March 2012 eLetter
The overall conditions were far from optimal in 2011, but all in all the players in the global logistics industry were still able to record a good year. There is no doubt that 2012 will be a challenging year for all active companies, not only because of the potential economic slowdown in various markets but also due to an increasingly severe shortage of specialists and management staff. Furthermore, the problems with hiring truck and delivery drivers in the industry are now coming to a head. Meanwhile we have expanded our services to recruiting from Eastern European countries such as Poland.
Many companies are still ignoring this topic but this is what the economy has to face. During the recruitment process, companies not only have to promise greater job security but also portray themselves as attractive employers. Many companies still find this difficult to do.
We have also significantly strengthened our presence in Eastern Europe. With the addition of Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary we are now actively present in 30 countries and are able to offer all of our group services in these locations. We are confident that we also will have a presence in Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine within the next few months as negotiations are already underway.
We are now also offering market entry studies, which cover almost 100 countries worldwide. More information can be found later on in this newsletter.
The appointment of Detlef Kükenshöner as managing director and shareholder has enabled us not only to increase our expertise in the areas of land-based and system traffic, but also to find a successor well in advance of the departure of our managing director Jochen Smoktun.
We wish you a very successful start to 2012.
Klaus D. Geissler
Managing Director and Shareholder of the adi Consult Group
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Expansion of the adi Network in Romania
Effective January 1, 2012, the global network of adi Consult group has been extended to include Romania, our 28th partner country.
We are delighted to welcome proven logistics expert Frank Hassler to the group. He will work in Bucharest, and has considerable expertise not only in executive search but also in consulting on logistics projects and supply chain concepts. He has gained more than 30 years of experience in the field of supply chain management at a leading German FMCG company.
With this move, we are reacting to the growing demand for logistics personnel and management in Romania.
Eastern Europe is a key focus for the adi group. We plan on having an extensive presence in the area within the next few months. Discussions are currently being held with other partners in Poland, Slovakia, and the Ukraine.
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Market Entry Studies
Market entry studies are one of the latest products of the adi Consult Group.
These include all essential data and information for starting up a business in the country of your choice. We provide you with all the basic legal information for setting up a company or a joint venture as well as the associated cost and taxation. Other information provided will cover special permits, licenses, or concessions and joint venture partners where required.
The market study cover existing customer potential, competition, key markets, market and trade figures, air and sea freight market figures, and other relevant information.
We also produce a budget that takes into account local conditions such as set-up expenses, variable cost, and potential sales scenarios.
Together with our global partner INTERGEST, we also offer you an end-to-end service that ranges from setting up the company to the consolidated balance sheet. This enables a business to leave the administration in experienced hands and instead concentrate on building the company. As a group we are directly represented in 30 countries and are able to provide this information for almost 100 countries.
Where required, we are also able to procure the necessary management and staff for you.
We will be happy to provide information about cost and content of the studies upon request.
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Hungary – 29th partner country in the adi Consult Group
Mr. Nils Blunck from Blucron Kft., Budapest joined our group as partner on February 1 which affords us considerable knowledge of the Hungarian market.
Nils Blunck is managing director of various companies in Hungary. After graduating from Hamburg University with a degree in history and economics, he joined the European Union in 1993, working in the field of planning, implementation, and controlling as part of the EU support program for countries in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. From 1997-1999 he advised the Hungarian Foreign Ministry on its preparations for accession to the EU. Since 1999, he has assisted investors with their projects in Hungary and neighboring countries. In addition, Mr. Blunck is involved in various economic and social institutions. For instance, he is a member of the supervisory board of the German-Hungarian education center, board spokesman for the Hungarian Junior Chamber and board member of the German-Hungarian Chamber of Industry and Commerce. He speaks Hungarian fluently and is active in executive search and mergers and acquisitions via his various holdings.
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Shortage of drivers – no solution in sight!
The current shortage of drivers is a theme that is constantly in the headlines and discussed on Internet fora. It has even become a subject of more or less scientific studies.
The fact is that there is a shortage of drivers and the outlook is anything but rosy. Between 1995 and 2006, the "driving school of the nation” or the German Armed Forces halved the number of professional driver trainees from 30,000 to 15,000, and the trend is downwards. The 2,000 apprentices in this field per anno are like the proverbial drop of water in the ocean.
If you include the demographic development and also see that shipping capacity in Germany will increase from 427 billion kilometers in 2009 to an estimated 496 billion kilometers this year, it becomes clear that the already existing deficiency is widening into a gaping chasm.
The reasons for the decreasing interest in training as a professional driver are easy to see: poor pay, lousy working hours, busy motorways and overflowing rest areas combined with constant deadline pressure have turned the "king of the highway” into a pauper.
The fora, articles, and studies all come up with the same solutions, which, at first glance appear logical and easy to implement. A closer look though raises more questions than answers, however. For example, "the image of the sector and the career must be improved, and the companies, associations, and politics must make their contribution.”
It’s certainly a goal worth striving for, but if you consider that the logistics sector is the third-largest business sector in Germany yet compared to other sectors has only a very rudimentary lobbying service, it begs the question - how will this be achieved or better still who would make it happen? The next suggested solution focuses on the company: "the company must pay fair and adequate wages to its drivers and ensure fair working conditions.”
This is a good approach that would solve several problems, provided the employers are able to take matters into their own hands and can afford to make this decision from an economic point of view.
Unfortunately the reality is rather different: when a company is confronted with increasingly tight deadlines for orders - in extreme cases within a day - coupled with the constant need to claw back and recover from customers unavoidable cost increases such as fuel prices, employers rarely have the economic freedom to act in a way that would otherwise be logical and necessary, even though in most cases they would prefer to.
Attempts to resolve this problem currently involve the use of foreign drivers, or the strange and forlorn approach of bringing in personnel consultancies to find drivers.
These are certainly not long-term solutions, but quantum shift in thinking will only take place when it is no longer possible to meet quality and quality demands and "you get what you pay for" becomes the mantra.
Together with our partner www.progedo.de we are able to offer you the solution of bringing drivers from Poland to Germany. We also offer a full relocation service package for any supplied personnel.
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Bulgaria – another milestone in the expansion of the adi Consult network
Our strategy to expand our presence in Eastern Europe reached a new heights with the addition of Dr. Maya Neidenowa from InterGest Sofia as our 30th partner.
Dr. Maya Neidenowa is the founder of a German-Hungarian law firm that offers legal services in the commercial field for medium-sized companies in Bulgaria. As a German lawyer, she also specializes in Bulgarian commercial, corporate and tax law. Dr. Neidenowa is a board member of the German-Bulgarian Legal Association, president of the German-Bulgarian Society Hamburg and a member of the German-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce in Sofia. She is also involved in executive search and recruitment via InterGest Bulgaria.
Bulgaria became a member of the EU on January 1, 2007. Average growth of 6% was recorded between 2004-2008. In 2009, this growth fell to around 5.5%, while the market stagnated in 2010. Growth of around 2.2% is indicated for 2011.
Logistics is becoming an increasingly important topic because of growing moves to relocate production facilities to Bulgaria.
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Changes in the Management of adi Consult Group
Jochen Smoktun will relinquish his position as Managing Director as of 1st of March, 2012.
This has been agreed upon during our last shareholder meeting early January 2012, after
Aside from private reasons, this step is in line with the company’s succession plan. Detlef Kükenshöner will take Jochen Smoktun’s position and at the same time purchase his shares in adi Consult.
Detlef Kükenshöner has been appointed Managing Director as of January 1st, 2012.
Jochen Smoktun will continue as Franchise Partner effective March 1st, 2012.
The company thanks Jochen Smoktun for his cooperation during the past 10 years and we are
pleased with his decision to continue working with the Group as Freelance Partner.
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