Marketplace in Poland:  Expert talks and networking in a relaxed atmosphere

More than 220 participants met in the heart of Poland on 15 and 16 June for this year’s FORMATplus Dealer Marketplace. Besides the Polish members and the staff of EDE International and E/D/E, more than 30 suppliers found their way to a prestigious industrial location, the old cotton factory in Pabianice.

As is well known, the B2B world is “upside down” at the EDE Marketplaces and so 150 people from the dealer group, were able to welcome around 30 suppliers to their stands. In addition to the member stands, there were also information stands with updates on the E/D/E trade brands (and sales concepts) FORMAT, Fortis and E-Coll.

The event began with an evening event with a supporting programme, where all participants could “warm up” old business contacts as well as make new contacts in a relaxed atmosphere. A creative show concluded the event with an invitation to join in. Many participants responded to this invitation and enjoyed the entertaining evening.

The highlight was the second day with the marketplace itself, where the focus was on the effective and professional exchange about market trends and especially product innovations of the numerous market participants in the usual professional manner. 

In the end, the conclusion was consistently positive: the marketplace on site and especially the personal exchange was very well received by the participants. The FORMAT members particularly emphasised the professional appearance of the contract suppliers throughout, including the wide-ranging product presentations.

In conclusion, Mirosław Stefański von Centrala techniczna STEM expressed his satisfaction: “All in all, a great event!”

See you in Poland again in 2 years.

Successful FORMATplus Marketplace in Trnava (Slovakia)

With 31 booths and over 220 participants, the second marketplace of the FORMATplus Group in the Czech Republic and Slovakia took place in mid-May and was used for intensive personal expert discussions.

Visitors from the Czech Republic and Slovakia were able to find out about trends and new products at 28 supplier stands as well as from the E/D/E private labels FORMAT, FORTIS and E-COLL and E/D/E Industry services. The marketplace was preceded by a networking evening, which also offered plenty of opportunity for mutual exchange. A special feature: the EDE member companies took the opportunity to invite selected customers and thus to take a look at the wide range of products and assortments together.

The feedback from the participants was positive throughout: “The visit was very stimulating. For our company, we were able to pick up a lot of impulses to expand our product ranges,” describes Ivan Polák, Managing Director of member company AG Náradie s.r.o. from Slovakia: “Our final customers were also very happy to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the marketplace.” The participating suppliers were equally satisfied: “The pleasant atmosphere and the good organization of the event helped to facilitate the exchange between participants, to meet partners from the Czech and Slovak markets, and to discuss market requirements and needs,” emphasizes Benjamin Fischer, International Account Manager at Altrex B.V. (Netherlands).

The launch of the new FORMAT homepage in Czech took place at the same time as the marketplace. “As part of our digital strategy FORMAT 3.0, the website, in addition to our own LinkedIn account, forms an essential cornerstone. We were equally pleased to be able to present the new FORMAT image film to the visitors,” says Vladimira Gimerska, EDE International Country Manager: “In addition, we organized a workshop on digital marketing with a professional sales coach for our partners, which also met with a very positive response.”

In the end, all participants were sure that the next FORMATplus Marketplace for the Czech Republic and Slovakia is firmly planned in two years. “The entirely positive feedback from our members and suppliers has once again confirmed to us how important and valuable the personal exchange among market participants is!”, Martin Ochelski, Sales Director Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Eastern Europe, sums up.

KNIPEX: extending its international social commitment

The Wuppertal-based company KNIPEX operates worldwide and has also expanded its social commitment internationally. Under the motto “Education enables sustainable development”, KNIPEX has implemented projects together with personally known partners, associations and foundations, primarily in Africa, but also in South Asia. Their goal: to help improve living and educational conditions.

In 2017, a secondary school was built in Kitamba, Uganda, in cooperation with the Remscheid-based support association “Our children and our future”. The 425 pupils now can complete an apprenticeship in the neighbouring training and further education centre.

In Lolera, a Maasai village in Tanzania, KNIPEX supports the “Q-Ratio” association in setting up a centre for children between the ages of six and 14. Here they are looked after and receive a warm meal every day. In addition, the construction of a rainwater tank next to the children’s centre was financed.

In cooperation with the foundation “Menschen für Menschen” (“People for people”), the construction of a new secondary school in Wogdi, Ethiopia, was made possible in 2022. The school offers space for around 2,000 pupils in the 9th and 10th grades in bright and well-equipped classrooms.

The Wuppertal-based association “Freundeskreis Espace Masolo”, supported by KNIPEX, runs a centre for former street children in Kinshasa, Congo. Here, the children develop artistic and handicraft skills such as playing theatre, making music, metalwork and carpentry. Through these forms of expression, traumatic experiences can be overcome and life goals developed.

Soon to come: „Marktplatz“ FORMATplus Slovakia & Czech Republic

At last, FORMATplus marketplace for Slovakia/Czech Republic again!

After the long dry spell since 2019, a marketplace of our FORMATplus Group Slovakia/Czech Republic will finally take place again on 11 May 2023 in Trnava, Slovakia. Around 30 suppliers from the areas of hand tools, precision tools, factory equipment, power tools, personal protective equipment (PPE)  and more, as well as 12 members from the FORMATplus country group Slovakia/Czech Republic with more than 150 participants – including selected end customers – have registered and will finally be able to meet again in May for a personal exchange at the “Marktplatz”, a trade fair specially organised by EDE International.

In addition to a social evening with an entertaining evening programme on 10 May, there will be attractive product presentations, sales training and a raffle. EDE will also have its own stand with the trade brands FORMAT, E-COLL, FORTIS PPE and the ETT BASIC dispensers. Vladimira Gimerska, Country Manager Slovakia and Czech Republic, is already full of anticipation: “Despite increasing digitalisation, there is simply no substitute for personal and professional exchange with our members and suppliers!”

Steel in balance

EURO STAHL-Handel: Supplier partner AFV Beltrame presents Chalibria to E/D/E Group

Chalibria – that is the name of the new CO₂-neutral steel from the AFV Beltrame Group – number one in Italy and a leader in the European market -. A delegation led by Carlo Beltrame informed numerous steel traders organised in ESH EURO STAHL-Handel in Wuppertal about the new product to support the market launch.

The topic of greenhouse gases has long since reached the executive floors of the steel industry. And so it was an illustrious group that had gathered at the invitation of ESH around authorised signatory Jürgen Laukandt at the E/D/E headquarters. Among the participants were Carlo Beltrame, CEO of the French and Romanian locations and Head of Business Development of the Beltrame Group, the owners of numerous trading houses, E/D/E Managing Director Peter Jüngst, responsible for the steel sector and Annegret Franzen, CEO of EDE International.

Carlo Beltrame and Klaus Rieger, Beltrame Sales Director for the German-speaking countries, emphasised the sales opportunities of Chalibria, because in the future climate neutrality will be a prerequisite in many tenders. Beltrame added that they had worked on the project for two years and had anchored Chalibria as an important element in the Beltrame Group’s wide-ranging decarbonisation strategy.

40 percent CO₂ reduction targeted

So just what is behind Chalibria, a neologism made up of the Latin words chalybs (steel, iron) and libra (balance)? Beltrame measures the CO₂ emissions of all its activities. With 570 kilogrammes of CO₂ per tonne of steel, the company is at a relatively low level compared to the rest of the industry (which is also due to the fact that Beltrame only produces electric steel), which the company wants to reduce by 40 percent by 2030. There are 45 specific individual projects behind this, including the purchase of a hydroelectric power plant or the construction of a steelworks in Romania that generates its own energy needs via a solar park with a capacity of 70 MW.

The production of steel is not yet technologically possible without CO₂ emissions. What Chalibria lacks for neutrality is compensated for by the purchase of greenhouse gas certificates (according to the strict British standard PAS206). A neutral body documents and confirms this process according to DIN EN ISO 14064-1. Dealers and their customers can access the certificate directly after placing an order. “Chalibria is available immediately for all products,” said Klaus Rieger.

“A credible initiative”

The sector is ready, was the impression given in Wuppertal in view of the many interested enquiries. In the end, it depends on the customers, says René Philipp, managing shareholder of E/D/E member company HUSE & PHILIPP, Braunschweig. “I am curious to see how the market accepts it. There will certainly be differences in the different types of business and target groups here. It is a credible initiative by Beltrame and makes sense to want to gain an edge as a market leader in this increasingly important topic. Others will follow behind.”

Peter Jüngst, E/D/E Managing Director Building Services, Steel, Logistics, Construction Equipment, complimented AFV Beltrame: “Sustainability will shape the future. In this respect, we are proud to be able to count such an innovative company among our most important supply partners in the steel sector. Congratulations on this great project!”

International EHN supplier meeting in Madrid

Since its foundation more than a year ago, the European Hardware Network (EHN) met for the first time at the beginning of January for an international supplier meeting in Madrid. The focus of the meeting of the pan European Competence Group, consisting of the Spanish CECOFERSA, which hosted the meeting, the Italian Consorzio Distributori Utensili (CDU), the Dutch Ferney Group, e + h Service AG from Switzerland as well as E/D/E and EDE International AG, which acts as the coordinator of the group, was a first exchange between competence partners and its suppliers.

The suppliers’ meeting took place on 11th and 12th January 2023 and was initiated by a social event the evening before and offered the total of around 30 participants sufficient time to get to know each other personally. On the second day, the meeting continued in an effective and targeted manner: each supplier had the opportunity to present his company and his products. Afterwards, suppliers and competence partners were able to deepen their discussions and find initial approaches to establishing business relationships. “This meeting is the first one in which our suppliers have also participated,” says Annegret Franzen, Managing Director at EDE International. “We would like to hold it annually from now on to stimulate exchange between new partner suppliers, competence partners and members in the field.”

The participants were happy about the face-to-face meeting and appreciated the personal exchange, after the pandemic. Federica Bonini from Dino Paoli: “We gained many new impressions here today and are excited about the European meeting. We were able to exchange ideas on current topics and future projects in person.”

EHN offers its partner suppliers access to the largest community of purchasing organisations in Europe. The clear goal of this cooperation is to expand joint activities and become more successful in all relevant markets.

Rainer Brombach is the responsible Supplier Manager at EDE International AG: “At the end of 2022, we have reached a first small milestone in the young history of ENH and have gained ten contract or partner suppliers.”

In addition to the supplier meetings, EHN works efficiently and leanly in virtual meetings. Once a year, the competence partners come together for an exchange on current market topics at a face-to-face meeting. The group is open to cooperation partners of E/D/E and the partners. “The important factor is trusting networking and joint exploitation of synergies with all suppliers and competence partners,” says Annegret Franzen.

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E/D/E “Branchentreff total” 2022: European activities in Leipzig

After a break of around three years due to the pandemic, the time finally came again on 6th and 7th September 2022: E/D/E members and contract suppliers celebrated their reunion at the E/D/E “Branchentreff total” (industry meeting) in Leipzig in presence and held intensive discussions. With hybrid communication offers and a focus on important topics of the future of the industry such as digitisation, internationality and sustainability, E/D/E gave new impulses and at the same time strengthened the proven industry meeting concept as THE platform for many personal encounters. A strong presence of members and suppliers from other European countries underlines the relevance of the event.

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