Even if it does seem that it cannot be any better. "We closed the year 2008 with wonderful results. Just when we were enthralled about this, I met Kris Vastenaekels from AMI. He questioned some of the practices on our work floors." The comments of Vastenaekels made me curious. AMI got the opportunity to make a deeper analysis. "When I saw the results, the sunny weather looked like a perfect moment to repair the roof."

Advisory sales

The analysis of AMI identified that Etos could make important improvements in the area of client contact and sales. Employees who are busy filling the store shelves, might consider an entering client as a disturbance. In a way a human tendency. However, when a store is involved, it is more convenient to stimulate the tendency for hospitality. "For this we already had a base: 10 for the client." This is a set of fixed rules, in which for instance is included that an employee should accompany a client when the client asks a question about where he can find a certain product. So don’t say: "Next to the shampoo, madam, in the back." However with client insight it is more than just courtesy and a service-focused attitude. "Employees have to try to obtain information about buying motives and intentions of the visiting client. And, based on the obtained information, apply advisory selling. We already enhanced the necessary product knowledge fort his, in an earlier stage."

Extensive operation

On balance, much more working time is going to be invested in contact with the client. Who requires this from his employees, has to take care of time savings and more efficiency in other fields. With Etos changes were already realised in the area of Processes and Organisation. Henk Schipper: "Here we worked with the concept of Appealing Team Leadership. The working atmosphere of this concept is now extended to the factor Client. From managers a coaching role is expected in the sales process." In the meanwhile, Etos as a whole –executives, operational managers, store managers and sales coordinators– has gone through a training trajectory. The managers were prepared by MOOVS, after which, during a period of 7 weeks, they worked on the development of their leadership skills. In the coming months the focus will be on securing this leadership.

Making real contact

Henk Schipper: "The way that MOOVS handles this trajectory, commands respect. Everything is tightly organised, but you never get the impression that it is precooked'. On the contrary, beforehand they listened to us very carefully. This shows from the way they have thought about the training. Furthermore we are talking about 500 stores here. That requires a large organisational flexibility. MOOVS knew how to fill this in smoothly." The title Best Drugstore of 2011 is a very welcome boost, but not the yardstick that Henk Schipper uses. "At the work floor I always ask for the APK-score, number of articles per customer." Schipper: "The APK-norm is concrete, understandable and feasible. Who really makes contact with a client asking for sunburn, will notice that there is also an interest for after sun or a tube of block-out for the nose."