Klaus Engberding assumed the role of Chairman of the EOS Group’s Board of Directors in March 2017. He reviews the extraordinarily successful past financial year and explains how EOS is securing its position as one of the top service providers in the debt collection industry.
Mr Engberding, you have been working for EOS for more than ten years and in your most recent position as member of the EOS Group’s Board of Directors you were responsible for the German market. What has changed for you in your new role?
Klaus Engberding: As Chairman of the EOS Group’s Board of Directors, I now look at things from a new point of view. While I was responsible for the German market, I steered the day-to-day business and solved specific problems on a daily basis. Now I am responsible for setting the course for the future of the entire Group. I now delegate even more operational issues to my executive team than I did in my last position. Steering the overall course for the EOS Group suits me and I enjoy it very much.
This is your first time as Chairman of the Board of Directors that you can look back at the results of the past financial year. How satisfied are you?
Klaus Engberding: My colleagues on the Board of Directors and I are extremely satisfied. We achieved an extraordinarily good result in the last financial year. We are proud of this success because in many regions financially strong competitors are increasingly pushing onto the market, raising the stakes in terms of competition and pricing pressure. Nevertheless, in the reporting year, we managed to approximately double our investments in debt purchases compared to previous years. For instance, we expanded the purchasing and processing of secured receivables. We plan to increase investments in the purchases of receivables.
How will you safeguard the competitiveness of the EOS Group in the future?
Klaus Engberding: We want to remain among the most efficient providers of receivables management in our core business area and offer our customers attractive products. This is why we launched two key projects. The first concerns taking advantage of the opportunities of digitalisation to further expand our position as a technology leader. The other project is about properly positioning ourselves for the changes of the digital age using the Cultural Journey@EOS change process.
How will you be advancing digitalisation within the EOS Group?
Klaus Engberding: We are experts in our core business today because in past years, we have always been at the forefront of new – technological – developments. Our debt collection software remained unique in the industry for many years. Now, EOS in Germany is in the process of developing a totally new debt collection system. At a total of 90 million euros, it is the biggest investment in IT ever within the EOS Group. This software is capable of analysing data even better. Thus, it supports our employees by adopting the optimal measures for every debtor. We are currently working on an international Centre of Analytics in order to pool these findings and have them benefit the entire EOS Group. This way, we continue to work more efficiently and at the same time protect our clients’ reputations as best we can.
Digitalisation often requires companies to switch to new work methods. How is EOS rising to this challenge?
Klaus Engberding: With employee participation, our parent company, the Otto Group, developed and issued a common mission statement for its more than 100 companies in 2017. Based on the motto, ‘Together we push the limits’, we are working together to ensure the Otto Group transforms itself into a fully digitalised trading and services group. We want to inspire our customers. This new sense of purpose will release fresh energy within the EOS Group and ensure our innovations continue to lead us to success. We will use this energy to put the Otto Group purpose into practice for EOS and forge ahead with the Cultural Journey@EOS.
What changes will come from the Cultural Journey@EOS?
Klaus Engberding: The Cultural Journey@EOS defines how we become faster and more efficient. Our future form of collaboration must give employees more scope for decision-making. As we allow them more freedom, we need a modern approach to handling errors. Our goal must be to learn from wrong decisions. We are promoting independence, courage and motivation in our employees to help them perform at their best every day. Thanks to digitalisation and the Cultural Journey@EOS, the EOS Group is fully programmed for the future!