Max and Moritz on Tour - that’s been the motto of the last few days. Instead of sitting on an office, I’ve been allowed to go out and do some field work, and get to know JBL from a completely different side. I spent a total of three days on the road with sales rep Max and helped out with his daily business.
This included such tasks as shelf maintenance, taking new orders, processing returns and of course the customer contact that comes with all this. If they have something on their mind, such as questions about products, they can simply ask their local sales representative. When it comes to shelf maintenance, of course, the primary concern is the appearance of the product displayed on the shelves. On top of that it’s important to check the shelf lives of the products (- meaning that you, the buyer, will always find fresh products on the shelf).
Working in the sales force means you get around. All in all, we were in four different federal states: Rhineland-Palatinate, Baden-Württemberg, Hesse and Bavaria.
As well as conventional DIY stores and specialist stores like Obi, Herkules and Fressnapf, we visited traditional aquaristic and modern scaper shops. The “Scaper's Lounge” in Hanau, “Aquaristik am Park” in Kleinheubach, “Pfisterer Aqua Tec” in Stockstadt, and also the rather quaint “Zoohaus Höchst” in the Odenwald all counted among my personal favourites. From the outside, these stores are quite inconspicuous - but from the inside, they turn out to be a paradise for every aquarium enthusiast. If I wasn’t on duty, I could have spent a few hours here!
A full day was spent refurbishing a zookauf store in Linden. The store was still completely empty and we were the first to place our products on the shelves in the aquaristics department. It was important to retain the correct product display, so we followed a system which included picture templates. We had to arrange the food products, lighting, filters, CO2 systems and water care elements. After that the price tags were printed and positioned in the designated strips. To do this we had to scan each product once. I never knew restocking could be so time-consuming.
All in all, I can say that my brief insight into the sales force was really fascinating and I couldn’t help noticing the way they interacted with each other. All the conversations between the sales reps and the customers were on an equal basis using the familiar German “du” form. They really knew each other well.