Our corporate strategies are derived from our vision, corporate guiding principles and missions. The strategic focal points are defined for each individual company. These refer to our markets, brands, production and procurement processes, finance, information technology (IT) and personnel. As the foundation of our corporate conduct, sustainability and quality form an integral part of all other strategies.
The sales market strategy was adopted to serve as a guideline for the development of our product portfolio. The objective of this strategy is to define which product ranges and brands are offered to which customer groups in which geographical markets. We want to consistently align our strategies to market needs and at the same time exploit the opportunities and synergies offered by the Group. Our sales markets are divided into the retail market and the food service/food processing industry. These markets have different needs when it comes to product and service requirements, and we service them with products tailored to their specific needs.
Our brand strategy focuses on the strategic brands Bell, Hilcona and Eisberg. The positioning of these three brands was reviewed in 2017 and their future direction defined. In addition to the strategic brands, the Bell Food Group’s brand architecture is supported by supplementary brands for specific target groups.
Our production strategy defines the medium- and long-term infrastructure and production programmes for the 43 Bell Food Group production facilities in ten countries. As part of the location strategy for Switzerland, the fresh meat production was moved from Cheseaux/CH to the existing plant in Oensingen/CH at the end of 2017, thus bundling Bell’s fresh meat expertise in Oensingen. Two production plants, one in Switzerland and one in Spain, have joined the Bell Food Group with the most recent acquisitions. A convenience plant in Marchtrenk/AT and a charcuterie plant in Fuensalida/ES are currently being built.
We plan the future development of our production sites by taking a far-sighted approach. While working on these plans, synergy potential is identified and conditions for process optimisation and a structured approach to quality management are defined. A dedicated project team for the Swiss sites in Basel and Oensingen is currently working on a substantial investment programme to further develop these facilities. The planning horizon runs from 2017 to 2025. With its plans for new buildings and conversions, the Bell Food Group is laying the groundwork for improving its already powerful production facilities in Switzerland.
As an integral component of the company’s strategic focus, procurement is continuing to gain in importance. As a result, procurement at the Bell Food Group is a strong overlapping, Group-wide function that contributes substantially to the achievement of the corporate objectives. In addition to the core elements of cost reduction and synergy development, a successful strategy applying to the entire value chain is needed today in order to achieve long-term and sustainable success.
Apart from the targeted implementation of the individual measures adopted as part of the procurement strategy, the focus in the reporting year fell on uniform cross-Group procurement for the Bell Food Group. Thanks to the intense and proactive cooperation between all companies of the Bell Food Group, the procurement units made an important contribution to the achievement of the corporate objectives in a difficult year on the procurement markets by strengthening lead buying as part of procurement management.
The financial strategy aims to strengthen the targeted application of resources to improve profitability and productive capacity and ensure the company’s freedom of action at all times. The financial strategy formulates rules for different topics, including external and internal financing, the management of interest rate risks, liquidity and foreign exchange management, and the payment of dividends. The financial strategy defines key indicators for profitability, financing, liquidity and the balance sheet and regulates their monitoring. For us, a solid balance sheet and excellent equity ratio are key elements in the implementation of the Bell Food Group’s financial strategy.
IT at the Bell Food Group assumes an active role as business enabler and innovation driver. The IT strategy should help to enable competent, solution- and service-focused IT services at all locations of the Bell Food Group. The lines of action of the IT strategy include the sensible harmonisation of the hardware and software landscape, harmonised processes for the evaluation, procurement, implementation and operation of IT systems and equipment as well as clearly regulated IT governance and compliance. Uniform and consolidated IT controlling also enables efficient cost management. At present, our central project is the harmonisation of the ERP landscape based on the concept of SAP HANA as the foundation for all the Group’s administrative systems. The digitisation of business processes and accompanying big data strategy is another key project. Within the
context of Industry 4.0, a network linking all production plants makes it possible, for example, to maintain the infrastructure in a cost-efficient and intelligent manner.
The personnel strategy comprehensively analyses the complex situation of our international company. As a responsible employer, we accord a high priority to the recognition and development of the employees. One of the main objectives of our personnel strategy is to ensure that all employees are qualified for a permanent profession. It also formulates the rules of conduct and management principles that are binding for all employees and serves as the foundation for our belief that staff interaction should be guided by a spirit of partnership. We are dedicated to improving the employability of our employees through basic training and further education. Our talent management process is designed to identify employees with potential, who are supported individually. The personnel strategy is implemented at all the companies of the Bell Food Group, taking account of national and regional differences and needs. The personnel strategy will be reviewed in 2018, after which it will be binding for the whole Group for the first time.
In view of the growing awareness of sustainability issues in all areas, the sustainability strategy was reviewed and the new strategy entered into force in spring 2017. It applies Group-wide for the first time and covers all the relevant fields of action and topics as well as the organisational framework conditions for implementation and control. Our sustainability strategy uses three pillars to classify our responsibilities: “products and procurement”, “environment and resources” and “employees and society”.
The Bell Food Group's sales revenue improved by CHF 327.6 million to CHF 2.1 billion in the first half of 2018. At 268.3 million kilograms, sales volume is up by 19.9 percent on the prior-year period. EBITDA improved by CHF 6 millio...