The road towards excellence: relationship with partners

Relations with partners are based on collaboration, dialogue and objective sharing through offer diversification and top quality products.

Il valore dei risultatiResponding to the multiple consumer requests  and supporting the Group’s presence globally is Autogrill’s key undertaking, which it cannot face alone. In order to reach the objectives and propose an increasingly broad offering, the Group looks for collaboration with its suppliers, brand partners and concession holders. The Group’s mission in terms of products and services focus is in the interest of consumers.
The Group implements this mission in its daily routine activities with its suppliers, with a view to improving efficiency, information exchange flows and the quality offered in the stores. Thanks to consistent collaboration with its partners, the Group succeeds in managing current business diversification and putting into practice its commitment towards understanding and analyzing modern consumer trends.

Over the years, the Group has managed to establish partnership relations that enable it to extend its knowledge, anticipate consumer trends and offer top quality products to consumers. Concept management (layout, products and services) is key to remaining competitive and represents a challenge with the increasing level of complexity. On one hand, it is essential to find the best way to combine products and services with portfolio brands, ensuring the provision of an offer that is in line with consumer expectations and, on the other, it is also essential for the Group to continue experimenting in order to adjust to the typical needs of mobility infrastructures, by continuously surprising consumers. Effective concept management for Autogrill Group is directly correlated to a proactive and responsible collaboration with its partners.

The Group focus on partnership relations has a huge impact on the final quality of its products and services. For instance, both in the Food & Beverage and Travel Retail & Duty–Free sectors, regional products represent the best and privileged way to differentiate the offer. This strategy is implemented and made successful through the establishment of relations with the most important local excellence operators, with the institutions, major international brands and shops to emphasize local cultural traditions.

In the US and in Europe, consumer trends are similar. In addition to major brands, consumers increasingly look for the cultural identity of the region they are visiting through the search for local products typical of a region or city.
Autogrill Group implemented various initiatives to respond to these emerging consumer trends and, specifically, in Europe the Group is committed to promoting Italy’s agrofood excellences in countries like Austria, France and Switzerland. This target was achieved thanks to the initiatives organized in close synergy with the Institutions, the system of the Chambers of Commerce and local producers, who contribute to disseminating Italy’s quality food culture abroad.

STEPS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF A ROBUST PARTNERSHIP WITH SUPPLIERS

The first step to developing robust relations with partners is paying close attention to selecting suppliers. A quality search to achieve quality results.

Autogrill Group pays a great deal of attention to developing robust relations with its suppliers. This is a strategic element in delivering products and services that respond to expectations and for this reason, the process through which the partners are selected is totally transparent and is based on the Company’s Code of Ethics, General Purchase Conditions and specific corporate procedures developed by each single country of operation. Quality is firmly rooted in the Group, along with flexibility and professionalism, as an overall attitude that is reflected in all corporate processes, starting, again, from supplier selection.

The relations with the Group suppliers have an impact on the quality of the products and services provided to consumers.

While on one hand it is clear that raw material (food and non-food) procurement and selection is key for the continuity of Autogrill’s business, on the other, the same holds true for the selection of partnerships. Only in this way it is possible to create innovation in the product development process. The result of this synergy between the Group and its suppliers is superior quality. This is a  winning combination with suppliers of both goods andservices (maintenance, cleaning, safety, etc.).

This attention to products and services is also reflected on the ethical level. In this respect, the US “Procurement Policy & Procedures” policy was developed in order to guarantee equal opportunities and also allow small local businesses to be included in the Autogrill supplier list without discrimination (based on age, size, gender,  nationality, religion, race, etc.). In Italy too, the Group putsgreat emphasis on supplier selection, on choosing the right partners. In fact, the General Purchase Conditions stipulate that suppliers apply to their own employees regulatory conditions not lower than those envisaged by Italian Legislative Decree 231/2001 (in the matter of administrative liability of juridical persons and in the matter of safety and security in the workplace). In addition, Autogrill requests its suppliers to underwrite the Form for the Assessment of Interference Risks aimed at identifying and recommending the measures adopted to eliminate risk factors correlated to the possible interferences between the concurrent activities performed in the same workplace.

CONTROL AND ASSESSMENT OF RELATIONS

Ongoing relations are consolidated over time through periodic controls in the interests of all the stakeholders: consumers,partners and the Group.

Collaboration between the Group and its partners enhances in a reciprocal way and it is therefore in Autogrill’s interest to identify the assessment tools to verify supplier appropriateness, which is necessary for the performance of commercial activities. This is an indispensable step that ensures high quality standards for all products and services offered by Autogrill Group. For this reason periodic audits have been designed, employing screening activities based on different criteria: questionnaires, information collection (direct or indirect), sampling and audits.

For instance, great attention is placed on product control in the Food & Beverage sector. In full compliance with H.A.C.C.P. procedures, Autogrill guarantees the wholesomeness, safety and hygiene of the products purchased from its suppliers by conducting audits and controls throughout the entire product life cycle, from the storage phase at the warehouse up to the refrigerated display windows in the stores. To further confirm product quality, additional microbiological analyses by outside specialists are also performed (at all levels: from raw materials to the finished products).

In 2010, only four lawsuits were filed against partners in Italy and this is evidence of the Group’s attention to developing strong relations with its suppliers and the efficacy of the selection and auditing systems adopted.

WHEN THE RELATION CONTINUES

Autogrill Group never stops searching for new ways to satisfy consumer needs and expectations: thanks to the collaboration of its suppliers, the Group set up important projects in 2010.

Ongoing collaboration with its partners is a key part of Autogrill Group’s strategy for ensuring future growth. Without the support of its suppliers, brand partners and concession holders, some of the projects involving stores that became operational or whose construction was approved in 2010, would not have been possible. The collaboration with the Starbucks brand made it possible to inaugurate the first Starbucks Coffee at the Antwerp railway station in Belgium, the fourth Starbucks opened by Autogrill in Belgium, after the other three opened in the Brussels airport. In May, Autogrill inaugurated the first “Puro Gustoat the Stuttgart airport, marking the entry of the “Puro Gusto” brand in Germany. This cafeteria is located in the arrivals area and extends over a surface of 120 sqm. In October the new Connection was inaugurated at the airport of Frankfurt, comprising a restaurant, a bistro and a takeaway café with 190 seats.
The menu offers a wide assortment of Mediterranean and international food.

In 2010, Autogrill stores within the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris became fully operational after the inauguration celebrated in December 2009. The Restaurants du Monde, Europe’s largest food court in the most visited museum in the world, includes 10 catering formulas, 7 restaurants and 3 cafeterias developed over a surface of 1,800 sqm, directly managed by Autogrill France and employing approximately 200 employees, serving 2 million meals every year to about 8 million visitors.

Lastly, Autogrill extended its presence at the Madrid Puerta de Atocha railway station this past December. Through this operation, the Group intends to continue its collaboration with the Spanish railway stations, in step with the increase in high speed trains in the country, which is expected to lead to an increase of passenger traffic volume, especially at the Atocha railway station, where the current capacity is expected to double (16 million passengers every year), reaching 35 million in 2025 (source: Spanish Ministry of Development).

 

THE GROUP’S CONCESSION CONTRACTS

The Group conducts the majority of its food & beverage and retail activities through concession contracts. The concession contracts are mainly stipulated through competitive tenders launched by public bodies or companies that possess or have the right to use the service areas and their content – duration, amount of compensation, investments, etc. – varies according to the activity channels and type of offering. The concessionaire, in addition to performing a service, agrees to pay an amount and to make specific investments in the area concerned. The offer valuation parameters set for the relevant competitive tenders differ based on the business channels, type of offer and the country of reference: quality of the commercial project; brand portfolio; design and layout of the spaces; know-how and operator’s track record; financial commitments undertaken in terms of investments and fees.