Systems and Instruments

The Executive Board of Bechtle AG is responsible for the overall planning and realisation of the group’s long-term targets. The main objective of the company development is to effectively increase the company value through profitable growth.

The short and medium-term planning for the management of the operational units and the resulting measures are derived from the long-term corporate planning. However, they are also aligned with the development of competitors and of the market environment. For the employees of Bechtle AG, the top priority is to achieve growth and profit through satisfied customers and to attain market leadership at the company’s location.

Revenue, revenue growth, earnings before taxes and earnings before taxes in relation to the revenue (EBT margin) are relevant key performance indicators. Individual profit sharing schemes are applied to enhance the employees’ commitment to agreed targets.

At annual strategy conferences, the Executive Board presents measures and measurable milestones by means of which Bechtle strives to reach its goals. Additionally, individual planning meetings are held with the directors of the IT system houses and IT e-commerce companies. All individual planning elements collectively form the basis for the overall annual planning of the Bechtle Group.

The operational targets and duties derived from the individual meetings are communicated by the directors in the respective individual companies and divisions of both segments and form the basis for the individual performance targets of the employees. The development during the year is continuously analysed with the help of database-supported management instruments. Thus, the management can promptly initiate suitable measures in the event of any deviations from the plan. The assessment takes place in the form of a benchmark test with the help of the Bechtle scorecard, which transforms various performance criteria into a performance ranking that is transparent for all companies and divisions. Additionally, the operational development of all IT e-commerce companies is collected and analysed in a special software tool called European Sales Cockpit (ESC).

Controlling on the basis of informative KPIs

In addition, the group regularly assesses the business performance – also compared to other locations – using the Executive Information System (EIS) to provide the operational units with detailed monthly reports with standardised profitability ratios in relation to incoming orders, revenues, and contribution margins. Moreover, some of the subsidiaries have their own management system for the operational control of their sales activities. This system comprises effectiveness indicators and order and customer-related parameters that enable direct assessment of the business performance. Apart from the experience of the sales staff with respect to the customers’ demand behaviour and investment affinity, the development of the purchase prices and of incoming orders are regarded as mission-specific early indicators for the due assessment of the business performance

Within the scope of the management of the companies, key financial ratios like the cash flow, working capital, capital turnover, investment quota, and return on capital employed (ROCE) are used in addition to the direct business indicators. Thus, for example, the development of the main influencing factors of the cash flow are made available to all directors with operational responsibility in the form of a cash-flow cockpit on a monthly basis in order to facilitate an early response to potential undesirable trends.

Besides EIS as the central management information system, Bechtle AG uses two ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems, Navision Financials and SAP ®, within the scope of the resource-oriented management. All accounting, controlling, and central logistics management processes are integrated in SAP. The optimum mapping of business processes and the standardisation of the utilised management instruments are key criteria for the design of the implemented IT. In this way, it is ensured that the leadership structure and the employed systems remain freely scalable to accommodate further growth of the company.

Monthly (income statement, balance sheet) and quarterly financial statements (income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement), which are made available to the executive staff for their respective fields of responsibility in the SAP system, enable a comparison with the economic position in the past as well as with plan values in order to identify negative developments at an early stage. The Financials ERP system serves as an enterprise resource planning and sales information system at all locations. The two interlinked systems collect information pertaining to the sales success, such as the status of the sales process phases, the coordination of tasks in the sales team, and billing and shipping of the goods, and deliver relevant figures (such as the customer contact frequency, the order total, and the contribution margin per sales rep).

At group level, the consolidated data for all operational units from the various reporting systems are used for the early identification of target/actual variances.

However, many of the success-critical factors that affect the sustainable growth of the Bechtle Group can only be quantified indirectly or not at all. This includes factors such as the brand reputation, customer satisfaction, staff qualification and experience, leadership qualities, and corporate culture, which can only be described qualitatively, if at all.

To get a better picture of the reputation in the market, Bechtle’s management takes advantage of surveys and assessments of professional media, industry associations, and market research institutions. Among other things, the results of these studies are used within the scope of the strategic planning in order to ascertain the company’s image in relation to competitors. The “customer satisfaction” factor, however, is analysed in both company segments at regular intervals. The results serve as indicators for the quality of the customer loyalty and are used internally to coordinate sales activities. In connection with purposeful training of the employees, these analyses help Bechtle to continue to provide customers with professional, competent consulting services. Personnel-related data like fluctuation and qualification details are used as internal key performance indicators. The goal is to systematically develop the employees in all fields of qualification and to increase the motivation in order to improve employee loyalty.