7. Informationstag MARKANT Österreich
MARKANT Österreich GmbH was delighted to welcome a full house to their 7th Information Day on 4 October 2018. This time around, the network meeting attracted approximately 300 top managers from retail and industry to the magnificent Palais Ferstel in Vienna.
Keeping our finger on the pulse of the times
The packed festival hall once again reflected the broad acceptance of the MARKANT Group's range of products. Cooperation is focused on topics such as "digitalisation", "further technological development", "master data management" and developing solutions for small and regional suppliers.
Therefore, the current lecture programme is centred on the opportunities and challenges brought about by digital change: Dr Robert Kecskes from GfK, for instance, explained why in the future e-commerce and stationary trade would merge. Under the "Vireal Retailization" banner, online and stationary traders are experimenting with concepts that link purchasing at the POS with digital technology. Market researchers claim that this offers consumers increased efficiency and convenience. They point out that possible tools would be, for instance, digital promotions, personalised offers, mobile self-scanning and instore orders for products not yet available. Dr Kecskes clarified the situation: "It's not a question of whether digital technology will take over; it's rather a question of when and how quickly."
Futurologist Oliver Leisse from the trends research institute See More Future Research & Development highlighted further trends in retail and advised those present to creatively try out the new technology immediately. He added that, over the long term, there was no way of avoiding the inevitable, as waiting would reduce the chances of success. "Above all, language aids will revolutionise retail", stated Mr Leisse. "Smart speakers such as Amazon Echo or Google Home will change our lives. You are currently listening, but you will soon be able to speak to us. What options will there be as a result? Pool your offers and form an ecosystem out of them in the best interests of your customers", the trends researcher recommended. "Once customers have entered this world, they will never leave it again", he added.
On the other hand, former Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel demanded more flexibility regarding political and economic matters during his speech "A Changing Europe". "Large companies that cannot act flexibly will be lost", stated Mr Schüssel. He then made a plea to round off the informative event: "Only extreme flexibility, and not rigidity, will save our Europe."
The event also marked the departure of Franz-Friedrich Müller, the long-serving and successful Managing Director of MARKANT Handels- und Industriewaren-Vermittlungs AG: on 1 January 2019, Christian Francken took over his duties and assumed responsibility for the Central Services and Commodities sector. "My predecessor and mentor is entrusting me with his life's work", said Mr Francken. "Following in his footsteps will not be easy", he added. "Therefore, I am particularly pleased that Franz-Friedrich Müller will still be resolutely supporting us as President of the Administrative Board of MARKANT Handels- und Industriewaren-Vermittlungs AG", stated Mr Francken.