The Structural Elements sector made about €220 million in turnover in 2015 and appears externally under the name E/D/E Fachkreis PRO.ELEMENT.
Under the management of experienced structural elements specialists, the work concentrates on the product groups of interior doors, glass doors, steel doors, sectional doors and gates, industrial doors as well as garage doors and drives, skylights, house doors, stairs, grates, light wells and windows.
The focal point is the extensive support of the predominantly wholesale-oriented member companies in their purchasing, marketing and distribution of structural elements.
The Structural Elements expert group has a very good network in terms of suppliers. All important and significant industrial partners of the goods sector are listed as contract suppliers, an important basis for successful work.
The E/D/E Fachkreis PRO.ELEMENT expert group with its 42 structural elements traders in 55 sites was founded back in 1999 from the Structural Elements expert group. Today, 49 members at 91 sites belong to the PRO.ELEMENT expert group. All partners have a high level of structural element competence in their region, the prerequisite for membership in the PRO.ELEMENT group.
The preservation and development of regional market leadership in the field of structural elements was defined as the superordinate objective of the cooperation.
The fundamental difference to other comparable groups is that wood and metal-focused companies have both merged into the PRO.ELEMENT group, from whose collaboration fundamental synergy effects have often resulted.
Competence groups within expert group PRO.ELEMENT
In order to further specialisation of our members, a new direction for the concept of the expert group was established in 2013.
The aim is to develop sales- and marketing-strategies in the respective competence groups and to provide the necessary instruments for members in order to develop better than their market environment.
The competence group exhibition consists of members, who want to promote their exhibitions and use them as an active sales-instrument. Integral part of this is a marketing strategy for a structural element event world which integrates several concepts (PRO.ELEMENT network for professional craftsmen, end customer online-platform www.bau-wiki.de, qualification "PRO.ELEMENT Tage“ etc.)
The competence group commercial property deals with core competences in marketing of structural elements in commercial objects (hotels, hospitals, office builings, Kindergartens, schools, university etc.). There are two sub-groups: trade business without assembly (delivery directly to craftspeople) and business with assembly (VOB, service contracts, full service).
The competence group industrial doors works actively on the challenges arising from dealing with industrial doors both in maintenance and service.
The competence group sun protection and facades deals with sales-concepts concerning: roller shutters, exterior blinds, shutters/awnings and roof windows/insulating skylights. The group is currently in its inital stages.
Often the entire E/D/E expert group PRO.ELEMENT benefits from the results of work in the competence groups. For example, qualification measures in our trade: Hithertoo, there were no adequate training measures in the structural elements industry for schooling young professionals after their completed training specifically on topics from the industry. Together with members of the competence groups and several contract suppliers a comprehensive profile what qualification should look like was developed. With the Bildungswerk des Zentralverbands Hardwarenhandel (ZHH) an independent and competent carrier for this qualification measure was found. Today the industry has a well-structured, comprehensive training course "Technical businessman for structural elements“ in cooperation with the ZHH as well as the qualification measure "Steel-, gate- and door-mechanic" in cooperation with the Kreishandwerkerschaft (craftsmen-association) Hellweg-Lippe.
E/D/E specialist group PRO.ELEMENT launches the new concept ELEMENTARES as of May 2014, in order to achieve a more targeted communication towards end-customers and commercial recipients. The new concept brand will transport and communicate the services of the individual members of the specialist group PRO.ELEMENT in the different relevant service-segments.
The aim is to establish a sales concept-brand for doors, gates and other structrual elements as well as products close to them. ELEMENTARES as of now comprises the areas of door concepts, object service and industrial gates. In the end it will be important, to address the core target group here and to create awareness for the product areas and the services of our trade partners. On the side of our members (as traders), usage of a powerful concept brand is not to be underestimated, since brands create identity.
ELEMENTARES will enable companies partaking in the concept, to differentiate their services palpably from their competition and to further expand their market profile. The concept brand will make our members more visible in their markets, and thus strengthen their negotiating position in talks with their business partners.
"The new concept 'ELEMENTARES' demonstrates as well, that everything just doesn't work without specialists." Already the name in the first place expresses the inalienability of quality products and specialised retail traders. "ELEMENTARES signifies basic, relevant and defintitive performance, focussed on competence and reliability of exhibitiors“, explains Frank Brandenburg, Head of Business Division II.
ELEMENTARES will be closely interwoven with the existing online platform BAUWIKI (www.bau-wiki.de) and thus contribute in activating market potentials for traders in our specialist group.
In order to be up-to-date for “special subjects” as well, two further specialist groups have been formed from the expert groups. There are currently 27 members of the steel construction element competence group, who focus on dealing with the marketing of steel doors, gates and drives as well as the industrial gate business. The main target groups here are locksmiths and other metalworking companies. On the other hand, the 20 current members of the wood construction element competence group have focused their work on interior doors made of wood/wood materials and glass with the core target groups of carpenters and joiners.
The entire E/D/E Fachkreis PRO.ELEMENT expert group benefits from the results of the two competence groups in many cases. For example, further education and training within the industry: up to now, there was no adequate training measure for the structural element industry, in order to be able to further qualify the next generation of workers in the field of structural elements after their vocational training. In cooperation with the members of the competence groups and some suppliers, an extensive job profile has been developed and, with the training centre of the Zentralverband Hardwarenhandel (ZHH), an independent and competent supporter of this further educational measure has been found. Today, the industry now has a structured, extensive further training course entitled “Technical Specialist for Structural Elements” as well as qualification modules for the "Stahl-, Tor- und Tuerrmonteur" ("Steel-, gateway- and door-assembler").
There are constant innovations in all sectors; this naturally also applies to the world of structural elements. With our structural elements report, we keep our members in the loop. In the structural elements report, we provide extensive information about the latest happenings from the industry, introduce member companies and industrial partners and report about the activities of the expert group. With the building legislation report, we keep our members in the loop about the latest decisions in building legislation, a must fur anyone who deals with the marketing of structural elements including their installation.
The Forum Structural Elements offers top-keynote speakers again in 2016. On May 12th, E/D/E division structural elements invites to Berchtesgaden. Top-dealers and suppliers from the field are gathering in order to get organized for the future. Matthias Horx and Oliver Leisse could be won as speakers. Horx is one oft he most influential trend-researchers and futurologists in the German speaking world, Leisse worked for a long time as strategy consultant with renowned advertising agencies and is running SEE MORE, the institute for trend research and innovative strategies in Hamburg. Both will grant insights into the development of the business in decades to come and thus offer impulses for new ideas. Additionally, a specialist from the AUDI brand development is expected, who will introduce the audience to the future project ”Tuesday 2025”. Before the breath-taking back-drop of the alps in Berchtesgaden, great conversations and successful networking are key-features oft he event.
The E/D/E is at the disposal of its contracted suppliers as a full-service-company. In this partnership, suppliers may use various possibilities, in order to impact markets together with the E/D/E and to boost sales-potentials.
Further more, both sides work in close communication on optimum marketing-concepts. Also, innovations can be brought into business faster via the E/D/E network. Apart from central-regulation for members, E/D/E also assumes delcredere-liability towards suppliers.
Recently founded in 2013, the "Arbeitskreis Marketing" (marketing working team) offers new opportunities: Here, E/D/E PRO.ELEMENT expert group-members work on new, individual concepts, matched to regional and branch-specific requirements.
The world without the internet as a medium for information, advertising and marketing has become unthinkable. Since September 2012, 33 excellent structural element-traders with 62 branches of the E/D/E competence group PRO-ELEMENT present themselves with an information-portal that is unique in the industry. The site www.bau-wiki.de offers everything buyers of doors, garret windows and gates could ever want to know.
Under the headline „Überzeugen. Begeistern. Handeln.“ ("Convince. Enthuse. Act."), professional and supplier-neutral information for end-customers is to be found, meaning in this case renovating parties or house builders. The platform offers pictures, definitions of technical terms and answers to the most important questions revolving around the topics of inner doors, garret windows, gates and architraves.
The compact platform, comprising many suppliers, is unique in its market because of its depth and variety in information. BAUWIKI offers an exclusive showroom-area with hundreds of detail-pictures of doors, garret windows and gates, a so-called style-finder helping house-builders to find the suitable door as well as numerous animations and movie-clips. They explain for instance new functions and transfer professional knowledge in such a way that it is understandable for the ordinary person.
Between 2002 and 2012, PRO.ELEMENT was one of the few companies, if not the first-mover in the market, who offered an interactive planning-tool.
“Türen öffnen (T)Räume” Door Magazine [Doors open Dreams]:
Classic media still have their authority. In connection with several door suppliers, the 64-page “Türen öffnen (T)Räume” magazine was published in summer 2010. This door magazine sets itself considerably apart from the “normal” door brochures of the industry. “Türen öffnen (T)Räume” intends to awaken the appetite for new doors and is meant to inspire the reader to change their old doors. The different characteristics and properties of doors are clearly and simply described in text and images. For the end consumer, the “fear” of renovation is taken away. Almost 40,000 pieces were published in the first edition of the magazine.