Think Captain America, without the fighting

Henkel’s business divisions and SSC do not follow individual targets but work together to achieve one goal.

Henkel Slovensko Laundry  &  Home Care representatives guiding SSC colleagues in one of the stores during the StorecheckHenkel Slovensko Laundry & Home Care representatives guiding SSC colleagues in one of the stores during the Storecheck

Henkel, a global manufacturer of well-known brands of cosmetics, household products and adhesives technologies, operates in two dimensions of business in Slovakia. While product sales are taken care of by Henkel’s three business divisions, the Shared Services Center (SSC) Bratislava provides a wide range of expert services for Henkel business in most of Europe and, in some areas of expertise, globally too.
Along with financial processes, SSC Bratislava also deals with marketing and market research, data processing, and many other tasks. Think Captain America: Civil War (2016), with one difference: unlike Iron Man and the Captain, Henkel’s business divisions and SSC do not follow individual targets but work together to achieve one goal.

Linked by many processes just like the Avengers, they join forces to achieve a common goal. Together they have created the Storecheck program, which turns the employees of Henkel Slovensko into masters of sales psychology, product placement in stores, and competition.

Jan Želízko, who is in charge of the Storecheck program, is the Nick Fury of this project.

You are in charge of the SSC Marketing & Sales team, which also includes the Storecheck program. Does the name itself reflects what’s behind it?

Storecheck is a training program in which selected Henkel Slovensko employees, under the guidance of experienced colleagues, visit stores to get to know our products, competition, and the requirements of the traders.

How did it start?

We took advantage of the fact that Henkel Slovensko has both a Shared Services Center and a business division and asked our colleagues from the Laundry & Home Care and the Beauty Care divisions to help us carry out this program. They accompany colleagues from the SSC and share their know-how.

How is the program structured?

The program begins with the distribution of informative materials which allows the participants to find out about the responsibilities of the Marketing and Trade marketing departments as well as our Key account managers before the visit. They take a closer look at the structure of retail trade in Slovakia, find out what sales channels there are, and examine how they differ from one another.

This is followed by a half-day visit to several stores – it’s always a combination of a hypermarket, a drugstore, a supermarket, and a discount store. The purpose is to show the trainees the variety of business strategies that impact the variety of products, the types of promotions, the pricing, etc.

The participants familiarize themselves with both Henkel’s and the competition’s products as well as the latest products on the market and determine how successful they are. Emphasis is given to the connection between the success of Henkel and its products and the speed and quality of services the SSC provides. This includes the speed with which innovations are introduced to the market, where the SSC plays an essential role. We support cooperation, a sense of solidarity, and the idea that each employee is a part of the company’s success.

Why is it important?

It helps strengthen the SSC’s employees’ sense of belonging towards Henkel and towards our brands and innovations. It is important that our employees know they have an impact on how successful Henkel is in the future. Visiting stores as a

part of the program provides them with a more in-depth and effective experience than any office presentation could. Our colleagues are very much interested to have such an opportunity. They want to better understand the business and see how it works. And it seems that we are successful. In addition to supportive feedback from the ones who have completed the program, the latest Employee engagement survey showed very positive results and a great improvement, when compared to the previous year.

How long has the program been in operation and what have been the results so far?

The program started at the end of 2017 and has been completed by roughly 120 colleagues so far. Is there something about the program that has surprised you or taught you anything unexpected? I have been surprised by the huge interest from the SSC employees and by the engagement of our colleagues who not only listen, but also come up with improvements and suggestions – like product displaying within a sales area etc.

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