New Nisbets chief executive, Klaus Goeldenbot, has revealed he spent his first week in the job picking and packing orders in the company’s warehouse as he seeks to quickly get to grips with every aspect of its business.
As part of an induction programme to understand the £320m-a-year catering equipment giant’s operations, Mr Goeldenbot is spending time in different Nisbets departments to learn how they work.
Today he was due to be jetting off to Eindhoven, the first stop on a two-week tour of Nisbets’ European operations. It is expected that one of Mr Goeldenbot’s main objectives will be to grow Nisbet’s presence in overseas territories. It currently has offices in France, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Portugal and Holland, as well as a business in Australia.
Speaking to the press for the first time yesterday, just 11 days into the job, Mr Goeldenbot revealed how his first week-and-a-half in the job was far less about the boardroom and more about getting stuck in on the shop floor.
“I am really bowled over by the passion that people have in this business. I worked in the warehouse last week, picking and packing, and I worked in the contact centre and took orders and listened to phone calls. I am going to work in every part of the business over the next few weeks to really get to know it. Everyone I have spoken to, even my colleagues who don’t touch the customers, who pick and pack in the warehouse, were so passionate about giving a great experience to the customer. And they quickly corrected me when I picked the wrong product – ‘Klaus, if you put that in the wrong place we will get a very dissatisfied customer’. That for me was a a great testimony to just how much passion there is.”
Mr Goeldenbot has an impressive track record in business, having spent 10 years at assembly and fastening materials giant Wurth and 15 years as president of RS Components’ electronic and industrial components arm, which had revenues of £1.2 billion.
He said that during his discussions with chairman Andrew Nisbet it became immediately clear that his experiences of his previous businesses shared similarities with Nisbets’ approach. “The basics are about providing customers with brilliant customer experience through a very well-run and well-oiled distribution machine,” he explained. “I have got the experience of creating a big European business for RS Components, I have worked at a global level, and the brief that Andrew has given me is to help Nisbets grow into a much bigger business and in particular outside of the UK.”
Andrew Nisbet said yesterday at the opening of the National Catering Equipment Centre in Bristol that Mr Goeldenbot had been appointed to lead Nisbets into a “new era”.
Asked by FEJ if that era would largely be about growing the business in Europe, where its visibility isn’t as high as the UK, Mr Goeldenbot replied: “I think if you asked me that question again once I have had a bit more than 11 days I would be better placed to answer that. But Andrew said to me, ‘look I want you to take this business to the next chapter in its history’. I still need to define with him, and with my management team, what that means but it will definitely mean becoming bigger and even more successful than today, and bigger internationally. We will work on that once I have got my head around the business, seen the different countries and seen our operations. Then we will actually stick our heads together and define that collectively.”