'The Bleckmann way' cannot be simply summed up in words. Or can it? Four values represent Bleckmann's culture, the 4 E's: Entrepreneurship, Engagement, Excellence and Expertise. How does the Bleckmann team fulfil them?
Anyone who has the opportunity to look behind the scenes of this logistics specialist for fashion & lifestyle brands will see more than trousers, T-shirts and shoes being taken off racks, packed and shipped.
A visitor will see a diversity of people. People of 56 nationalities do their best daily to accomplish their jobs well and care for their customers. That visitor will also immediately sense a working atmosphere that is more than the sum of individuals. He will experience that 4 values characterise Bleckmann's culture.
Four E's describe the values shared by the more than 4,000 Bleckmann Heroes at more than 30 locations in Belgium, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Every month Bleckmann organizes a Culture workshop for several team members to make its culture more alive and to spread its values throughout the company.
During this workshop, we found out how team members live the four values:
The E of Entrepreneurship
Every team member of Bleckmann can roll up their sleeves and take on challenges like a true entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship is about having the guts to say that things can be done differently. It is the freedom to do so and the ability to make mistakes.
"Entrepreneurship and commitment are my main reasons for working at Bleckmann," says Bram. "I got the opportunity to build HR services in Ghent. During that process, I noticed that, like everyone else, I could take initiative and achieve results."
Niky also encounters entrepreneurship in her job. For example, when she wants to promote sustainability. "I make improvement proposals and collaborate on new projects such as a local platform to recruit people in our region. I also work on small improvement proposals that reduce the environmental impact of the textile sector."
The E of Engagement
Passion and commitment are the key. More than 4,000 team members feel connected with the brands they serve and engage in helping them to grow. "At the same time, we are good global citizens. We are committed to helping people who suffer hard times. We are involved in local communities and initiatives."
How is commitment stimulated? "Bleckmann gives people opportunities and responsibilities. This gives them pride in their jobs, lets them grow and makes them commit to their team," a team member clarifies.
The commitment is particularly striking during crises. Then everyone jumps in until the problem is solved.
The E of Excellence
The third E shows the flexibility and continuous improvement that is so typical for Bleckmann. The Bleckmann Heroes are constantly improving operations and processes. They embrace innovation in order to serve fashion & lifestyle brands better.
Excellence is about the eternal search for smarter ways of doing business and using business intelligence. "We do this in constant consultation with our customers," says a team leader. "The central question is: what can we do for your brand? If I share my expertise with my colleagues and customers afterwards, we achieve excellence."
"To reach this level, I regularly step out of my comfort zone," adds a site manager. "This is how my team, my site and I grow. "
The E of Expertise
For 160 years, the Bleckmann team has built on its experience in logistics services for fashion and lifestyle brands. It led, among other things, to pioneering and becoming an expert in managing end-to-end logistics for e-commerce. (Also read The 5 most innovative milestones in the 160 years history of Bleckmann)
"We are constantly learning and improving," different team members say. "We listen to each other, help and support each other. In search of new expertise, we are challenged, and I challenge my team members. I ask them: how would you do it if it was your own company?"
Thanks to this attitude, clients can count on our accumulated expertise 24/7. "We don't only understand our clients' needs and expectations; we also like to share our expertise," says Kars. "For me, expertise also means acknowledging and daring to admit that we do not know everything and, consequently, gaining specific knowledge with each other and the client. This creates a bond between our clients and us. And this can help us when we face similar issues in the future."
How a team member sums up the 4 values in one quote?
"Bleckmann gives me the freedom to be creative and expand my knowledge whilst giving me support and guidance when I need it."