Davidsen: The production of a weekly 300+ product catalogue
CASE STUDY

Optimizing Core Marketing Flows Leads to Organizational Improvement

Davidsen 4

Company Overview

Davidsen provides everything you need for your construction work. Davidsen’s signature yellow trucks supply professional and DIY customers with building materials through 23 outlets across Denmark.



Davidsen - a nationwide timber trade

The family-owned business started as a local lumberyard in the south of Denmark. Povl Davidsen, the present chairman of the board, took over from his father in 1969 and has since expanded the business. Within two generations, Davidsen has grown considerably and is now employing about 1.100 people and has a turnover of more than 450 million EUR (2020). The secret behind the fantastic growth journey boils down to business understanding, humility, and putting the customer at the centre.

"We want to gain more time in everyday life and be more efficient. New things are constantly being added to the Encodify solution. We are evolving, and so is the need to expand the solution."

Kristina Rudebeck Dahl,
Marketing Manager

A few years back, Davidsen acquired a competitor, Optimera, and thus became a national rather than a regional player for professional DIY.

Today, Davidsen is working in a hybrid environment of offline and online, brick-and-mortar store and website, print and digital. The company takes the omnichannel challenge very seriously by constantly testing new solutions to reach customers in all relevant transaction points. The customer-centric approach is demanding when the technological landscape changes, like the seasons. New martech investment reflects the company’s path toward more scalable solutions and creative automation.

But at Davidsen, trying out new solutions, or testing how to improve workflows, is not a round-table discussion. Just try it out. Fail if you must, but learn from it, and the customer will benefit eventually. It’s at the core of the company’s identity and brand image. As Marketing Manager Kristina Rudebeck Dahl puts it:

"We constantly ask ourselves: How can we make everyday work more manageable? Sometimes we realise it ourselves. But other times it is someone from category management or our stores who inquires about something. As soon as we receive a request or wish, we start working on how to solve this, specifically how to solve this using Encodify."

Kristina Rudebeck Dahl,
Marketing Manager

Highlights

Davidsen embarked on an ambitious journey when they wanted to optimise an already improved campaign production process. The in-house marketing team chose to outsource marketing collateral production to Vietnam. The briefing process was initially managed in a PIM-based solution, but the setup didn’t provide the needed support for further reductions in the time to market.

"We started with Encodify when we had to look at optimizing our catalogue production. And when we then came to the finish line with the catalogues and were optimized on all the possible points we had anticipated, we began to look at other areas where we could streamline processes"

Kristina Rudebeck Dahl,
Marketing Manager

She is not hesitant to label Davidsen’s marketing department as one of the smallest in the retail industry. Yet, the output of catalogues, banners and store signage is in no way small. Besides, Davidsen targets both professionals and consumers.

The Encodify platform proved to be the game changer in a process that started with the need to be more effective in producing the all-important catalogue. A few years later, things have changed, and the Encodify solution has been rolled out far beyond the confines of Marketing.

Some of the compelling arguments that have convinced other departments to work on the Encodify Platform have been:

  • Automating manual assignments like producing signs has cut the production time from 1-2 days to 1-2 hours.
  • Handling master data related to a campaign used to be managed in 1-2 days. Now it is down to half a day.
  • Approval rounds are down from 8 to 3 at the most.
  • Bulks of images need not be transferred by email or a third-party provider. It happens smoothly within the Encodify solution.
  • Users of the Encodify platform have increased from a handful to more than 250 employees within Davidsen.
  • We have a single source of (data) truth because the Encodify platform connects safely with applications, data and devices.

 

However, widening the scope of a solution that would at first be seen merely as an effective marketing tool is not an easy task to accomplish. According to Kristina Rudebeck Dahl, it has been central that Marketing has experienced tangible results and improved workflows because Marketing is the driver of the transformation:

"That’s why we connect all things through Encodify. And this will be crucial as we attempt to secure as much of our organisational data as possible. Data takes up an enormous amount of space, so we need to join our available data"

Kristina Rudebeck Dahl,
Marketing Manager

Challenges and goals

Production time for a campaign was eight weeks. The approval rounds were still, to a large extent, manual and data were fed into a spreadsheet. A campaign process is cumbersome on data going back and forth through emails and Excel. The accumulated amount of data related to just one campaign was overwhelming. Then, imagine you do this once or twice every week, and you end up with data overload times 100.

Besides, having an in-house team of three graphic designers was central to controlling the design process. Yet, three pairs of hands were working overtime as the demand rose for more and more catalogues, both offline and online versions and sometimes more than once a week. Davidsen wanted to keep up the speed while not increasing the headcount.

The challenge of producing a large number of catalogues every week, featuring 300+ product promotions, is an issue common to retailers. The process involves creating a lot of content, editing images to fit specific dimensions, and sending back-and-forth emails with and without attachments. Approval rounds can make the process even more complicated. To improve efficiency, retailers need to focus on optimising these processes and reducing the time to market.

"Newsletters, posters, facade banners. Everything is made through Encodify, which is why we can gather all information in one place and thus also gather it and give it to our suppliers in relation to how many times it has been exposed in the course of half a year. Because we collect everything inside Encodify"

Kristina Rudebeck Dahl,
Marketing Manager

At Davidsen, they initially embarked on a process to optimise the core marketing workflows. As the project evolved and decent first-round results poured in, the tenacity of the marketing team led them to extend the goal setting; to involve more teams and more colleagues across the organisation to change the workflows and daily routines.

The solution

What started as a need to be more effective in producing catalogues developed into a mission to include more and more departments within the organisation. Presently, Davidsen has 270 active users on the Encodify platform. Now, Kristina wants to take the solution to the shops. The single most convincing message was that the solution saved time for those working with it. But in Kristina’s opinion, there are more unique selling points:

"We want to go out and inform the shops how it works, how signs and promotions can be produced and planned much smarter. How it saves them time, and how they can serve customers better. If a customer asks whether an item will appear next week or what campaign is planned, then it will be evident to the shop personnel that they can answer because they are on the Encodify platform"

Kristina Rudebeck Dahl,
Marketing Manager

And expanding the platform use should not only be limited to the shops, according to Kristina. Presently, Davidsen’s campaigns are automatically linked with the ERP, which eases the process of sharing campaign information with their shops, creating campaign reports for the many suppliers, automating the production of shop signage, and streamlining the need to create ad hoc signs in the shops.

"We also really want our suppliers on and into the system. They can enrich products with information, pictures and more. It saves time on both sides and makes business run smoother. It makes everyday life easier."

Kristina Rudebeck Dahl,
Marketing Manager

And it simply makes good business sense to get as many of your stakeholders as possible to join.