How Brandsdal cured its “allergic reaction” to automatic renewal of contracts

Brandsdal Group, the fashion and cosmetics giant, is “hyperallergic” to contracts with automatic renewal. Complete Control now provides full assurance that no contracts are inadvertently extended – in an organisation that employs 200 people and generates an annual turnover of NOK 800 million.

Based in Kristiansand, the pearl of Southern Norway, Brandsdal Group has enjoyed almost fairytale growth over the past 15 years. The best-known members of the Group – and most important turnover generators – are Blivakker.no and Cocopanda. The former is the leading online store in Norway for cosmetics and hair care products, while Cocopanda is its corresponding initiative in Europe.

With 200 employees and an annual turnover of NOK 800 million, it goes without saying that the Group has a huge number of contracts with all kinds of suppliers. In addition to the online stores for cosmetics and hair care products, the organisation also comprises Netthandelen.no, the Group administration department, a property company and an investment company.

Person dependence and unwanted contract extensions
“We had a two-fold problem as regards keeping track of all our contracts,” relates Kolbjørn Ertzeid, CFO. “First, we had to deal with the combination of storage methods and the changing role of the employees in our businesses. When someone left the Group or moved to a new position, it was quite a challenge to follow up on the contracts we had entered into. So we were looking for a smart solution to this person dependence.”

“Second, we had problems with automatic extensions to ongoing contracts. Each of these contracts was only small measured in hard cash, but for a CFO in particular it’s hugely frustrating not to have a solid overview of them all. And, of course, put them all together and they add up to a significant sum,” he explains.

A bit of work, new habits and a better contract archive
Kolbjørn Ertzeid relates that full overview and control of these ongoing contracts provided a quick and measurable return on investment (ROI) once Brandsdal Group started using Complete Control software.

“Admittedly, it took quite a bit of work to enter all the contracts, and if you promise not to tell anyone, we will concede that a few old contracts still haven’t made it into the system. However, we have established better habits, which means that we now enter all new contracts we conclude. As a result, our contract archive is becoming more robust on an ongoing basis, and person dependence is now consigned to the history books. It’s also useful to link related contracts together more appropriately – the service contracts for fork-lift trucks, for example,” he adds.

Confidence with a simple tool
Complete control significantly boosts confidence in everyday situations, says Kolbjørn Ertzeid:

“Just like all companies, we have some employees who work in a more structured manner than others. Complete Control makes it simple for all our employees who work with administration of contracts with suppliers to keep track of expiry dates and other important aspects of these contracts. They receive reminders by email. And if they fail to react to these, they are sent more reminders and warnings. If all else fails, I receive a phone call. This is what I call ‘watertight protection’ against inadvertent renewal of contracts.”

“One of the strengths of Complete Control is that it is a simple tool. You don’t need any training to start using it. And the few times we have needed a hand, we’ve received good and rapid support from our fixed contact in House of Control. So kudos to Jompe Dehs-Thomas,” he concludes.