In 2021, we announced our official purpose: Empowering you to move forward. Most people are unaware of the idea of a company defining its purpose, let alone knowing why it is so important. CHRO Andrea Bodstein-Walenciak and one of a growing group of purpose ambassadors, Assortment & Pricing Manager Patrik Wijk, explain the concept and how it makes a difference to our colleagues, customers, suppliers and communities.
“A purpose tells us why we are doing business,” says Andrea. “Research shows that if a company clearly expresses what it stands for and why it does things, it can create a stronger connection with its customers and employees, and also make a much bigger contribution to society as well as its bottom line. Patrik adds, "I was curious to find out what a purpose is and what is means for Kramp. This idea of a greater goal. That triggered me to join the purpose ambassador program.”
“When we began formulating Strategy 2025,” Andrea continues, “we started examining our purpose in parallel. A purpose should be something that’s inherent in the company identity. Something that already exists. We started by looking back at old communications, talking to customers and employees to find out how they perceive Kramp, what the typical experience is. Two themes emerged: that we are a very service-oriented organisation that likes to help others achieve their goals; and secondly that we are very future-focused. We had the two primary ingredients to express our purpose but putting that succinctly into words took a couple more months.”
Listen to the podcast where Andrea explains the differences between vision, mission and purpose.
Our purpose contains 3 important elements.
This refers to the unique role of Kramp in the value chain. We exist because we connect and facilitate partners to work together. We stand side by side, we support and enable, and we are doing this together. We are the spider in the web of the supply chain. We empower all partners to be successful. As our slogan says: It’s that easy.
You refers to everyone in the value chain we are part of: our suppliers, our customers, the end users and our employees. But it also includes the communities we are part of. It is our purpose in life to help every partner to be successful in what they do.
This refers to our drive to continuously improve and innovate as an organisation. At Kramp, we take ownership for the business and our work, we see new opportunities, we believe in a positive future for all of us and we get out of bed each day to move things forward and keep our customers’ businesses running.
A purpose should be an expression of traits already inherent in the business, but ensuring that it really drives the business requires communication and commitment. “Our ambition is that the purpose becomes a guide,” says Andrea, “a lens to look through at new opportunities, new markets, new customers. There’s no easy way to judge when you’re truly purpose-driven, but we’ll be able to gauge it by when people outside of Kramp – customers, job applicants, communities – feel the essence of our purpose, that we are helping them to move forward. These are all proof-points that we are doing the right things.”
“At a personal level, I think I’ve always done the things in line with our purpose,” says Patrik. “I think most colleagues do. But now there is a phrase that sums up the essence. And I can give a good example of the simple difference it makes when we explain our purpose.
“A little while ago, we had a warehouse picker who wasn’t always the most accurate. We held a team gathering around some of the machines we supply parts for, to talk about how we do what we do and why it is important to ship the right parts quickly so customers can do their vital work of growing food. Now, this one picker always forgot the small bolt-bag. The visual connection with the machines showed him that those small bolts were essential for a particular plough. If the farmer doesn’t get them, the plough won’t work. The farmer can’t work. The impact is huge. And after that, the warehouse picker never forgot the bolts again. He found his purpose there and then. It’s not just moving parts from A to B, because B leads to C, to D and so on. It’s easy to take a carrot or stick approach, but instead we just need to explain – perhaps visually – why getting the details right matters.”
“Our purpose is a torch to help us see the way ahead”
- Eddie Perdok
“Having purpose involves understanding the real-life consequences of the things we do, how even the little things affect someone else’s day, week, livelihood, profitability…” Patrik concludes. “Of course, we will still continue to look for profitable opportunities!” Andrea says. “But knowing our purpose helps us evaluate whether something fits Kramp or not. In essence we will continue to do what we have been so good at over 70 years, to innovate as we have, and our purpose is a torch to help us see the way ahead.”