FAN Courier, the leader of the local courier market, estimates that this year’s turnover will exceed the threshold of EUR 131 million, 13.2% higher than the previous year, in line with the company’s initial forecasts and the results of the first 11 months of the year. For FAN Courier, 2017 can be characterized as the year with the most value-added services launched.
“The growing appetite of the Romanian courier services market, mainly as a consequence of the explosion of the e-commerce segment, risks to be affected by the legislative and fiscal changes announced for the year of 2018, with a relevant impact for all the economic actors – companies and consumers. With such a background, our forecasts on the business evolution for the next year are more cautious than in the previous years. The 2018 budget will be built taking into account two scenarios – the pessimistic one, for which we are intensively preparing for a possible stagnation, and the realistic-cautious scenario, in which we anticipate a 10% growth” stated the FAN Courier founder Adrian Mihai.
The lack of the fiscal predictability and the labor market crisis are the main worrying issues of the company’s top management regarding the business development in the next year.
“All the signals indicate that 2018 will be a more difficult year, even if the numbers are optimistic in the official reports, showing that the Romanian economy is going very well. Our only answer to the uncertainties existing in the business environment is to continue our investments and to take all the measures depending on us, so that we can minimize the consequences. Consequently, 2018 will be an year in which we’ll focus on finalizing the started investments on the one hand, and on the cost control, on the other hand”, stated the FAN Courier Managing Partner Felix Patrascanu.
By the end of the next year, investments will exceed EUR 36.5 million (EUR 16.5 million in 2017, and EUR 20 million in 2018), the major investments being related to expanding the main HUB of the company, the one in Stefanesti and to starting the construction works for the HUB in Cluj, for which a land of 24,000 sqm has been purchased; the hall to be built will have an area of 5,000 sqm. The land on which the construction in Stefanesti will be made has an area of approximately 64,000 sqm, so the total area of the main HUB of the company will exceed 100,000 sqm, of which 22,000 sqm will represent the storage capacity (8,000 sqm for the current warehouse and 14,000 sqm for the new warehouse).
“Expanding the HUB in Stefanesti is a solution to avoid overcrowding, given that the online commerce is increasingly growing. Our plans provide that the new warehouse will be functional starting from September, 2018, with the final investment including also sorting lines that are substantially increasing the work productivity” stated the FAN Courier founder Neculai Mihai.
The most important amounts invested in 2017 have been directed to the car fleet – EUR 7 million, the warehouse in Stefanesti – EUR 6.7 million until today, of the total amount of more than EUR 20 million. 10% of the value was allocated to modernizing the FAN premises in the country and to the IT investments. The new implemented services represented approximatively 5% of the total investment in 2017.
This year, the company launched the e-BOX service and expanded the Collet Point delivery option through a strategic partnership with the PayPoint network, and it introduced the card payment service experimentally. Both e-BOX, the locker service allowing the integral control of the purchase and delivery, and Collet Point, are delivery options dedicated to the online customers who do not wish to depend on the courier’s program.
“Starting from December, the Collet Point service is available in more than 770 premises across the country, which means that we multiplied more than 4 times the number of the premises compared to the launching moment since the middle of the year. We introduced the e-BOX service because we believe that the customer’s objective is to be able to pick-up its product at any time. It’s a smart solution, which is often used abroad, and which we believe will be successful. We are also confident regarding the card payment system, even if cash payment is still preferred here by more than 75% of the customers” Felix Patrascu explained.
“The investments assumed by FAN Courier have also the role to educate the market, not only to meet the needs expressed by part of the customers. They are long-term investments, that’s why we didn’t plan to analyze their profitability earlier than one year since each of them has been launched” Adrian Mihai added.
This year’s main challenges for FAN Courier have been the infrastructure, the unexpected legislative and fiscal changes and the labor force crisis. The company continued the staff expansion plan, so that FAN Courier currently has 5,750 employees, serving over 40,000 customers, most of them legal entities, with a car fleet of more than 3,600 cars.
To compensate the lack of staff, the leader of the local courier market has opened the FAN School, where the first pilot courier class is already being trained.
Involvement in the community, a new FAN Courier objective
FAN School is a project started by the company more than two years ago, initially to make a profession from the courier job and to streamline the investments in staff, and later to solve the crisis on the specialized workforce market.
“It is very difficult for any company that needs qualified workforce to be forced to wait at least 3 months before the new employee is able to meet the job description requirements. This is an additional effort for any employer, and the most important thing is that this investment affects the improvement processes of the other employees. As we can see, the market evolves extremely fast and you have to be one step ahead. To launch a new service, training people is strongly needed. Since there is no specialized course in the Romanian educational system, we decided to create it. This is how the FAN School project was created, and during these years it gained a corporate social responsibility component. Actually, we brought an alternative for the young people or for those who wish to work, but they don’t have a needed profession. An employee is an active contributor to the community” Felix Patrascanu explained.
The FashionFANatic competition is another initiative that supports the young Romanian designers’ community. Being at its fifth edition, the contest which takes place on the dedicated platform gathers annually dozens of young Romanian designers who wish to launch a collection but who don’t have the needed financial resources. The most recent project is the partnership with the Romanian Handball Federation, which was established for the next three years, with the possibility to be extended in time.