Source: eKapija | Wednesday, 11.05.2022.| 10:38
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Roland Raith, Managing Director of Gebrüder Weiss Serbia: Coming Up with New Ideas at All Levels Helps Us to Stay up to Date

Last year was challenging, but also successful for Gebrüder Weiss. Managing Director Roland Raith talks in the interview about the operations in Serbia, as well as the solutions that are offered to the clients.

You can also read about why the company’s focus is on care for the employees, as well as how they take care of environmental protection.

Gebrüder Weiss has been operating in Serbia for 15 years. What were the expectations of the management and how has Gebrüder Weiss developed since then?

– 2021 was a challenging, but successful year for us. Our net sales increased by 20 per cent compared with 2020. This stable growth included the integration of new domestic and international clients too. With 270 employees at three locations in Serbia, we are promoting our values throughout the marketplace. Values like independence, sustainability, commitment, and outstanding service. The latter is supported by constantly driving forward digital transformation.

What are the main reasons for Gebrüder Weiss opening a branch office in Serbia?

– We have operated in Serbia since 2004. And we remain very satisfied with this decision, as this market`s potential and geographic location make this country a great place to do business. This robust economic climate is very important to foreign investors, but also to domestic companies focused on growth and development. With such a favorable environment, we want to drive for further expansion for our clients and ourselves as their logistics service provider.

Gebrüder Weiss provides transport and logistics solutions, digital services, and supply chain management. Do you provide all these services in Serbia too and do you have plans to intensify them here?

– Of course, we want to achieve sustainable growth as Gebrüder Weiss in general and as the Serbian branch of this well-known company. Our clients` demand for logistics services has been and always will be shifting. So, we support them with land transport, air & sea, logistics and industry solutions with innovative products and top quality based on their needs. This is also true of our successful Home Delivery service, which we have developed and extended to the large portfolio we have nowadays. In B2C, Gebrüder Weiss is the connecting element between our clients and their customers.

In the Corona pandemic, more and more consumers have used e-commerce. Does GW offer services in this field as well?

– Yes, we do. With our Home Delivery service we have already won promising and valuable domestic clients. We have raised strong expertise in this B2C area, some years before Corona. Of course, we did so by using our wealth of experience in other Gebrüder Weiss countries for this specific business segment. We combined this with our local expertise in Serbia’s logistic market. This promising approach helped us complete more than 24,000 shipments in 2021 and we have capacity for even more activities this year.

How much attention does Gebrüder Weiss pay to human resources, health and employee satisfaction? This topic has gained importance, especially during the ongoing pandemic.

– These issues have been important to us for a very long time because our employees are the cornerstone of our success. In recent years, we invested a lot in our HR activities and employer branding, including ISO certifications on providing safe and healthy workplaces and preventing work-related injuries. For 2022 we are budgeting RSD 12 million on education and leadership training. We are always looking for motivated and talented people to be even more competitive. For example, 17 apprentices are currently part of our team. Coming up with new ideas at all levels helps us to stay up to date.

To what extent does Gebrüder Weiss use information technology in its business and how important is logistics in your line of work?

– Digital solutions play an important role today. Gebrüder Weiss is pursuing a strategy that we call `The Best of both Worlds`: That means bringing together innovative digital tools and logistics facilities, cargo capacity and well-trained employees to offer customized services. The roll-out of myGW in Serbia also was an important step. This digital customer portal helps streamline dialog between our clients and us. The implementation of real-time ETA (estimated time of arrival) forecasts for transports is another good example of our digital approach.

Transport is one of the major air pollutants. How much attention is given to efforts on eliminating pollution caused by transport?

– We and our customers are paying increasing attention to how we can make logistics services more resource efficient. In Serbia, for example, we have five CNG trucks in operation. We have set up a more sustainable transport chain by rail to Central Europe for a major client. Gebrüder Weiss wants to be climate-neutral by 2030. That`s why we also launched `zero emissions` in 2021, a product that allows customers to offset their CO2 footprint and promote certified climate change mitigation projects

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