Being part of MEKO: “Our vision is to integrate the best of both organizations”

Since joining MEKO in 2018, the local market leader FTZ has further refined its customer offering and launched initiatives to optimizing the operations in Denmark. Michael Gadegaard, responsible for MEKO’s business area Denmark, has had a hectic time – and see clear untapped potential going forward.

Being part of MEKO: “Our vision is to integrate the best of both organizations”

At the time of the acquisition, Pehr Oscarson, President and CEO of MEKO, said that having FTZ on board would bring substantial value and opportunities for customers, employees, and shareholders.

Looking back, a lot has happened. 

With the aim to further strengthen its competitiveness and position, it has been announced that a new high-tech automated central warehouse set to be fully operational by 2025 will be built in Rørup close to Odense. Since, FTZ has also become the majority owner of both Avant Denmark, the leading car accessories company in the country and Vantage Lubricants, a leading supplier of lubricants and coolant for professional workshops.

In early spring 2024, a streamlining initiative to being able to fully leverage the soon-to-be-ready warehouse was announced, with the purpose of improving customer service, increasing efficiency, and strengthening its market position further.

Drawing lessons from Norway about electric cars helped FTZ

Today, FTZ is the leading car part distributor in the Danish market with B2B sales of spare parts, consumables, and tools to customer groups such as workshops, car dealers and commercial vehicles.

Michael Gadegaard says that becoming part of MEKO, a group with core competences and focus on the automotive market, has been “extremely valuable”.

“It has given us access to extensive automotive knowledge, not least in terms of products, exclusive brands, software, insight in the electric car transformation, sustainability, governance and buying power – all elements that create competitive power for FTZ,” he says.

Being part of a market leader across multiple geographies translate into a wide array of competencies and skill sets. What many companies struggle with is being able to utilize this platform.

Michael, however, pinpoints how leveraging the network, in relation to benchmark on KPIs and strategies, has led to improved operations and new ways of thinking in a number of areas.

“Our vision is to integrate the best of both organizations. We use the different perspectives, knowledge and experiences from FTZ and MEKO, and are thus being able to weigh the pros and the cons in key decision-making,” he says, before adding:

“More generally, there is high emphasis on sharing best practices within different forums. For example, the fast-paced development in the electric car industry in Norway has been very valuable for FTZ, as it has given us the opportunity to develop initiatives faster and better. One example is our education of EV technicians offered by FTZ Academy. We succeed in being the first on the Danish market that offers this education and using economics of scale we developed the educational program within six weeks.”

“We’ve expanded our portfolio of spare parts for electric cars”

Looking forward, Michael sees thrilling opportunities in a sector he describes as “dynamic” and being “in the midst of a transformation process” itself.

“The whole value chain is changing fast. The drivers of the changes can be found in digitalization, globalization, buying behaviors and technological changes within EVs. With changes follow opportunities.

With this in mind, Michael has a few short- and long-term targets in sight.

One of the targets is to continue adapting to market changes and foster a business model that maintains FTZ’s position as a profitable market leader.

Referring to the electrification of the industry, Michael sees this trend and the coming years as key in the automotive aftermarket. While acknowledging that there is untapped potential, he is also proud of the progress achieved so far.

In addition to being the first on the Danish market to offer such courses for vehicle technicians, FTZ’s concept AutoMester was also the first workshop chain to launch a program with the vision to support workshops in being able to service and repair electric cars. This was later followed by workshop programs from concepts such as Din BilPartner, CarPeople and Hella Service Partner.

“Another key aspect in enabling this transformation is the importance for customers to have access to spare parts. We have expanded our portfolio of spare parts for electric cars – and this is something we are continuously working on,” says Michael Gadegaard.

FTZ’s commitment to excellence is encapsulated in its vision to be the ultimate partner delivering professional and competitive solutions directly to and around the workshop.

Underlying these efforts and vision are three core values, he says.

  • Integrity: Commitment to keeping promises and standing by obligations. FTZ plays an active role in the community, values open and honest communication, and acts with integrity. 
  • Collaboration: The belief that success is achieved through close relationships and teamwork with both employees and customers. Growth and results can only be realized together. 
  • Development: The drive to create better, simpler solutions in all endeavors. FTZ is dedicated to shaping the future, promoting innovation and growth, and conducting business responsibly and sustainably. 

“By embedding these values into every aspect of its operations, FTZ not only positions itself as a leader in the automotive aftermarket but also as a responsible and forward-thinking company dedicated to supporting its customers and the community,” Michael concludes.

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