The best possible customer experience

Das bestmögliche Kundenerlebnis

What topics exerted an impact on Lekkerland in 2017? In the context of an interview, the
Board of Management outlines the main topic areas and discusses the challenges that lie ahead
for the company.

Patrick Steppe

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Responsible for strategy, ­business development, sales / marketing, purchasing, category management, human ­resources (HR) and communications, as well as for the ­management of all national ­companies in the Lekkerland Group.

Competition in convenience is very dynamic. How is Lekkerland responding to this?
PATRICK STEPPE_Convenience has developed into a mindset and can no longer be limited to a segment or a channel. The customer experience is the key factor for success in the increasing competition among convenience providers. In many cases, this experience needs to be improved in the channels we are serving so that they are able to come out ahead of providers like food retailers and bakeries. This involves supporting our customers in the context of our strategic approach “Retail Enablement”.

What does this mean in concrete terms?
PATRICK STEPPE_We provide our customers with tailor-made solutions that enable them to meet the changing needs of consumers in relation to ambience, quality and product range. Examples of this are our bistro and coffee concepts, offers for optimising existing shops and our shop concept “Frischwerk”.

Dr. Jochen Großpietsch

Chief Supply Chain Officer (CSCO)

Responsible for logistics, quality,
facility management and digitalisation business

How was the business year 2017?
Dr. EDGAR C. LANGE_The last business year was challenging. Our sales eased slightly to 12.8 billion euros.

The reasons for this included the continued overall increase in competitive intensity, the declining tobacco market and the gradual discontinuation of a major customer in Germany. ­Notwithstanding these challenges, we succeeded in continuing to increase the gross profit and the result from operations before financial result.

Dr Großpietsch, since October 2017, you have been responsible for the supply chain and ­digitalisation. What is your impression of Lekkerland in these areas?
Dr. JOCHEN GROßPIETSCH_ ­­Lekkerland has very stable logistics. We succeed in meeting very complex demands with a high level of efficiency. However, we are not satisfied with the status quo. In future, we will look even more closely at how the processes and solutions can be designed to be even more customer-friendly.

Digitalisation is an important precursor for our strategy and we are working on a lot of very promising projects and initiatives. We now want to accelerate the pace at which we introduce new tools and solutions.

 Dr. Edgar C. Lange

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Responsible for finance, ­controlling, treasury, legal affairs, internal audit, risk ­management / internal control system (ICS), IT and mergers & ­acquisitions (M&A)

What topics will impact on ­Lekkerland in 2018?
PATRICK STEPPE_Our goal is clear: We want to be “Your most convenient partner” for our customers. As far as we are concerned, this means configuring all our processes and solutions so that they are as easy, uncomplicated and convenient as possible but also outstanding best-in-class quality and relevant services for the retailer. This means that they have more time for their customers – the consumers.

We also want to expand our market position in the area of organised food service and establish ourselves as one of the leading supply chain partners in system gastronomy.

Dr. EDGAR C. LANGE_We are continuing to work consistently on our process and IT landscape, Become One. This involves a number of aspects with a key project being the go-live for the German national company in 2019.

Dr. JOCHEN GROßPIETSCH_One focus will be the ongoing development of our web shops and the introduction of additional digital offers, including digital delivery tracking. We will also continue to work intensively on implementing Track & Trace in order to meet the requirements of the European Tobacco Product Directive (TPD II) for 2019.

How do you assess business ­development for 2018?
Dr. EDGAR C. LANGE_In view of the ongoing challenging framework conditions, we are expecting to follow the highly gratifying year 2017 with a result at the good level of 2016 during the coming business year.