Distribution & Logistics

Acquisition of new customers through our technical expertise

Technology leadership and a high level of dependability helped us to win new, prestigious customers in a challenging environment.

Cost savings passed on to customers

The significant appreciation of the Swiss franc had a big impact on the Distribution & Logistics segment, which does almost all its business in Switzerland. Despite the quick adjustment of the prices, demand grew only hesitantly, especially from customers in industrial sectors. Sales amounted to CHF 309 million in the 2015 business year, which corresponds to a decline of 3.1% from the previous year. The first-time consolidation of Thomas Minder Holding AG had a positive effect, contributing 5.0% to segment sales. After the decline in the EBITA margin to 5.0% in the first half of 2015 due to exchange-rate turmoil and one-time effects (previous year: 8.6%), profitability stabilized during the course of the second half. With an EBITA margin of 6.0% (previous year: 8.0%) for the 2015 financial year as a whole, the segment's operating margin is satisfying for its sector considering the difficult market environment.

Market position as a partner for specialized retailers strengthened

In March of 2015, SFS acquired Thomas Minder Holding AG, a leading provider of specialized hardware and tools for demanding professionals in Switzerland. This transaction clearly strengthened SFS's profile and product range, and its offering for specialized retailers as well as hardware and home improvement stores in Switzerland. Integration is proceeding on schedule; Allchemet's location in Hinwil has already been transformed into an attractive HandwerkStadt retail store.

Technology leadership expanded with “M2M by SFS”

In the spring of 2015, SFS presented its latest developments in the field of automated inventory management systems named “M2M by SFS”. The acronym “M2M” stands for “machine to machine” and refers to the automated exchange of information – in the case of “M2M by SFS”, to the flow of information between warehouse infrastructure, mobile devices and ERP systems. These new solutions all share an impressive array of new features, such as smartphone, tablet and smartwatch connectivity as well as tracking and delivery notifications. Thanks to “M2M”, SFS has succeeded in improving performance and lowering system costs.

Network of HandwerkStadt increased

With the recent opening of new HandwerkStadt locations in Kriessern (SG) and Hinwil (ZH), the network of Hand­werkStadt retail stores has increased to 27 in total. In HandwerkStadt, professional customers from the skilled crafts and trade sectors are offered a wide range of professional tools, machines and  fastening systems.

Exploitation of future potential

The focus in 2016 will be on the successful realization of the projects won, the acquisition of new customers and the further development of the opportunities offered by “M2M”.

Key figures Distribution & Logistics

Highlights

Technology leadership in the field of C class logistics sustained

The innovative “M2M solutions” are at the cutting edge in terms of sensor technology and wireless communications as they enable third-party suppliers to be integrated into the SFS system. This means customers can reap the proven benefits offered by SFS logistics systems, even with products sourced from third-party suppliers. This logical argument will allow SFS to set up alliances with partner com­panies to market these same processes and systems to strategic customers around the world.

Position in specialized retail and hardware and home improvement channels strengthened

In March 2015 SFS Group acquired Allchemet AG. This transaction clearly strengthened SFS's profile and product range, and its offering for specialized retailers as well as hardware and home improvement stores in Switzerland. The premium quality tools continue to be marketed to hardware specialty stores, suppliers of construction materials as well as hardware and home improvement stores by Allchemet AG. Integration is proceeding on schedule; Allchemet's location in Hinwil has already been transformed into an attractive HandwerkStadt retail store.

Top performance of SFS unimarket acknowledged by customers

Georg Fischer Machining Solutions (GF) named SFS unimarket as one of its best supplier partners worldwide. SFS unimarket was recognized as one of the “Top 10 Suppliers 2015” out of the approximately 1,100 suppliers that were evaluated by the company. SFS is a long-standing partner of GF and offers supply chain solutions for C class items. SFS unimarket has implemented innovative logistics concepts at GF’s main manufacturing sites in Luterbach, Nidau, Langnau, Losone and Meyrin, all located in Switzerland. These logistics solutions have reduced process costs, optimized inventory levels and increased process reliability.

Dependable employees and modern, centralized distribution points ensure that customer orders in Switzerland can be delivered within one working day.