How would you describe the future relationship between the core business of cash & carry and FSD on the one hand and SME Services on the other?
Nothing in isolation. That’s the basic rule. Everything we do must be worthwhile for the core business. Anything that isn’t, isn’t a solution. This combination of services and product ranges puts our core business centre stage, and that has to be the goal.
Could there also come a point in future where the good profit margins are generated by the SME services and the core business primarily enables frequency of contact and maintains the customer relationship?
Of course, it would be wrong to give these services and solutions away for free. They need to sustain themselves. But at the moment I don’t see us redefining the core business in the short or medium term. Our core business is food. End of story.
We’re currently launching SME Services in Germany. Are there solutions that also work one-to-one in other countries or will individual solutions for SMEs be developed country by country?
I believe that 80% of what we are currently developing in Germany can be applied on an international level. That is especially true of financing solutions and food service equipment; dealer networks in the countries in question need to be integrated locally. The blueprint that we’re implementing in Germany is a good template for the roll-out, which is why we are including the national companies in other countries in all these activities at an early stage.
How is success measured?
The customer defines success. No one else. If we market something that no one is interested in, then it’s not a success. If we cannot convince the other countries that it will generate value for them, then it’s not a success. However, if the customer understands the services as a value promise and by doing so becomes more loyal to our company and our core business, then it’s a success.