Being close to installers

Being close to installers
As key players in the housing construction and renovation market, electricians and independent installers must constantly build their expertise and advisory skills in order to develop their business and meet their customers' increasingly specific needs.
  • Supporting installers every day

    In order to meet installers' needs as fully as possible, Rexel aims first and foremost to simplify their work. By offering multichannel access to its products and services, whether physically via its branches or digitally via its webshops, Rexel supports installers in their business endeavors and provides them with relevant training. This direct proximity, which is based on a vast network of branches and experts, lets installers direct their questions at any time to representatives who understand the particularities of their market and can provide them with tailored advice and value-added services. By fostering a mutually beneficial relationship that is built to last, Rexel helps develop its installers' business, improves their efficiency and retains them as customers.
    Facilitating the everyday work of its installer and independent electrician customers lies at the center of Rexel's business approach. The primary challenge: providing professionals with the products they need, whenever they need them, wherever they need them. Thus, the "Nonstop 24/7" concept was implemented in Finland. A traditional branch was transformed into a continual, automatic procurement center open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. By providing better access to products at any time, the initiative was an immediate success among professionals, who have autonomous access to these various sites. A personal card gives them continuous access and the country's 34 branches now operate outside their opening hours in "nonstop 24/7" mode. Of these, 13 are entirely automated.

  • Tailor-made services and solutions

    Procurement efficiency, correct supply management, and on-site inventory are essential to installers with major logistical constraints. The OASIS Mobile offering developed by Gexpro, one of the Group's US subsidiaries, meets these challenges by offering a range of worksite storage solutions: from containers to vehicles to trailers, every unit is restocked according to the worksite's needs and helps improve installers' productivity.
    At the same time, among its services offering, Rexel is generalizing the ability to make orders without delay or difficulty while traveling. Rexel's US subsidiary Platt offers a smartphone app that meets this aim: in the space of a few seconds, using a photo taken at the worksite, an installer can access a product's full details and check its price and availability. Thanks to this tool, as well as to various assistance solutions, Platt has an installer retention rate that is two times greater than that of customers who only purchase their supplies at a branch.

  • Digital agility and sales support

    Now a well-integrated part of Rexel, the multi-channel approach provides installers with a streamlined, efficient, always-on service. Two thirds of installers regularly visit distributors' websites to check product information, price and availability. To encourage this dynamic, Rexel has, among other things, opened an online forum in which installers and electricians can connect with Rexel's experts on products, regulations or market trends.
    Rexel provides its customers with a wide range of complementary, efficient channels and extends its support to every step of their projects. For example, the Esabora software suite developed by Rexel enables installers to conduct pre-on-site energy audits, hone their sales approach and design optimal recommendations for their customers. It gives them the ability to create a full, detailed installation plan quickly and simply, and to generate the associated quote.
    Finally, it includes powerful functions to ease their administrative tasks on a daily basis. At each level of their business activity, Rexel provides its customers with the ability to simplify their tasks, improve their efficiency and offer services with greater added value.

  • Branches: intelligent proximity

    Rexel has designed its distribution network to offer its customers maximal proximity and responsiveness. The Group's 2,000 branches lie at the center of its product and service distribution approach. The branch provides its customers with assistance in choosing and installing the products it distributes and offers flexible delivery. Its skilled staff has thorough knowledge of the local market and its development potential. The branch itself is an open customer reception space. The "assisted free movement" sales model is a good example: the customers are free to move about and choose the products they need. If they want any advice, there is a dedicated service area in the middle of the branch where customers and salespeople can connect. In around 300 branches in France, even the waiting time - when an order is being prepared, for example - is productive for customers. InexelTV programs are shown on various screens, with how-to workshops, news on regulations and norms, customer testimonials, worksite reporting or new product presentations, etc. The branch network's organization enables Rexel's customers to remain as close as possible to their projects. They offer logistics services such as product pick-up, including outside opening hours, or fast on-site delivery.

  • Supporting skills development

    In order to meet the market's evolving needs, Rexel helps installers to adapt, acquire new skills and develop their business.
    Rexel Expo, two of which were held in 2016 - in Nantes (June) and Bordeaux (October) - is one of the sector's highlights. It is both a showcase for Rexel's products and services as well as a place where independent contractors, installers, manufacturers, integrators, local authorities and opinion leaders can gather information and share knowledge and know-how.
    To enable installers to broaden their offering and operate in new high value-added markets such as home automation, energy efficiency or multi-energy, the Group provides training programs designed for installers. Rexel thus offers them a full set of tools to increase their efficiency: sales presentations, savings estimations, and financial aid options.
    Rexel's experts play a central role in this support. Having been trained by the Rexel Academy, which offers around 2,500 training modules in every product category, they organize their own skills improvement modules for installers around the world. The Group's employees constantly hone their expertise in order to meet professionals' needs and create new growth perspectives with them.
    For example, ABM Rexel in Spain organized a three-day event in April 2016, attracting over 800 participants who came to learn about and receive training in the subjects presented.

Managing the complexity of large projects

Energy efficiency is Rexel's core business. In this area, as in others, the Group's role is changing. From general distributor, it is transforming into a multi-specialist partner with high value added, providing its customers with the most efficient solutions and the best conditions in which to implement them.
  • Financing installations with energy savings

    Over a 30-year period, a building's use represents as much as 75% of its overall cost. In France, the benefits that come with replacing inefficient installations are notably demonstrated by Toys "R" Us, which contacted Rexel in 2015 for a technical assessment and a financing solution for new LED lighting in one of its largest stores in Europe, located in La Défense, near Paris. The savings resulting from Rexel's recommendations enabled the project to pay for itself, without any extra cost to Toys "R" Us. Over the course of one year, lighting-related electrical consumption was reduced by 30%, avoiding the equivalent of four tons of CO2 emissions. Satisfied with the results of this operation, Toys "R" Us contacted Rexel again in 2016 to renovate eight additional stores. The return on investment from energy efficient solutions is obvious, but sometimes, a large initial investment can have a dissuasive effect. In order to counter this reticence, Rexel now offers solutions aimed at investing in new supplies financed by the anticipated energy savings. The economic and environmental challenges of better energy management are among Rexel's customers' leading concerns.
    In 2016, sales of energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions represented nearly 1.8 billion euros for Rexel, an increase of 12.6% compared to 2015.

  • Tailor-made sourcing

    Rexel's customers have access to a wide range of products and innovative logistical solutions to optimize costs and improve productivity. Setting up a container at a construction site, for example, provides an on-site logistics base for early morning supply delivery. It is restocked on a just-in-time basis by the logistics center or branch, where dedicated stock is set aside for the construction site's needs, avoiding the risk of inventory shortage and theft, for guaranteed just-in-time deliveries. The delivery of preassembled supplies, labeled by installation area, frees customers from having to amass inventory. They can thus streamline their procurement process: by integrating and managing the construction site's various parts, primarily in logistics centers, Rexel offers its customers the ability to concentrate their resources on the installation's progress rather than on logistics.

    Tailor-made sourcing

  • Innovative logistics services

    On commercial projects, Rexel has a value-added service offering tailored to each customer's specific constraints. In 2016, the construction of a logistics space for a major French distributor provided the opportunity to promote Rexel's expertise and advisory skills by placing a technical sales representative on-site. In the morning, he would take care of delivery reception and unpacking, on-site kitting and delivery to each service made possible by early identification of each work zone's needs. In the afternoon, the technical sales representative would directly advise the customer, begin resupplying, share Rexel's logistical center's data on a direct access basis, and organize the following deliveries. This service, which was billed to the customer, led to considerable productivity improvement and provided permanent access to a contact person who gave advice on the best solution along each step of the construction project. Fully satisfied, the customer chose to use this service again at their next worksite: the renovation of a major historic building in Lyon.

Developing expert know-how in specialized markets

Developing expert know-how in specialized markets
From Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) to petrochemical, mining or food processing companies, the Group ensures large-scale inventory management and offers them the reliability of its supply chain, procurement from the largest electrical supply manufacturers, tailor-made tools, and the vertical expertise of its field office teams.
  • Reducing procurement costs

    Managing the costs and quality of supplies for a major industrial construction project depends to a large extent on correctly forecasting and perfectly executing procurement. Rexel is involved very early on in a project, often beginning with the calls for tenders to which its key account customers respond.
    A reliable, timely procurement process is a determining factor since the highest cost is often that of on-site labor. Any additional delay thus translates into higher costs. Moreover, from the start of the project, Rexel removes the risks of supply shortages, which represent an immediate added cost, by offering solutions that make the process more dependable.
    An example of Rexel's industrial know-how: the project carried out in 2016 at a liquefied natural gas worksite for one of the largest EPC in North America. Rexel IPG provided the project's Material Take Off (MTO), an advisory service on the bill of specifications that is extremely specific to the customer's needs and methods. With the MTO, Rexel verifies, plans in hand, that the nomenclature prepared by the engineering service covers all material needs down to the last detail.
    Another initiative bringing increased productivity to customers: the software program Gexpro Performance Solutions (GPS). It lowers purchasing costs, speeds up deliveries, streamlines work allocation and lowers material oversupply. The program includes a dozen applications to precisely manage every step in the supply chain.

  • Dedicated teams and solutions for industrial customers

    Strict in matters of quality and safety, observant of drastic norms and standards, Rexel's industrial customers share similar modus operandi and decision-making processes. In addition to a vertical approach by market segment, major projects necessitate conforming to the customer's worksite conditions and business activity, in every part of the world. Within the Group, specialized teams provide tailor-made services.
    In 2016, Rexel IPG carried out a construction project with a local team in northern Saudi Arabia, on a remote mining site without any existing infrastructure over 1,500 km (932 miles) from the capital. The Group arrived on-site after the MTO, setting up a warehouse to extend its supply chain and better manage inventory on the premises. Two dedicated representatives provided customer interface, project management and logistical organization. Finally, in order to ensure reliable communication, a software program developed internally was used: IPG Maps. This fully configurable tool allowed the customer to access secure information at will, most notably scheduling, product availability and deliveries.
    In Germany, the Group has created nine Industrial Service Centers (ISC) to meet its industrial and key account customers' needs. Specialized teams in direct contact with the customer propose tailor-made industrial solutions. Their technical expertise allows them to initiate or extend partnerships, which can go as far as developing original concepts or specific product ranges for an industrial sector.

  • Acquiring complementary skills

    Using a high value-added approach, Rexel continues to follow a policy of selective acquisitions that enables it to develop new areas of expertise. In the US, the Group finalized the 2016 acquisition of a specialist in services related to industrial automation and MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Operations): Brohl & Appell. This operation completes Rexel's MRO offering and presents additional opportunities for its customers, including energy efficiency and new technologies.
    In France, the acquisition of Sofinther, a distributor specializing in thermal, heat and control solutions, reflects a similar logic of skill development. Moving into the multi-energy segment, with Sofinther the Group is strengthening its presence in the market of thermal control and connected solutions, while consolidating its proximity with its French clientele in collective housing and buildings.

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