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Toxic Lunch: Industry talk at the bbw University of Applied Sciences

ToxixLunch_7

The first Toxic Lunch of the bbw University of Applied Sciences took place on 16 October. Toxic Lunch is a new format, to which Professor Buller, director of studies of the bbw University of Applied Sciences, loads high-level personnel of different industries in the lunch break into the bbw University of Applied Sciences. Under the slogan Industry Talk: two chairs, one guest, questions, answers, pretzels and Fassbrause welcomed Professor Buller Mr. Huckschlag, regional leader of EDEKA. For one hour Oliver Huckschlag talked about the theses 'Go the extra mile? Go the last mile instead ...' and 'Trade is change - never as much as today' and answered questions from the audience after the talk.

Excerpt from the Talk of the Toxic Lunch on 16 October 2019:

Prof. Buller: Your subject is trade. What kind of trade do you take care of? In which region? With which focus?
Huckschlag: To support the wholesale food trade (supply of gastronomy, community catering, resellers) in the region EDEKA Foodservice, Nord

Prof. Buller: In the preliminary discussion, the following sentence was said: "We are in the midst of a fundamental reorganisation of the wholesale division, both at Edeka and in the industry as a whole". Let's pick out one particular aspect here that is of huge interest to us and at the same time represents one of the megatrends globally: Digitalization. What does digitalization mean for your industry? What does digitalization mean for EDEKA?
Huckschlag: Digitalization does not just mean apps and internet; these are catchwords that give a name to the epochal challenges of chain stores. Digitalization also means optimising the flow of goods, linking communication between retail partners and providing solutions directly accessible to retail customers on the sales floor. Retail-related robotics, especially at the interface to the customer, is still in its infancy.

Prof. Buller. What does this mean in the context of your thesis "Go the extra mile? Go the last mile instead..."
Huckschlag: The food retail trade in Germany has a uniquely high surface density. This presents the "classic" internet mail order companies with major logistical hurdles in the dispatch of fresh food.

Prof. Buller: Each act of purchase is unique and hardly repeats itself a second time. Doesn't this make the use of technology incredibly difficult? And what does this mean for the further development of marketing in your industry?
Huckschlag: Retail-related robotics, especially at the interface to the customer, is still in its infancy. The experiment with delivery drones is a striking example of the creativity and possibilities that are currently opening up.

Prof. Buller: Another megatrend: ecology. EDEKA opened its first organic supermarket about a week ago. The next logical step after large supermarket chains such as Lidl, Aldi and Kaufland have already expanded their range to include organic products. "The fact that Edeka is now also involved corresponds to two trends that we have long seen," says Joachim Riedl, Professor of Market Research and Sales at the Hof University of Applied Sciences. Firstly, the number of consumers who buy organic products has been increasing slowly but steadily for years. Second, retail companies that have so far shown little interest in ecology and sustainability are pushing their way into the market. Is it a problem for Denn´s or Bio Company?
Huckschlag: Proximity to the customer and speed of adaptation to the market remain vital success parameters in retailing.

The next Toxic Lunch will take place on 16 April 2020. We are pleased to welcome Maria Hoffmeister, Area Director Of Sales Marketing at InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG®), and look forward to an interesting conversation and lively discussion.

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