Ring of fire

Dealer group's new distribution facility sparks delivery problems.


German dealer group Büroring has been having a tough time of it in the last few months after the transition to a new warehouse and distribution facility failed to go as smoothly as planned. 

The Haan-based group opened its new facility back in May after outgrowing its original building, but immediately ran into problems that left many of its 350 members facing delivery delays or receiving incomplete orders. The problems apparently arose after the dealer group was over-optimistic about the time that would be required to migrate from the old premises over the May bank-holiday. There were also issues with the quality of new packaging materials that Büroring was using.

Despite some improvements, the issues had not been fully resolved by the middle of July, leading to the departure of Büroring’s senior board member responsible for logistics Ute Suberg, who was asked to step down. Former Managing Director Klaus Kemper was called out of retirement to handle the situation.

Kemper promised to provide members with an “honest assessment” of the situation and said that each complaint would be dealt with individually, but that this may take some time. He praised Büroring’s employees, who have been working around the clock during this period, and also appealed to Büroring’s trade partners for patience and understanding.

Five weeks into his return, Kemper told OPI that “most” problems had been resolved and that there just remained some issues with the packaging. Deliveries were being carried out as normal, he stated.

He also confirmed that the distribution problems have not led to a single Büroring member leaving the group as yet. This is despite increased PR activity from rival group Soennecken which has been highlighting its own distribution capabilities in the last few weeks, notably its direct-to-end-user service which accounts for around 90% of its deliveries.

Kemper pointed to a “gentlemen’s agreement” between the two rival groups about not going directly after each other’s members and claimed that certain services recently introduced by Soennecken had already been offered by Büroring for the last few years.