Making it our project

Project business

Making it our project

With project business Hager Group is entering a new sphere of business. Where will this new business scope lead us? What should customers expect? What can our Hager Group colleagues expect?

We asked Francesco Cagliero, Vice President Project Business at Hager Group 11 questions.

Please define project business and our ambition in this sphere.

Our ambition is to make Hager the preferred partner for customers. We want to enlarge our scope further than our traditional areas, that is to say, small residential or commercial applications, and branch out to medium and large commercial applications as well as multi-residential. With project business we’ll be targeting medium to large projects, ranging from 20,000 to more than 500,000 Euros in electrical solutions.

Francesco Cagliero is an electronic engineer with a broad experience in the industry. Based in Milan, he joined Hager Group at the beginning of 2020 and is today responsible for the project business segment in Europe.

So how does this differ from the classic diffuse business that Hager grew with?

Diffuse business is more about smaller installations, refurbishments and extensions, where the products are flowing over the counter of a distributor, where an electrician or contractor buys for his day-to-day-business. In project business we target schools, hospitals, shopping malls and similar building projects, where we work for 18 months side by side with an engineer and with several releases of drawings and calculations, resulting in a solution that we directly submit to the contractor. So project business means a longer decision-making process with more people involved and more Euros in play.

What is project business not?

We’ll not be doing huge projects or industrial installations, which require programming or automation. We also do not have the ambition to become a turn-key provider, nevertheless, we want to be able to provide a full set of solutions. And we’ll provide these solutions well before the execution of the project, by helping planners to design the project with the necessary data, software and tools.

A textbook project: Hager has equipped the Svartedalskolan with customised cable ducts and plug-and-play connections

Which new customers will we be addressing in the project business sphere?

Without giving preference to any, we’re talking about a wide range of touchpoints, from investors to constructino businesses to the engineering companies consulting on technical specifications. In some cases like hotels or residential projects you might also have an architect or interior designer involved. On top of that you have the mechanical-electrical-plumbing contractor who actually does the installation, and the panel builder. Wholesalers are also part of the game, as in some cases, they know the market better than we do.

What are the implications of project business within our scope of work?

While in the past a small distribution board and wiring accessories were our sweet spots in the residential world, we’re currently widening our scope. Think of a large and complex building like a university, a hospital, a logistics centre or similar. In buildings, we still have energy distribution boards and now, on top of this, we have energy management. Our customers want to manage and monitor energy, so we have to provide solutions for them to be able to do that. On top of our core business we’re building a holistic solution of energy monitoring and metering, building automation solutions, e-charging stations and the likes, plus our offers help our customers in the design stage.

Project business means a longer decision-making process with more people involved and more Euros on the table.

Francesco Cagliero, Leader Project Business Europe

Is entering project business a new Hager philosophy or strategy?

Well, project business is an essential part of our group strategy, so it is definitely a pillar of our strategic portfolio for the future. We are branching out without abandoning our legacy in diffuse business. It’s not about doing one or the other, it’s about doing both the best we can.And guess what? The ability to go more into equipment of larger buildings will also generate recurrent sales, it will generate maintenance and extension opportunities. So project and diffuse business will and should be seen as one.

Difficult conditions: Hager equipped many of the pavilions at the Expo 2020 in the midst of the pandemic

If we provide solutions directly to contractors do you see any conflict potentials with our partners, the wholesalers?

Absolutely not, and that’s super important. In fact we enhance each other. Through our project business activities we will acquire turnover for our wholesalers that they would not have acquired on their own. On top of that, the average value will increase, as we’ll be providing energy management and building automation as well as distribution boards. We’ll still be doing project work through our distributors, simply because they can guarantee product & solution delivery on a building site on time. Sometimes we may even be brought into a project via a distributor. So winning projects is not at all about being in conflict with our partners. We’ll jointly enlarge the offer, jointly enlarge the number of customers and jointly serve the value chain. It’s a real win-win situation.

Project: Svartedalskolan
Location: Göteborg, Sweden
Category: Educational institution
Project manager responsible: Fredrik Jörén, Project Sales at Hager Elektro AB, Mölndal (Sweden)
Challenge: “The challenge for us was to support and develop a time-optimised solution for the customer, for whom it was by far the largest contract thay had won. We had to gain the customer‘s trust early in the process and find solutions that are time efficient through custom-made trunking and plug-n-play-connection system.”
Aiming high: production experience and German engineering won over the customer at the Zhongwu Hotel project in Changzhou
Project: Changzhou Zhongwu
Location: Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, China
Category: Hotel
Project manager responsible: Annie Chen, Vertical Promotion Manager – Hotel at Hager Shanghai (China)
Challenge: “The biggest challenge was brand awareness when compared to our competitors. In particular, we were not able to showcase previous work in Room Control Unit (RCU) applications. After we invited our customers to visit our factory, they were impressed by our production expertise and German ingenuity. So, they chose us.”
Project: Expo Dubai pavilions
Location: Dubai, UAE
Category: Exhibition spaces
Project manager responsible: Mohamed Irfan Ashraf, Senior Sales Engineer at Hager Middle East FZE, Dubai (UAE)
Challenge: “Expo 2020 hosted by Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, was originally scheduled for 2020, it’s now taking place in October 2021. This expo will bring together 190+ participating countries to showcase their unique architectures, culture and exciting innovations. We’re proud to announce the successful supply of low voltage switchgear solutions to the German and many other pavilions. This preparation was done during the world health crisis by our dedicated Projects Sales Team together with dedicated panel builders.”
KNX Lighting control system installed by The Switch Company, U.A.E.
Project: Solar Innovation Centre
Location: Dubai, UAE
Category: Research Facility
Project manager responsible: Riyaz Abdul Jabbar, Sales Manager Building Automation at Hager Middle East FZE, Dubai (UAE)
Challenge: “The Solar Innovation Centre is a clean technology innovation hub to promote sustainable energy in Dubai and beyond. Even though we were not specified in the initial tender, the customer was impressed with our solutions and expertise. Together with our partner The Switch Company we contributed intelligent lighting control products from our Berker range to this prestigious project.”
A positive outlook: the lodge situated in a naturally wild environment is now equipped with state-of-the-art KNX technology
Project: Noka Camp Lodge
Location: Pretoria, South Africa
Category: Hotel
Project manager responsible: Olivier Cassayre, Export Business Development Manager at Hager Electro, Obernai (France)
Challenge: “For this project we had to train our Partner on KNX installations and equip completely with Hager solutions such as protection devices, enclosures, KNX and wiring accessories by Berker. In addition, we manufactured sockets match the colour the consultant chose. Noka Camp Lodge is definitely one of the most interesting projects we have completed so far in South Africa and we are delighted to say that there will be a second phase to this project.”
Sustainable and eye-catching: with the help of Hager, the Solar Innovation Centre showcases the future of solar energy.

Where do we stand today?

We look back at a number of initial projects that we have successfully implemented in recent years. We invested and will invest a lot in products, solutions, systems and sales organisation. In previous years, we put a lot of effort into developing products and solutions for large high power installations. We now have solutions to provide energy for large and complex buildings, meaning that we have moved from our traditionally product-oriented perspective to holistic solutions for our customers. We’re now expanding these solutions with design tools, product & system data and the ability to support customers who are not necessarily our traditional ones. We are continuing our journey in building our project sales operating model consistently across countries.

What is in it for customers? Why would they prefer Hager when our competitors are undoubtedly doing a good job too?

We distinguish ourselves by our well-rooted tradition of proximity to and support for our customers. They can count on our ability to listen, our “For you – with you” approach, our loyalty to customers. We’ve elaborated that over the past 60 years in smaller projects, now we’re expanding that approach to project business. The Net Promoter Score proves that we’re quite good at this.

Our distinctiveness lies in our well-rooted tradition of proximity to and support for our customers.

Francesco Cagliero

Where do you see Hager in project business in 2030?

I’d like to see Hager become the player who comes naturally to mind for medium to large size project business customers across Europe. They would associate us with support, a great solution-portfolio, good quality and super-reliability. They would see Hager as an “easy to do business with” partner, with real capabilities and a growing track record of projects won.

What is in it for colleagues at Hager and potential new colleagues?

We have a great offer for them: be part of an ambition which implies thinking differently, listening to customers, showing real customer centricity. If you like to play out of your usual comfort zone and bring new customers to Hager, then project business is the place to be. It’s not a done deal, it’s an adventure, it’s part of our transformation to something new without leaving our past behind. From my point of view it’s super fascinating.

Daniel Hager – EditorialTomorrow’s world and beyond – EssayThe hub and spoke principle – LogisticsMaking it our project – Project businessCombined energies – Energy ManagementThe power of many – SustainabilityGoing the extra mile in the future – Customer CentricityDigital twins conquer construction sites – DigitalisationBoard of Directors – Our Supervisory Board – Contacts for our customers – Facts & figures – Imprint – Hager Group Annual Report ArchiveHager Group Annual Report 2020/21Hager Group Annual Report 2019/20Hager Group Annual Report 2018/19Hager Group Annual Report 2017/18Hager Group Annual Report 2016Hager Group Annual Report 2015