SMART LIGHTING FOR THE CITIES” at the General Assembly of the Romanian Association of Municipalities (AMR) in Constanta.

The President of FEGIME Romania, Florin Niculae and the General Manager, Costin Cuneşteanu, were very happy to have the opportunity to present “SMART LIGHTING FOR THE CITIES” at the General Assembly of the Romanian Association of Municipalities recently held in Constanta on the Black Sea. Costin Cuneşteanu talked about the new challenges for cities, the transformations through which public lighting passes and the advantages of implementing intelligent lighting: low energy consumption, increased comfort and safety for the citizens and the possibility of integrating with other intelligent systems – to name but a few. At the end of the event, FEGIME Romania with the assistance of European Preferred Supplier Signify made a real-time demonstration of the functioning of an intelligent lighting system in the inner courtyard of the Administrative Palace. The Romanian Association of Municipalities (AMR) includes all 103 municipalities in Romania, as well as the 6 sectors of Bucharest Municipality, in total 109 members, representing about 10.5 million inhabitants. The organisation stimulates and supports municipal initiatives and actions, provides advice and supports their efforts in the overall approach to the alignment with European standards.

Costin Cuneşteanu (left) & Florin Niculae (right) demonstrating the “CityTouch” lighting system with the assistance of partner supplier Signify
Costin Cuneşteanu (left) & Florin Niculae (right) demonstrating the “CityTouch” lighting system with the assistance of partner supplier Signify

FEGIME SHAREHOLDER MEETING IN KIEV

The second FEGIME Shareholder Meeting of 2018 was in other ways a first: the first ever FEGIME Meeting to be held in the Ukraine. The location was the capital, Kiev.

FEGIME’s second Shareholder Meeting of 2018 was the first ever to be held in the Ukraine. On the agenda were FEGIME’s “Strategy 2020+”, best practice exchanges, updates on the FEGIME Advanced Management Programme 2018 – to be held this year with SDA Bocconi in Milan – and the FEGIME Congress 2019, as well as internal business reviews and meetings with partner suppliers. As is customary the meeting also saw the annual change in the Board of Directors: current President, Nikos Kafkas from FEGIME Hellas & Cyprus, stepped down from the Board to be replaced by Kerstin Steffens, FEGIME Deutschland, and Willem Schuurman, FEGIME Nederland, took over the presidency.

In Kiev FEGIME members enjoyed not only wonderful hospitality from their Ukrainian colleagues but also perfect weather
In Kiev FEGIME members enjoyed not only wonderful hospitality from their Ukrainian colleagues but also perfect weather

TODAY IS FEGIME DAY 2018

On and around 29th June this year in all FEGIME countries events are taking place to celebrate FEGIME’s values. After its successful introduction in 2016 FEGIME Day is now a permanent fixture on the annual agenda.

A whole week of events in Norway. A supplier day in Spain. Employee events in Romania, Ireland, Latvia and Poland. A special catalogue in Hungary. These are examples of events taking place throughout FEGIME countries on and around FEGIME Day 2018. In this way the FEGIME family will continue to grow closer and spread its values across Europe – and now with FEGIME LatAm into the world. We will be reporting in more detail about these events online and in our “FEGIME Voice” Newsletter.

THE FEGIME LIGHTING COMMITTEE MEETS LEDVANCE

FEGIME’s latest initiative - the Lighting Committee – is picking up momentum. The recent meeting hosted by Ledvance at their HQ in Garching near Munich was attended by 10 participants from 9 FEGIME countries. It provided an excellent opportunity both to discuss with the hosts – including CEO Jacob Tarn - and to push internal projects forward.

Ledvance’s HQ in Garching near Munich is a very practical location for international meetings. Not only is it very close to Munich airport but also all the Ledvance lighting experts are on hand to discuss the latest trends, products and developments in one of the most dynamic sectors of our industry. When the 10 FEGIME Lighting Committee Members from 9 countries arrived, first up for the Ledvance team was none other than CEO Jacob Tarn. His aim is to transform Ledvance into a “global, innovative, full-scale lighting company” and he is pleased with the progress so far. In less than 2 years Ledvance has gone from being a manufacturer of traditional lamps, to a global lighting company with an impressively wide range of LED solutions. And their latest professional luminaires were the next topic on the agenda. To present them, FEGIME’s host and Global Account Manager, Bernd Kobusch, introduced his specialist colleague Nuno Paiva, Head of Luminaires Europe. After new products the next topic – logically – is marketing and Klaas Heinrichs, eCommerce Sales Director eRetail Western Europe, explained to the group all the ways in which he and his colleagues could support FEGIME members in their online business. An overview and discussion of FEGIME/Ledvance business then brought the day to a close. The event was rounded off next day by a FEGIME internal meeting to work on the Lighting Committee’s initiatives: the FEGIME Lighting Survey and lighting strategy for the future.

The FEGIME Lighting Committee with their Ledvance hosts in Garching
The FEGIME Lighting Committee with their Ledvance hosts in Garching

FEGIME BECOMES GLOBAL

At their General Assembly in Munich the members of FEGIME unanimously voted to accept the application for membership of Grupo REDELEC Argentina S.A. from 01.01.2019. But the new colleagues’ ambition does not stop here. In the near future they want to expand not only nationally but also internationally on the South American continent. To accommodate this, the new organisation’s name will be FEGIME LATAM. Through the addition of Latin America the number of FEGIME member organisations will increase to 19.

Redelec was founded in 2001 and has long since established itself as the biggest group in Argentina with a market share of ca. 35%. It currently has 15 member wholesalers with a total of 30 outlets and 1,000 employees. The group is active in all the business areas of our sector and already does substantial turnover with several FEGIME Preferred Suppliers. The contact between the groups began over 15 years ago when founding members of Redelec visited FEGIME members in Spain for an exchange of ideas and best practices amongst independents. The result was a very similar group with a similar vision, philosophy and mission - a solid foundation for working together which was already strengthened by Cooperation Agreement in October 2016. Vice President of Redelec, Pablo Balán, said: “I am delighted that we have been accepted as a member of FEGIME. I am convinced that this step will be a game changer for our market – and also those of neighbouring countries. We are already in the process of linking up with like-minded, independent wholesalers in Uruguay, Bolivia and Peru who we expect soon to join FEGIME LATAM. In this way we will all gain from the exchange of ideas and best practices within FEGIME.” Nikos Kafkas, President of FEGIME, added: “Our Argentinian colleagues are a close-knit, highly motivated and dynamic group. I look forward to working with them in the future and learning more about their numerous projects. We have a lot to offer each other and we will all benefit from this new alliance. As will our partner suppliers of course. We are now opening up a whole new continent to them.”

The Boards and Managing Directors of FEGIME and Redelec celebrate together after the vote at FEGIME’s General Assembly in Munich
The Boards and Managing Directors of FEGIME and Redelec celebrate together after the vote at FEGIME’s General Assembly in Munich

FEGIME GAINS ITS FIRST LOCAL MEMBER IN LITHUANIA

Retrospectively from January 1st the family-owned Lithuanian company Elektrokomplektas UAB has become a member of FEGIME Finland & Baltics. Elektrokomplektas is one of the biggest players in our sector in Lithuania and is financed with 100% local capital.

Founded in 1993 by Audrius Šukys Elektrokomplektas is today one of the market leaders in Lithuania in its sector. The company has over 40 employees and branches in all 5 major cities: Panevėžys (where it is based), the capital Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda and Šiauliai. It is a specialist in cables but offers the full range of electro technical products. The company already works with several FEGIME European Preferred Suppliers including ABB, Draka, GE, Nexans, OBO Bettermann, Prysmian and Schneider Electric. Since the foundation of FEGIME Finland & Baltics in 2008 Lithuania has always been a part of the group’s geographical range but this is the first company from the country to become a member. FEGIME Finland & Baltics Managing Director, Dennis Belajevs: “We are very happy to welcome Elektrokomplektas to FEGIME. The population of Lithuania is approximately 3 million and the electrical wholesale market is estimated at around €180 million. With our new member we now have a market share of ca. 15%. We are confident that soon more companies will follow and we will be able to improve our market share in the whole Baltic region even further.”

Board Members from right to left: Audrius Šukys, founder, owner and CEO, Justina Šimkienė (née Šukyte), Purchasing and Logistics Manager, and Vilius Šukys.
Board Members from right to left: Audrius Šukys, founder, owner and CEO, Justina Šimkienė (née Šukyte), Purchasing and Logistics Manager, and Vilius Šukys.

FEGIME FINLAND & BALTICS AT THE SÄHKÖ-TELE-VALO-AV FAIR

Last week the biannual International Trade Fair for Electricity, Telecommunications, Light and Audiovisual was held in Jyväskylä, Central Finland. FEGIME’s Finnish members were well represented.

Every second year representatives from our sector in Finland meet for three days in February at the International Trade Fair for Electricity, Telecommunications, Light and Audiovisual (or in Finnish: Sähkö - Tele - Valo – AV) in Jyväskylä. With almost 250 exhibitors and a total area of 9,331 square metres the fair is the biggest of its kind in the country. Once again this year FEGIME’s Finnish members were well represented. Markus Eronen, President of FEGIME Finland & Baltics, commented: “There was of course a lot of new technology to be seen this year. At the EL-Parts booth we concentrated on virtual reality and were happy to make demonstrations to many of the over 14,000 trade visitors – including our FEGIME European Preferred Suppliers OBO Bettermann!”

Frank Dahl (left), Benjamin Echtermann (right) & Andreas Bettermann from OBO join Markus Eronen, for a demonstration of virtual reality at his company’s stand at the fair
Frank Dahl (left), Benjamin Echtermann (right) & Andreas Bettermann from OBO join Markus Eronen, for a demonstration of virtual reality at his company’s stand at the fair

A NEW MEMBER IN UKRAINE

As of December 21st, 2017 FEGIME Ukraine has a new member: the company SFERALINE LTD based in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.

At the very end of last year SFERALINE LTD joined FEGIME Ukraine taking the group’s number of members up to a total of six. The company was founded in Kiev six years ago and is a specialist provider of electrical equipment, cable and lighting products. Among its partners are several European Preferred Suppliers including GE, OBO Bettermann and Schneider Electric. On site at its headquarters in the Ukrainian capital it has a logistic centre and its own warehouse handling over 40,000 SKUs. SFERALINE also has subsidiaries in the Ukraine’s major regional centres.

CYPRUS JOINS THE FEGIME FAMILY

Our Greek colleagues - in their search for new business opportunities - have turned their attention to the booming Cypriot market.

Our Greek colleagues - in their search for new business opportunities - have turned their attention to the booming Cypriot market. As of 2018, KAFKAS will enhance their commercial presence on the island including a store there for the first time. To accommodate this development FEGIME Hellas has been transformed into FEGIME Hellas & Cyprus with immediate effect. The Republic of Cyprus has a population of ca. 1.2 million and has been an EU member since 2004.

A NEW MEMBER IN FRANCE

As of January 1st, 2018 the company Legallais will be joining Algorel, Algorel électricité and FEGIME France. Founded over 125 years ago in Caen, Normandy, the new colleagues are market leaders in the fields of hardware and tooling but as a provider of building solutions also very strong in plumbing, heating and electrical material.

Legallais today is still a family business. Founded in 1889 by Daniel Legallais in Caen, Normandy, it has grown to become a market leader in the fields of hardware and tools. With an annual turnover of €235 million, it employs more than 900 people in 15 outlets spread throughout France between the Channel and the Mediterranean coasts. As a provider of building solutions our new colleagues are also very strong in plumbing, heating and electrical material. And it is to take the opportunity to develop these sectors even further that they have joined Algorel.

FAMP 2017: HOW TO MANAGE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

Digital technologies combined with new customer behaviour will transform entire industries or simply our lives. To make sure FEGIME members will be able to continue playing a decisive role in the digital age, the topic of this year’s Module of the FEGIME Academy Management Programme – FAMP – was: How to Manage Digital Transformation. And once again it was attended by 51 next generation entrepreneurs. Participants came from 14 FEGIME countries and 12 of them were taking part in a FAMP for the first time. The host Business School was ESCP Europe at its German campus in Berlin–Charlottenburg.

We live in the early days of the so-called 4th Industrial Revolution. Machines support humans, replace them and communicate with both other machines and humans. The world has become volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous: a VUCA world. Obviously the digital age is knocking at all our doors. It is a vital development that all FEGIME wholesalers and family businesses in general just cannot afford to ignore. For this reason “How to Manage Digital Transformation” was chosen as the topic of this year’s Module of the FEGIME Academy Management Programme – FAMP. So for a whole week in October 51 next generation entrepreneurs from 14 FEGIME countries - 12 of them taking part in a FAMP for the first time – met up at ESCP Europe’s German campus in Berlin–Charlottenburg. Established in 1819 in Paris, ESCP Europe is the world’s first and oldest business school. With its 6 European campuses it is ranked a Top Three school in several countries and is currently 12th in Europe in the overall Financial Times “European Business Schools” ranking. In 2017 the Core Subjects at the FAMP were: Managing Digital Transformation, Digital Marketing, Digital Strategy & Technologies, Big Data and Digital Business Models. In addition the Soft Skills were Digital Competence and Digital Leadership. The FAMP aimed above all to help participants learn about new technologies, new customer behaviour, new ways of doing business and new ways of leading. Markus Bick, Professor for Information Systems at ESCP Europe, designed the course to offer an interdisciplinary and collaborative learning experience. Based on lectures, real business challenges, academic mentoring, and peer learning a conceptual grounding was provided to facilitate multiple discussions on the changing landscape of wholesale and family business. Moreover participants applied conceptual frameworks, practical tools and guidelines directly to solve various digital challenges related to FEGIME, its members, partners and customers. The whole week was pointed at the “Tool to Take Home”. The main objective was to examine digital strategies following a bottom-up approach for family businesses thus developing and crafting potential new digital projects for FEGIME. At the end of the week 11 such digital initiatives were presented to the President of FEGIME, Nikos Kafkas from FEGIME Hellas: “I was very impressed both by the amazing spirit of the group and above all by their excellent ideas and the extremely high level of professionalism with which they were presented,” he commented after the Graduation Ceremony. “It has been a great experience for me to attend the last session of the FAMP. Congratulations FEGIME Future!”

What role could Virtual Reality play in the future of wholesaling? Just one example of the questions FEGIME Future worked on together at the 2017 FAMP
What role could Virtual Reality play in the future of wholesaling? Just one example of the questions FEGIME Future worked on together at the 2017 FAMP

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.

FEGIME España’s Supplier Fair in Madrid
FEGIME España’s Supplier Fair in Madrid

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.”

FEGIME colleagues from across Europe taking a good look at Philips Lighting’s connected lighting technologies
FEGIME colleagues from across Europe taking a good look at Philips Lighting’s connected lighting technologies

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.”

Nordic Summit: AO’s Lars Kestner, CSO (Electrical), and CPO Ian Schlottmann (right & second from right) in discussion with their FEGIME Norge colleagues Bjørn Amundsen and Hege Amundsen Elvestad
Nordic Summit: AO’s Lars Kestner, CSO (Electrical), and CPO Ian Schlottmann (right & second from right) in discussion with their FEGIME Norge colleagues Bjørn Amundsen and Hege Amundsen Elvestad

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.”

FEGIME Deutschland’s IT Manager, Klaus Schnaible, gives the Portuguese team a practical demonstration of the central data management service at FEGIME.
FEGIME Deutschland’s IT Manager, Klaus Schnaible, gives the Portuguese team a practical demonstration of the central data management service at FEGIME.

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 event in Romania
FEGIME Day event in Romania

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.

Members of the Nowa Elektro team enjoying their table soccer tournament
Members of the Nowa Elektro team enjoying their table soccer tournament

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.

Tasty FEGIME Day cupcakes were on the menu in Spain
Tasty FEGIME Day cupcakes were on the menu 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.

FEGIME Day Regatta in Riga
FEGIME Day Regatta in Riga

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.”

The hosts of the 15th FEGIME Congress in Warsaw: FEGIME Polska
The hosts of the 15th FEGIME Congress in Warsaw: FEGIME Polska

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 enjoying the very “hands-on” approach to the products at HellermannTyton in Tornesch
FEGIME Future enjoying the very “hands-on” approach to the products at HellermannTyton in Tornesch

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.

Andreas Bettermann in the Family Protocol discussion with FEGIME Future during the group work in Bugyi
Andreas Bettermann in the Family Protocol discussion with FEGIME Future during the group work in Bugyi

FEGIME BELGIUM

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.”

The FEGIME group 80m below Jerusalem in the tunnels of the »HaUma« Railway Station construction site
The FEGIME group 80m below Jerusalem in the tunnels of the »HaUma« Railway Station construction site

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.

John Powell, President of FEGIME, participating in the panel discussion with FEGIME España’s partner suppliers Simon, Schneider & General Cable
John Powell, President of FEGIME, participating in the panel discussion with FEGIME España’s partner suppliers Simon, Schneider & General Cable

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.”

Members of the Board of Directors of Redelec visiting FEGIME Head Office
Members of the Board of Directors of Redelec visiting FEGIME Head Office

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.

Record attendance: 51 participants at the 2016 Module in Ashridge, UK
Record attendance: 51 participants at the 2016 Module in Ashridge, UK

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.

The Salon Algorel was a great success with two thousand participants
The Salon Algorel was a great success with two thousand participants

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.

On top of the world: Team Grodno at the Khardung La Pass in Kashmir
On top of the world: Team Grodno at the Khardung La Pass in Kashmir

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 Hungary is being celebrated with a catalogue of special offers
FEGIME Day in Hungary is being celebrated with a catalogue of special offers

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!

Nice things to eat at FEGIME Day in Latvia
Nice things to eat at FEGIME Day in Latvia

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.

Meeting Werner von Siemens at the Med Museum in Erlangen: Chiara Cereda, FEGIME Future, Italy
Meeting Werner von Siemens at the Med Museum in Erlangen: Chiara Cereda, FEGIME Future, Italy

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 Hellas visit new European Preferred Supplier HellermannTyton at their stand at the Light+Building Fair
FEGIME Hellas visit new European Preferred Supplier HellermannTyton at their stand at the Light+Building 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.

The President of Algorel, Nicolas Mugnier (left), illustrates synergies between the plumbing and electricity sectors to Katalin Rozsa, FEGIME Hungary, and other FEGIME members
The President of Algorel, Nicolas Mugnier (left), illustrates synergies between the plumbing and electricity sectors to Katalin Rozsa, FEGIME Hungary, and other FEGIME 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 Future members get to grips with the new LEDVANCE luminaires at the workshop in Munich
FEGIME Future members get to grips with the new LEDVANCE luminaires at the workshop in Munich

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!”

The stand of FEGIME Finland & Baltics member ELParts at the Sähkö - Tele - Valo – AV Fair
The stand of FEGIME Finland & Baltics member ELParts at the Sähkö - Tele - Valo – AV Fair

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.

A “photo mosaic” depicting all three of FEGIME Portugal’s Anniversary events in 2015
A “photo mosaic” depicting all three of FEGIME Portugal’s Anniversary events in 2015

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.

One possibility for a specialised wholesaler of the future: The City Life Specialist working to create smart buildings designed according to the end user’s needs
One possibility for a specialised wholesaler of the future: The City Life Specialist working to create smart buildings designed according to the end user’s needs