Markant's clear strategy is geared towards the values of trust, cooperation and progress.
«We have and still are facing difficult times. Our focus is very much on the war in the Ukraine, inflation and the energy crisis right now. And yet I am back standing in front of what is almost a full room of people, can feel your energy and am delighted that this is all possible again», the journalist and presenter Daniela Lager opened the long-awaited event which she was hosting for the eleventh time with these moving words. She asked the participants right from the beginning to use the event to re-engage with old friends and to talk with people who could become one.
But first she asked the CEO of Markant Syntrade AG, Jos Lanen, and the CEO of Markant AG, Dominik Scheid, who was at an information day for the first time this year, to come up onto the stage. Dominik Scheid has been a member of the Markant AG management team with Markus Tkotz since March 2022 and has been living in beautiful Switzerland for over two years. Both CEOs looked back at the past pandemic years and how Markant has overcome them, gave an assessment of the current situation based on the threat of inflation and looked ahead to innovations in Markant Group's range of services.
«We should start a new form of cooperation – honest, open and fair with a focus on the consumer. Markant would like to contribute to this. This means that a clear strategy is needed,» emphasises Scheid. «For us, the strategy is in our brand values of trust, cooperation and progress. Trust is the basis of a genuine cooperation and progress is most likely to result from this. We want to continue to work in this way and one issue is being prioritised here: data security. We are living in uncertain times; this also applies to data and this is something we are currently working on every day.»
Lanen particularly emphasised the progress made since Markant took over Syntrade briefly looking back again: «we have constantly developed from what used to be three main services for retail and industry partners and the service portfolio has become more and more diverse. And it was not just that a number of services were added, requirements for these services also increased considerably.»
There is still great potential in using all EDI messages; this is something the CEOs agree on. «The B2B integration, the exchange of EDI data between all participants, is a matter very close to our hearts. EDI has been one of Markant's core services for a long time and we are now one of the biggest EDI providers in all of Europe,» says Scheid. And the topic of data security plays a major role here too: cyber attacks have increased and one to two partner companies must be temporarily taken off the grid almost every week because they have been hacked. Markant is looking at system resilience and how to make software more secure with strong partners.
After looking inwards, the focus moved to the entire field: the first speaker at the event, Michel Rahm, Client Business Partner and Specialist for FMCG trends, developments and the retail trade in Switzerland of GfK, was presented jokingly by Ms Lager as a climate researcher – because he researches the consumer climate – and gave an exciting overview of the market for the entire domestic retail trade in his presentation «Current developments in the Swiss retail trade».
Why do we choose a certain product and not the one next to it? What actually are our reasons for buying something? These exciting questions were addressed in the highly entertaining presentation «A glimpse into the brain – What customers really want now and in the future» from the certified psychologist, brain researcher, bestselling author and neuromarketing expert Dr. Hans-Georg Häusel.
This was followed by Nadja Lang, CEO and Delegate of the Genossenschaft ZFV Unternehmungen' Board of Directors and member of the Board of Directors of Schweizerische Post AG and Pax Lebensversicherung, who started her career in brand management at Coca Cola 20 years ago. She addressed the issue: «Sustainable management – Fig leaf or success factor?» in great detail.
Another highlight of the information day was the presentation from the philosopher and publicist Richard David Precht under the title «Digital revolution and the future of work – What does the working world of the future look like?»
The final speaker Christa Tobler, Professor for European Law at the universities of Basel and Leiden (NL) with a research focus in the complex legal relationship between Switzerland and the European Union, introduced the participants to the advantages and disadvantages of bilateral agreements with her presentation «Bilateral agreements Switzerland – EU: significance for Swiss companies» and explained why they are very relevant to the companies in Switzerland.
Daniela Lager and Jos Lanen bade farewell to the participants with plenty of food for thought from the information day and invited everybody to a closing lunch together.