A two-way learning street
Once a year, the CFO, CCO and CEO at Actona Company take on the roles of travel agents, drivers and team building facilitators. This happens when the executive board plans and runs a two-day trip with Actona Company's trainees. It began back in 2017 as an occasion to establish a thorough understanding of the company culture and values for new trainees but quickly evolved into something bigger.
"When we arranged the first trip, we found out that our trainees were not the only ones in a learning process. The three of us in the executive board were too. The two days with the trainees provide valuable insight into how it is to join our company; what works and where we can improve. It also brings new business ideas into the light. We value knowing what is going on in the engine room, and this trip is a golden opportunity to stay in touch with the newest members of our organisation," says Søren Damgaard, CCO at Actona Company. Among other things, the input from the trainees have led to an even better onboarding programme at Actona Company.
The trainee trip is part of the two-year trainee programme and takes place when the trainees are approximately 6 months into their education. While the trip itself is now an integral part of the education, the content of the two days changes each year and is kept under wraps. Søren Damgaard adds: "We plan the trip in cooperation with our HR consultant but as soon as the trainees get into our cars and we drive to the destination, we run – and participate – in all activities ourselves. This creates a unique and informal atmosphere that characterises the entire trip."
The next trip is in the pipeline. Where the trainees and executive board will go and what the trip will contain, remains a secret.
If the mountain will not come to Holstebro…
… a virtual showroom provides the means for showcasing Actona Company's products to retailers across time and space. And most importantly: without depending on travelling.
"When you break the name Actona down, it means 'Act on A'. And that's what we did when travelling became restricted and trade shows were cancelled due to COVID-19. We quickly started looking for a long-term solution based on hardware and software that we could implement and use ourselves.", says Helle Bjerre Drost, Marketing Manager at Actona Company. When a new collection launches, Actona Company's in-house photographers can shoot everything in the 5,700 m2 showroom in Holstebro, Denmark. Once participation in trade shows becomes possible again, Actona Company plans to make virtual stands on trade shows allowing retailers to "visit" from anywhere in the world.
Key Account Managers Simon Frahm and Vibeke Ebbesen have been using the virtual showroom since the launch in September 2020. It allows them to reduce travel time, demonstrate product functionality, show new products and it provides a great way of letting potential clients browse the assortment before meetings.
The virtual showroom is a step in Actona Company's expansion within e-commerce, which also involves a relaunch of the business to business webshop in spring 2021.