A Face to Face interview with Peter Hradisky, managing director of Lyreco WISE
Lyreco is a huge business, very well known in certain market sectors. Could you explain the background to the company, its history, reach - both national and international, and sector successes?
Well we started out as a small book shop back in 1926 in the north of France. Fast-forward to 2017 and we are a global business, offering not just your traditional office products that some may know us for, but anything we deem to be a ‘workplace solution’. You could say that’s where our expansion into the cleaning and hygiene industry started - we broke out of the office environment and set our sights on new product ranges: PPE, catering and hygiene, to name a few. We’ve seen great success in these new markets, with our customer portfolio now including contract cleaners, large retail groups, healthcare providers, and almost everything else in-between.
Cleaning and hygiene products have always been a feature of Lyreco’s catalogue, so what has changed with its recent sharper focus on the sector?
It’s long been an area of growth for us and we’ve always looked for new ways to capitalise on that, but it was in 2014 that we looked at the rest of the market and realised we had something they didn’t… our logistics platform. We’d already established service standards unlike anything the cleaning and hygiene market had seen, and we used this advantage as a springboard into the wider industry. We’ve not looked back since.
Have you increased your cleaning and hygiene product range as a result of this new focus on the cleaning sector?
We know there’s no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to cleaning and hygiene, but we also don’t want to bombard our customers with every type of multi-purpose cleaner under the sun. There is such thing as too much choice, not all of our competitors get that.
Lyreco is known for its logistics expertise. How will this benefit the cleaning and hygiene sector?
Let’s be honest, cleaning and hygiene products are not always at the forefront of a customer’s mind and so planning can be difficult. Our ‘just in time’ delivery service means that we can offer an extremely reliable replenishment service that’s hassle-free. This also helps to minimise the storage space needed for bulky items like toilet rolls and hand towels. You don’t need to keep a skyscraper of toilet roll in your store cupboard when you’re a Lyreco customer, because we do that bit for you, and we’ll even deliver it next day!
The cleaning sector demands accurate order fulfilment and next day delivery of goods. How will you meet this demand?
We already do - place an order before 5.30pm we deliver it next day, on a Lyreco vehicle, by a Lyreco driver, straight to your desk or store cupboard. That is our service standard. We have an industry leading picking accuracy of 99.96% and our ‘on time, in full’ rate averages at 99.6%. It’s this trusted delivery service that sets us apart from our competitors.
This is a crowded market place. How will you compete and succeed against other established businesses?
We have a few tricks up our sleeve. We’ve already spoken about our logistics platform and the advantage this gives us, but we also have a lot more to offer our customers. With Lyreco you have access to your own personal account manager, an award winning customer service team and a procurement team dedicated to sourcing products at your personal request. We also might still be a relatively new player in the cleaning and hygiene market, but we’re well established in other markets - we’re a one-stop shop and the answer to customers looking to truly consolidate their supply chain.
Environmental protection is an increasingly important consideration when specifying cleaning products. Will your product offering reflect this?
Our environmental responsibility doesn’t stop at rooftops though, we carry this passion with us when considering our product ranges too. When you place an order on the Lyreco website, we give you the option to ‘Go Green’, transforming your chosen products into ‘green’ alternatives. We know it’s harder to be environmentally responsible with cleaning products, however, and that’s why this year we unveiled our own range of environmentally friendly cleaning products… BioForce! We collaborated with InnuScience to bring this product range to market, giving our customers just another great reason to consider their environmental impact.
Looking forward, what are Lyreco’s ambitions within the cleaning and hygiene sector?
We’ve already increased our sales turnover on cleaning and hygiene products threefold since 2014, and we’re going to more than double that again over the next three years. Lyreco is now in an ideal position to provide a consolidated solution to every industry sector, and we’re going to raise the service standards of the whole industry whilst we’re at it.