EASY personal – the PartnerPort 2.0 team, part 1: Christoph Köhne
PartnerPort 2.0 team helps existing and potential partners make their business more efficient and quantitatively more successful with EASY’s solutions. How does that work, exactly? Particularly: Who has what tasks in the team, who are your contacts? In a nutshell, we present the PartnerPort 2.0 team personally. We start with Christoph Köhne, Director of PartnerPort 2.0.
Hello Christoph, how long have you been at EASY and what topics are you dealing with there?
I started here in May 1996, 21 years ago. At that time, I handled commercial order processing. Over the years, I have been more and more involved in sales, but always kept my commercial roots in mind. Since the beginning of 2016, partner consulting has been part of my personal portfolio.
How was it that you came to EASY?
Originally, I started an apprenticeship as a textile salesman at a clothes manufacturer in Mönchengladbach. Unfortunately, the company went into liquidation shortly before the end of my training. On my own initiative, I then applied at EASY. At the time, we were still exclusively focused on electronic archiving. That appealed to me.
What is the task of EASY PartnerPort 2.0?
The word “port” stands for harbour and that says a lot about our task. PartnerPort 2.0 is the central point of contact for all EASY partners in day-to-day business. We are on the spot if a partner cannot go forward or wants to coordinate things with us as a manufacturer.
What is your role in this?
To stay in the picture: I am something like the harbour master, responsible for things to work – both in the commercial as well as in the sales areas. I’m also involved in developing our team within the framework of corporate strategy. Since the beginning of 2016, Partner-Consulting, with its consulting and implementation services, has supplemented the PartnerPort 2.0’s sales organisation. I am responsible for both teams, i.e., 10 employees. In addition, it is one of my tasks to synchronise consulting colleagues with overall AG processes.
What skills are necessary for that?
As I said, I come from the commercial realm. I have acquired a broad knowledge of distribution over the years and have many years’ experience with EASY. To put it bluntly: I know every corner of the house. In addition, there have been fresh insights in the technical field within the last few months. This combination is extremely helpful.
How can PartnerPort2.0 provide support specifically?
In a variety of ways. On the one hand, we look at the inquiries manufacturing partners send to us. This allows us to make important conclusions about our products as well as the respective partner’s know-how. Where appropriate, we recommend training to ensure quality requirements. In addition, no partner covers EASY’s complete solution portfolio. Therefore, there are always “gaps” and resulting questions. But no matter what the details, our goal is always to offer the best solution for every customer in conjunction with our partners.
What can partners expect from PartnerPort 2.0?
That we can answer all questions, and within a reasonable time frame. As a rule, we react within 24 hours, usually with a concrete solution. To be able to do this, it is important to have extensive know-how in the team, especially in consulting. Here, in the course of our Schleupen Transmission we have been able to win valuable colleagues with Marc Bachelier, Sven Berling and Nico Diptmar.
How important is the theme communication?
Talking is known to help. Two times a year, we organise the EASY TechTalk, where technically oriented consultants and our partners’ support staff get their money’s worth. In addition to the personal contact, there is also opportunity to talk shop as long as desired, just open the laptop and talk about scripts. Personal experience is irreplaceable. On the other hand, new tools – specifically JIRA – support us in minimising the effort required by all parties involved, and ensure that no request is lost through a ticket system.
What are PartnerPort 2.0’s medium term goals?
Ultimately, our mission is self-help. Our goal is to make those partners who are willing to invest in our common business better and to promote them with all our strength. This is what drives us forward – in the medium and long term.
What do you do when you are not working for PartnerPort 2.0?
I regularly play Badminton in the amateur team of 1. BV Mülheim. In addition, I am an engaged Borussia Mönchengladbach fan. The club is an EASY customer, which allows me to link my passion for football with EASY. That is, of course, a special stroke of luck – just like my wife!