24.01.2011 - 10:00 Uhr

“Retail+”: mobilcom-debitel Shops significantly increase efficiency

mobilcom-debitel Shop
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mobilcom-debitel Shop


• Productivity boosted above expectations
• Expansion to franchise stores from February

‘Retail +’ is the name of the mobilcom-debitel Shop GmbH performance-enhancement programme that has now ended as planned after about six months. The aims of ‘Retail +’ were ambitious: to increase the sales performance index (SPI) of each participating branch by 20 percent through intensive information and knowledge exchange. After the conclusion and subsequent analysis of ‘Retail +’ it is clear that this goal was not only achieved but actually surpassed.
‘Retail +’ was a project of unprecedented magnitude for mobilcom-debitel Shop GmbH, with around 360 shops and more than 400 employees taking part during the project period. In each of 12 waves around 30 employees temporarily changed shops for four weeks. During the job swaps, not only did participants contribute their own experience to the new environment, they also brought back success stories from their temporary job placement back to their own place of employment. As Christoph Preuss, a Managing Director of mobilcom-debitel Shop GmbH, reports: "The bar was set quite high with an increase of around 20 percent. The fact that we have exceeded that goal makes us proud and validates our approach."

The reasons for this success are clear to Preuss: "We put the store manager at the centre of all actions. Of course, he got help from the field sales team, senior management and even the executive board. But at the end of the day the shop managers were responsible for the success of all on-site activities." For example, Joachim Preisig, Chief Financial Officer at freenet AG, visited the shops himself to take an active part in the ‘Retail +’ programme. ‘Captains’, which included Executive Board members and senior management, made 348 shop visits in all. "During the programme period, great enthusiasm was seen across all hierarchies," says Preuss. "Whether it was Executive Board members, managing directors, sales staff, shop managers or shop employees, everyone involved pulled together to ensure the enduring success of ‘Retail +’.”

A performance management programme was specially developed to support the shop managers: a Sales Performance Index categorised into various segments such as contract renewal, credit agreements, and sales of electricity or accessories. By assigning different weightings to each of these segments, shops could compensate for areas where there was little hope of improving their performance due to their location, with another area. "In this way we gave our shop managers an effective way to demonstrate initiative and responsibility,” says Jochen Otterbach, a Managing Director of mobilcom-debitel Shop GmbH. "If, for example, there was very aggressive pricing by a local electricity provider in the region, the electricity segment could be compensated for with accessories or DSL." Additional tools for root-cause analysis and goal-setting helped identify possible weak points, analyse them and transform them into strengths, he says. Thus, “pencil selling” proved to be a particularly effective means of sales promotion that benefited both customers and sales staff. "The sales staff writes down the benefits of the offer for the customer, who takes the printout home with them. As a result, the ratio of customers who return to the shop to accept the offer has increased significantly," says Otterbach. And participating stores weren’t the only ones to benefit from ‘Retail +’; the other shops also benefited from the positive effects of the employee swaps between stores and regions.

The end of ‘Retail +’ also marks a new beginning: ‘Franchise +’ was launched in February 2011. “The idea is to transfer the positive experiences of ‘Retail +’ from our shops to the franchise stores, where we are running a separate performance-improvement programme for our franchisees,” says mobilcom-debitel Shop GmbH Managing Director Hubert Kluske, whose responsibilities include the 150 franchise partners. The agreed targets are identical to those of ‘Retail +’: “As well as achieving significant - and above all sustained – sales growth across all product categories, we especially want to give franchise partners an opportunity to gain new impetus for their work at their ‘own’ POS by temporarily working at another site. This benefits the shops, the employees and the company alike,” says Kluske.

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