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Solving problems in distribution

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“IBS is looking back on challenging years,” says Mr. Paul. “We achieved profitability again two years ago. Now, we are acting in a winning environment with a highly motivated team. This really inspires and motivates me. The takeover was an important strategic move for us and the starting point of a new era. A new management team came on board, and the company moved into a new direction. Our focus shifted towards the supply chain, and we developed our business suite for distribution companies from the food and beverage, automotive, pharmaceutical, 3PL third-party logistics and wholesale sectors. We have also been laying more emphasis on customer relationships, product innovations and partner support since then. Our credo is never to take on a project that has no value for the customer.”

IBS focuses on business applications for wholesale, distribution and manufacturing companies. The company’s service portfolio encompasses Enterprise Ressource Planning (ERP), IBS Analytics, the IBS Business Suite, IBS e-Commerce, IBS Cloud Solutions, Publishing ERP, Sales and Operation Planning, and a Warehouse Management System.

“Our latest innovation is the new release of our IBS Business Suite,” says Mr. Paul. “We launched it last year. In 2014, we invested around 14% of our annual turnover in research and development activities. Also, we launched a new operation planning solution. At present, we have four key business areas. Firstly, these are ERP solutions for sales, procurement and finance. Second come logistics, management and DYNAMAN warehousing solutions. Third come planning, supply, demand and cash-flow management. Fourthly, we offer four special solutions for media and publishing companies. Last but not least, we provide analytical solutions all across these four fields.”

IBS is also well-known for its excellent service and the competence of its teams. Against the background of the new strategy, IBS also changed its marketing strategy. Since 2011, the company has been investing greatly in case studies. Using the references of its own clients, IBS writes its own success stories.

“We are a people-based company,” says Mr. Paul. “In countries where we do not have an office, we have partnership models, for example in Africa. We also participate in conferences and other events. We organize events and meetings at our facilities in Sweden, the Netherlands and Belgium as well. This year, a highlight of our agenda will be the IBS EMEA Customer Conference, which will be held from 19 to 21 May, at our facilities in Stockholm. We expect between 100 and 150 customers.”

Accounting for around 70% of the company’s turnover, medium-sized companies are most important for IBS. Realizing 70% of its business in Europe, Belgium and Sweden are key markets. Altogether, IBS serves customers in 40 different countries. Founded in Stockholm in 1978, the company is European at heart. Mr. Paul sees promising prospects in many European countries as well as in the USA.

“You need talents to grow your business,” he says. “In the course of the takeover in 2011, several key talents joined us. They managed to drive our company forward and give us a boost. In our industry, it has always been a challenge to find good people. It is even more difficult to keep talented people. Therefore, we offer financial incentives as well as career prospects. Many of our employees have been with us for several years, some even for 20 years. This proves our strategy right and makes us proud.”

Altogether, IBS has 500 people on the payroll. As the new strategy is paying off, IBS will stay true to it in the coming years. “We try to create win-win situations,” says Mr. Paul. “Our solutions are best-in-class and help our clients to improve their businesses and to enable further growth. We help them to achieve their goals, and they help us to achieve ours.”

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