FORBES: Golden boy

They say that the consultant would not be able to manage the company. Norbert Biedrzycki, a juvenile of the consulting firm McKinsey, denied this, healing the IT integrator of Sygnity. What will he show now as the president of the ABC Data hardware trading company?

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Forbes Norbert Biedrzycki zloty chlopak

Norbert Biedrzycki became famous as an efficient restructuring company. Now he has a chance to play more offensively.

As a lucky Chevrolet Camaro 79-year-old owner with a 500-horsepower Norbert Biedrzycki, he has a tendency to go fast. That was the case in Sygnity, where he started the restructuring after three months. This will also be the case at ABC Data, although when he presented the company’s new strategy at the end of March, he assured that it would develop it in an evolutionary way. Investors are buying: three months after Biedrzycki appeared in the company, its price increased by 30 percent.

In Sygnity, he was only one year old, but he made order: he reduced costs and implemented new business models. A company eligible for bankruptcy began to generate profits and doubled in value over the year. A good run was interrupted by the call for Sygnity announced on the Asseco website at the beginning of 2012. Shareholders, wanting to defend themselves against the takeover, bet on a more experienced man, but Biedrzycki departed from there with the opinion of the manager who saved the company from falling. Now, however, he will work in the offensive – he went to a company priced by the market half as high as the previous one, which is not usual to bring losses.

– At Sygnity he only credited his skills. For me, his experience at McKinsey was decisive. This is the best school for technology business people – says Tomasz Czechowicz, the new employer of Biedrzycki (ABC Data is the largest portfolio company of its MCI fund).

Consulting gives broad horizons and good experience, Biedrzycki was among others one of the favorite advisors of the Hindu king of steel, Lakshmi Mittal, who, as evidence of sympathy, invited him to the wedding of his daughter Vanishy. Consultants of their own councils usually do not have to personally implement them. However, this is not the rule, as evidenced by the Italian adventure with the banking of McKinsey’s Alessandro Profumo or the career of Wojciech Sobieraj, who spent five years at BCG. Biedrzycki already in Sygnity showed that he can easily define key tasks and does not hesitate during their implementation.

His strategy for ABC Data for 2013-2015 is somewhat reminiscent of the plans that Eurocash, the leader in the wholesale distribution of FMCG products in Poland, draws its president Luis Amaral – to maximize the use of resources and squeeze margins as much as possible. The distributor of computers and the entire set of accessories has 30 percent in their logistics centers. free surface. Wanting to develop it, Biedrzycki encourages large online hardware stores to build a shared distribution. Online stores would sell (including goods from ABC Data), and ABC Data process related to the execution of orders (also placed in online stores).

Like Amaral, it will also focus on margins. Eurocash after buying Tradis ordered the suppliers to lower the discounts by a few percentage points and the difference is to be returned a year back. Threats of such companies as Dr.Oetker that they withdraw from the network, did not impress him – those who stay (Gellwe or Delecta), earn more and more willingly share their profits. ABC Data can afford such a move for example with suppliers of laptop bags. Instead of selling 30 kinds, it can focus on a few whose producers will quickly get much larger volumes and to keep them, they will have to pay more from the margin.

Biedrzycki is fascinated by the American company Salesforce.com, which earns on the processing of data collected from customers. For example, serving store chains, he collects the knowledge that PepsiColi can sell to its sales management.

– By doing transactions with almost 100,000 clients, ABC Data is a real data warehouse. You just need to use them well – says Biedrzycki.

The company has more precisely to manage the sale, collecting the lion’s share of the marketing budgets of the suppliers.

The idea of ​​the same sort is to develop the InterLink e-commerce platform through which ABC Data implements 85 percent. orders. It’s about creating profiled services that reach everyone: a large online store, a small store and a retail client (just like Amaral has ABC Market, Delikatesy Centrum and Eurocash) – to penetrate every segment and catch as many links in the supply chain as possible.

In the head of Biedrzycki, even more ideas for earning are being sowed. It revives when the conversation goes down about the future of Amazon in Poland. Through the British branch, the Americans created a very good offer to buy books and music (including without shipping costs), but they still lack the sale of such important things for their business as computer hardware or consumer electronics. Amazon delays the appearance in Poland, fearing a repetition of the eBay fiasco. Therefore, ABC Data as a market leader could be a good partner by organizing on-site distribution.

The question is what comes next with Biedrzycki. Will he become a life-long restructuring for rent? Two years ago, he argued that the biggest challenge is to make your own business. A few of his consulting colleagues have already jumped on the train with the money.

Link to a full article (in Polish)

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