KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT & BEST PRACTICES
Gerstaecker is the European leading art supplies retailer and is established in nine countries at the beginning of 2019: Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain. Acting as a major mailorder company in France and the United Kingdom since 1999 and 2001 with an e-commerce website, a catalogue and several prints, Gerstaecker wanted to strengthen their online presence and embrace a digital transformation strategy. Alongside this strategy, the plan was to launch the business in Belgium and Spain.
Gerstaecker was looking to develop synergies in their organisation and particularly in the management of the French, British, Belgium and Spanish markets.
Collaboration and team work have been fostering throughout the years! Several multicultural and international teams have been deployed to work on specific multi-countries projects.
This strategy of sharing best practices also contributed to better take into account countries' specificities and legislations. Unifying and sharing tools, working together on the same projects as well as listening, understanding and integrating each other's specificities: this has always been the aim.
I implemented several guides and manuals gathering best practices from the different subsidiaries, benchmark and market analysis:
training manuals for sales assistants and managers;
wiki for shared tools (PIM, back office, EPOS system, ERP software...).
The organisation of retail trips throughout Europe has been beneficial for the teams and encouraged curiosity among them. It made them share a lot, and especially between the French, British, Belgian and Spanish teams.
Transmission and sharing of best practices and knowledge are a key success factor throughout the different stages of a company growth:
in its on-boarding strategy, in order to retain employees and limit recruitments;
in its human resources management in order to allow a rapid integration and a consistency of the procedures within the teams;
in its growing phase by fostering observation, integration and adaptation of best practices;
in its maturity stage, in order to always challenge its business model and encourage innovation.
Results on the teams are very interesting, with such an approach, they are empowered, more responsible, aware and fully integrated to the company's information flow and process. Information and knowledge are no longer accessible by a few but to all!
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With mkngconsulting, I act as an Off- & Online Retail Consultant.
What do I mean by off- and online retail?
Over the past decade, we heard a lot about adopting a "multichannel" or an "omnichannel" strategy. More recently, we have been using the terms "new retail" or "phygital" or even "smart phygital". In the long run, it seems we are trying to label in a new way what is retail and what retail has become over the years: global and interconnected.
Offline on one hand, with every tangible elements, materials or human ressources: a catalogue, print materials - promotional or not -, employees, a retail store, a pop-up store, presence - mercantile or not - on a fair...).
Online on the other hand with all the elements of a digital strategy: with a website - ecommerce or not -, an online store on a marketplace, a blog, emailings campaigns, an affiliation programme, presence on search engines - paid or organic -...).
I truly believe there is a need to highlight those two aspects - off- and online - as part of a retail strategy, now and in the future.