All paint shops in the Northern European pierre.dk group now have a new paint supplier. Handling the conversions has been a challenging task, as they have taken place in more than 50 locations in Denmark and Sweden as well as in Germany, where the chain is known under the name of IRSH. The new supplier is Nexa Autocolor, now supplying both paint and non-paint products to all the pierre.dk/ IRSH paint shops.
Over the past ten years in particular, the pierre.dk group has expanded significantly in Denmark, Sweden and Germany, and in this period the company has continually focused on optimising the many different processes that constitute the backbone of the group.
One of pierre.dk’s biggest strengths has always been its ability to manage the group centrally, and thus ensure that all its auto body shops and employees are working towards the same goals.
Now, the group – that is the biggest in the refinish sector in Denmark and very large in Sweden as well – has implemented a very demanding change so that they now use Nexa Autocolor paint in every single one of the more than 50 paint shops in the pierre.dk group.
“Of course, choosing to switch paint suppliers is a big step. Paint is the main product we use, so it’s been a demanding and resource-intensive process. But fortunately it’s gone very smoothly, as pierre.dk and Nexa Autocolors’ skilled and committed teams have worked incredibly hard, and collaborated in an exemplary way across the three countries,” says Bo Jacobsen, CEO at pierre.dk Autolakering A/S.
“We’re also very happy with the efficient, committed and professional approach that our paint supplier PPG, with Torben Beck at the helm, has taken throughout the process.
In fact, we have spent a whole year implementing the change in the respective centres, taking one body shop at a time. But prior to making the actual switch, a lot of time and energy was devoted to planning.”
“The process has lasted much longer than the individual conversions, but the group we’ve been dealing with is a big player,” says Torben Beck, business director at PPG Automotive Refinish. He has nothing but praise for the way the management at pierre.dk Autolakering A/S has handled the entire process, which can best be compared to a huge puzzle with a vast number of pieces.
“The change really has been professionally implemented, and it’s very clear that pierre.dk has always followed a clear concept. This, together with the company’s strong leadership, is the cornerstone of the paint group,” says Torben Beck.
According to Torben Beck, it requires scrupulous implementation for a logistical quantum leap like the one that has just taken place at pierre.dk Autolakering A/S to succeed. Not only in the group as a whole but also out in every paint shop.
“I think both parties have managed to implement all the necessary conversions by following a thorough, detailed plan, and without production being compromised in any way,” says Torben Beck.
At pierre.dk Autolakering A/S, production director Stefan Hansen and technical controller Dan Jæger have been following the implementation process in the individual pierre.dk centres:
“Of course, it has been a huge task changing everything around. We have spent a week at each centre, taking down the old storage systems and equipment on Monday, and replacing them with new equipment etc. on Tuesday. And then we’ve usually spent the rest of the week getting everything fully up and running in each place,” explains Dan Jæger.
In his view, Nexa Autocolor is a good product for the pierre.dk group, and will help to further streamline operations.
“Now we can optimise processes even more, not least because the products have shorter drying times. This helps to make handling more efficient, which is obviously a big advantage. In addition, after introducing Nexa Autocolor, we have a new way of managing supplies, which also offers advantages,” says Dan Jæger.
One of the benefits is that pierre.dk no longer has to maintain such large paint stocks, because the process has been significantly optimised.
“Now we know in real time how much or how little we have in stock of every single product at every centre, because the systems are more digitised. Previously, the actual process of ordering goods was more labour-intensive, while today it is a bit like shopping in a supermarket. If a hardener is needed, or some paint, it is simply scanned in. And if the system is used properly, then we never run out of a product, because it is ordered automatically,” says Dan Jæger, who is very happy with the collaboration with Nexa/PPG.
“Previously, we had perhaps three or four different kinds of hardener, and now we have a maximum of two. That definitely makes a difference, given that we now have more than 50 body shops.”
Throughout the entire process, production director Stefan Hansen noticed there have been very few challenges in implementing the new products, and this, of course, has also helped to make the process and the collaboration so successful.
At PPG Automotive Refinish, Torben Beck does not hesitate to shower praise on the cooperation with the pierre.dk group: “We’re incredibly proud to be working with pierre.dk – we’ve really had excellent cooperation with management.”
A view that is shared by Stefan Hansen: “You often hear that implementing new products in existing companies throws up so many problems. That has definitely not been the case here, and I concur completely with Torben Beck. It’s all gone extremely well, and I’m looking forward to the ongoing optimisation work with Nexa/PPG,” Stefan Hansen concludes.