15.03.2021 : RGH + ISB

"Most probably it was also part of the destruction of Germany in World War II as well as the post-war spirit of the survivors that created a climate of cooperation beyond all different sectors in retail and wholesale in the newly founded Federal Republic of Western Germany which in 1951 led in the city of Cologne to a privately owned research institute RGH (Rationalization Institute) with trade companies and trade associations as share-holders" Prof.Dr.Hallier remembers the past."It was the idea to gain knowledge together as entrepreneurs about modern/efficient retailing and to share experiences : it was the start of Applied Sciences in Germany. The first five topics on the agenda had been liquidity, accounting, transportation, assortment and self-service." Deriving from the work-shop "self-service" of the RGH a special interest group founded in 1957 its own ISB Institute for Self-Service with the focus of shopfitting, articles with potential for self-service, packaging and training of staff for this new sector. Already in the first quarter of 1957 the ISB could evaluate questionnaires from about 650 self-service outlets about business-administration data to compare the efficiency of store-operations.


Becoming CEO of ISB in 1985 Prof.B.Hallier prepared the stage for merging ISB and RGH again in 1988: "While segmentation was the right strategy in the 60ies to concentrate on innovation by self-service: in the 80ies we needed a joint Platform for the whole of different trade channels in Germany: the DHI (German Trade Institute) became the scientific institute for all German retailers/wholesalers. We did not want to spoil resources! With the ISB/RGH researchers we offered data free of charge for public purposes but could also act as consultants for individual clients if demanded; with 50 percent of the barcoding CCG/today GS 1 Germany we had a joint venture with the Branded Goods Industry and with our joint activities of EuroShop we had an excellent platform for all technical suppliers along the Total Supply Chain" Hallier explained his strategies of the 80ies for Germany.

03.03.2021 : Multiplier

The West-German "Economic Wunder" of the 70ies was according to Prof.Dr.B.Hallier a combination of three factors: firstly Creative Heads open after World War II for new ideas - and second "Multipliers of Thought" as could be seen at the example of tobacco-wholesalers (see last ERA-news) or the retail-sector in general being confronted at that time with the innovative challenge of self-service/American Life-Style. Taken the year 1965 for example: the number of self-service stores increased by 18 percent to 62.714 units; 94 percent of those stores being upgraded to modern formats had been belonged to private retail entrepreneurs. On average the sales-area per store increased from 76 to 100 square meters.


"It shows that the overwhelming majority of entrepreneurs had been small retailers who step by step changed their store format and POS-approach" Prof.Dr.Hallier stated reviewing the time even from own memories. "A third factor was that such a big number of decision-makers very often look for different solutions for problems due to their individuality (otherwise they would not have been entrepreneurs) and due to profiling in Competition: that is the driver of speed for innovations. It was the luck of the moment to recognize that such a big number of innovative forces needed an international sector-platform for communication: launching the EuroShop exhibition in 1966 in the city of Duesseldorf (See also)" Hallier concluded. Today it is worldwide the Number One Exhibition in this field with 120.000 square meters net exhibition area in 2020 - being run triannually with two EuroCIS technology fairs in between the main EuroShop-events. (See more about the tactical tools at the link YouTube Innovation Drivers).

25.02.2021 : Innovation Catalyst

1974 the world was in the Petrol Crisis ! Everybody in business was in search for potential rationalizations in processes and organizations. Computers for the first time became an important part of new business-models. Bernd Hallier of Brinkmann Cigarettes started a dialogue with leading tobacco wholesalers in Germany: together with Willi Weber he created a new filling system of cigarette vending machines as vending at that time covered about 50 percent of all sales (see News of 07.02.2021). He permanently was on tour in the field in search for automation/innovation and by this became an innovation-catalyst in the tobacco sector.


"We had defined a Trade Policy with the strategy not to endanger by any actions the permanent free access for our labels to all distribution channels: an innovation jump for vending-wholesalers needed immediately some action to be followed for wholesalers serving the kiosk-businesses or the tobacconist-retailers who had been due to their broad assortment (200 brands) important for Brand Innovations while vending machines in 1975 had only 10 columns on average" Hallier remembers. "The tactics also demanded a balance between the wholesalers within each region to have a mix which should not challenge the manufacturers dominance. - Therefore the engagement for alternatives was to pave the way externally as well as internally. The Learning was that innovation has more enemies than friends" Hallier summarizes "Innovation is a challenge to change : it is always AGAINST traditional behaviour and against the MAJORITY: because ex definition otherwise it would not be innovative"! On the operative level Hallier used the power of letters of his customers to the DTZ Weekly to support his ideas for market restructures.

14.02.2021 : India Business Month

India with its 1.3 billion population is one of the hugest markets of the world, but according to Prof.Dr.B.Hallier it has to be seen that the sub-continent India is fragmented in 48 regions - and that Indian religions and myth has to be understood to get a return on investment.


"The home-office during the Corona-Crisis could be used excellently to dedicate a month of research to India" Hallier claims promoting the digital MV-offer (Link) "... but of course intensive guided travel has to be added later; India could be understood only in a combination of ratio & emotion!" - having visited India permanently himself since 1974 and having among his Indian friends for example Kishore Biyani, founder of Pantaloon, Big Bazaas and the Future Group. Hallier participated actively for many years in the Indian Retail Forum (IRF) in Mumbai either as a speaker or being involved in the Award Ceremonies; being awarded himself in 2016 for Retail Excellence by the Asia-Africa-GCC Retail & Shopping Center Congress (more: YouTube)

07.02.2021 : Mobile & Decentral

In the mid 70ies of last century data-processing was based on punchcards and big central computers which needed cooling systems! Seeing a small newspaper-article about a test of mobile data-entry-units in the USA Bernd Hallier in 1975 at Brinkmann Cigarettes/Germany responsible for automation/innovation asked Bob Seidensticker of Liggett & Myers/USA to arrange a date with that IT-company to see applications in the field - which actually was realized in Florida in the same year.


Back in Germany Hallier found with Willi Weber/Dieburg a tobacco wholesaler being interested in a joint design of an application for the control of sales and refilling of cigarette-vending machines. Microthek Germany as a start-up supplied the data-entry-units and the back-up was in the first trial an IBM/32 and then the new IBM/34 (64 K/17 mio byte disc) - the first one for a German tobacco wholesaler. In 1979 the national tobacco newspaper DTZ was invited to accompany the demonstration tour of the filling of the vending machines. While at that time on average a filler served 24 vending machines per day - due to prepacking by the individual data per column/machine the filler served 106 vending machines on that tour. The aim of "rationalization" was proved - but it was also the start of the optimization of each column/each vending machine; it was historically the first Efficient Consumer Response (ECR) project - and it was the start of IT in medium-sized tobacco wholesale-companies becoming independent from big central data-centers. In 1980 Brinkmann Cigarettes promoted nationally the Weber-solution as an example for an efficient vending-machine management by a booklet "Automaten'80" - parallel Bernd Hallier wrote his PhD about the impact of decentralized IT of tobacco wholesalers for all activities (and job-changes) along the supply-chain in the tobacco sector.

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