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A perfect match

Entrepreneurship

PUM expert Pim Bergsma conducted a 'very special mission' for a wholesale company in Zimbabwe that suffered hard times during the country’s cash crash in 2007. Zimbabwe is a country with 90% unemployment and widespread poverty and corruption. But also it suffered from the decline in economic activities, as the white population reduced from 100,000 to about 10,000 people.

"After the crash my client immediately started working on setting up cash & carry stores for necessities. The company is well established and it has had some good years since then. Turnover turned tenfold and there were over 300 people at work. But due to a lack of vision regarding marketing, being over organised, competition and wrong choices, the profits minimised. Their request: please review the company and its management as a whole and tell us what can be improved. I saw that the product assortment and customer service are good, but not complete enough for one-stop-shopping. In addition, I encountered a high degree of control and substandard marketing. The company employed too many people and there was too little team spirit at all levels.

Project plan

After some 25 interviews I wrote a project plan with a careful, step by step plan for the next three years. Turning first to the director; he should be less involved in daily monitoring and managing. Instead, he can improve marketing by exploring the wishes of customers and communicate more with them. In addition to cash and carry the company was advised to create a well-structured goods delivery service. The first steps have been taken already. I advised to cooperate with other wholesalers, or to establish a cooperation with other companies to collectively make purchases. All in all this is a project which will benefit from remote coaching (e-mail and Skype) for the next year or so. We remain in close contact and I will continue to monitor developments and progress."

Fortwell Cash & Carry Zimbabwe: 'I could not have asked for a better person to visit my company. Pim was professional, energetic and a fountain of knowledge. He was 100% perfect for my company!’