Network and dialogue

Dialogue, exchange and further vocational training are central components of the network concept: sharing knowledge and experience is elementary for the E/D/E association, in order to be prepared for current and future requirements. We bring together E/D/E members, suppliers as well as market and industry participants at various events.

Close-knit dialogue that connects

The positive feedback on our “Branchentreff total” industry meeting clearly shows: participants appreciate the personal encounter. The event format offered more reach than before in 2022 with the option of hybrid talks. We were also able to promote a process of exchange with our sector-specific evening events. In addition, we welcomed more international guests from trade and industry than ever before, and were thus able to create added value beyond the borders of our home market, Germany. The member management lounge served as the central contact point for the event. This once again highlighted the important interface position of member management within the buying association. At various other events, such as the “Forum Bauelemente” or the sales forum “Arbeitsschutz und Technischer Handel”, we brought together the key market and industry participants and were able to strengthen the forward-looking and personal dialogue within the association.

Network for innovative strength

With our Business NETWORK, we specifically promote a process of exchange and discussion between members and create a trusting and personal environment. In 2022, we were able to expand the number of members in the Business NETWORK groups and thus increase the overall number of participants. The participants were particularly interested in measures on the topic of “Employee loyalty – not just monetary”. The groups also dealt with the challenges from the macroeconomic environment or the increased requirements regarding certifications in the context of tenders. In 2023, all Business NETWORK conferences will also take place face-to-face. Various virtual exchange formats round off our dialogue offer and enable short-term exchange in volatile times. In the future, further special formats such as think tanks on current market developments are planned. True to the motto: the distributors of E/D/E are better-positioned with a qualified exchange of experience.

Strong association and network performance – also in our umbrella association MITTELSTANDSVERBUND – ZGV e. V. the answer to the challenges of our time is: ensuring competitiveness, implementing digitalisation, creating sustainability and developing new business models. To this end, the association MITTELSTANDSVERBUND commissioned a study on the future work of the buying associations. The E/D/E, representing a committed member of the association MITTELSTANDSVERBUND, organised the first of a series of workshops to accompany the further implementation of the study results in practice. On 10th November 2022, the E/D/E extended an invitation to the city of Wuppertal. The topics of this first workshop were innovation management and the status quo of digitalisation in the cooperating companies. In this context, we also presented the innovation and contact platform for new technology-driven business model options in the industrial B2B sector, namely the PVH FUTURE LAB.

Designing training as part of the solution

Within the buying association, the need for education and training remains high. This is not only due to the prevailing shortage of skilled workers, but also to the working methods and formats, which have changed significantly since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic. This reinforces the need for forward-looking training opportunities at all levels. The E/D/E AKADEMIE identifies the needs and challenges of its members and designs its service portfolio to fit them precisely. In the further development of our range of qualification measures, we remain in a close process of exchange with E/D/E’s member management. Thanks to our sound cooperation, we were able to establish the new training “E-commerce processes as a sales tool in field sales” in 2022.

In 2022, we were able to bring our presence elements more to the fore again. An ever-greater number of measures with adapted blended learning concepts were transferred into regular operation. We successfully ran more than 100 digital qualification programmes. We offered individual measures internally and externally for the first time, and welcomed participants from our group of members, as well as internal E/D/E staff to selected training courses. The feedback regarding this open concept was consistently positive. The interesting and inspiring insights beyond one’s own company, which promote the association’s spirit of cohesion, were emphasised. By dealing with the content pertaining to changed working methods and formats ourselves as the E/D/E AKADEMIE and directly implementing the associated competencies, we strengthen the awareness and knowledge of this not only among ourselves but also among our participants. In the joint exchange formats of the E/D/E AKADEMIE and the Business NETWORK, we provide partcipating companies with topical input and exchange from practice in numerous events. In addition, we support the Business NETWORK through our cooperation with experts and impulse providers at individual events.

It remains an essential part of the E/D/E AKADEMIE’s guidance concept to strengthen and expand the qualification measures and exchange formats. In the further development of our service portfolio, it is important to include the needs of the market and the members. In future, the focus will therefore be placed on the topics of changing working methods and formats, staff recruitment and retention, and leadership development. However, sustainability is also a topic that is moving ever more into the spotlight. Therefore, we are supporting our members in the implementation of the Supply Chain Sourcing Obligations Act (LkSG) or in relation to other ecologically sustainable issues.