Dr Panos Koronakis HARTMANN Award 2015 Professional Management in Complex Environment

New perspectives and New challenges in extreme political and economic circumstances

Dr Panos Koronakis
Founder of PAUL HARTMANN Hellas A.E. (2002)
HARTMANN Award 2015
Professional Management in Complex Environment
Economic and political crises have always existed – and will always exist.
The extremely complex political and economic crisis facing Greece over the last five years has led to an approximate 25% drop in GDP and an increase of the unemployment rate to around 30%. At the same time, the Greek government has made deep cuts in all sectors, including the highly sensitive sector of health.
The main source of the government's revenue comes not from development, but, sadly, only from dramatic, barbaric and inhumane taxes.
The very low budget of the Ministry of Health has unfortunately resulted in hospitals around the country to resorting to using very cheap medical and sanitary products to treat patients on a daily basis; such products are of questionable quality, are hazardous for public health and are imported from non-EU countries (mainly from Asia), as almost no medical products are manufactured in Greece.
During this major economic and humanitarian crisis, PAUL HARTMANN Hellas A.E., a subsidiary of the HARTMANN Group, which boasts almost 200 years of history and experience in the health sector with 20 productive units within and beyond Europe, has changed its strategy according to the following specific vision and purpose:
        1. To help ill patients – who are already suffering from the economic crisis – by providing them with medical and sanitary products of top quality at competitive prices, thus safeguarding the most valuable of goods: health. 
        2. To apply the 'win-win' principle, dramatically reducing the company's operating costs, and to cooperate with all medical product sellers in Greece, who are suffering due to the economic crisis, providing them with smart, local representation partnerships for the distribution and promotion of HARTMANN products:
                • Top-quality medical products at very competitive prices
                • Long-term profitable business prospects in the future by working with a world-class company such as HARTMANN.
PAUL HARTMANN Hellas A.E. is one of the very few companies in Greece that has escaped the crisis and its catastrophic consequences unscathed, particularly in the complex economic environment of closed banks, continuing capital controls, cuts to the public health care budget, etc.

To this day, PAUL HARTMANN Hellas A.E. has achieved its goals and visions, as well as the objectives of the Group, within a very short time and with continuous, profitable growth by applying its smart strategy as follows:
  • It has reduced the company workforce by 60% (most associates who regrettably had to leave the company were supported by PAUL HARTMANN Hellas A.E. and immediately began working with the nationwide network of representatives of HARTMANN or began their own businesses, working with medical stores, home care companies, etc. distributing HARTMANN products).
  • It has reduced its office space and all operating expenses by 50%.
  • It has radically changed its sales strategy; instead of the strategy of direct sales to 6500 HARTMANN direct customers before to the crisis, it has shifted to a smart strategy of non-direct sales across the country through its nationwide network of 300 focused healthcare distributors, consisting of 80 distributors focused on home care activities, 20 exclusive distributors focused on pharmacy activities and 200 non exclusive distributors focused on medical and orthopaedic stores, Inco shops, private clinics, nursery homes, medical doctors etc. Furthermore, PAUL HARTMANN Hellas A.E. has 10 highly experienced Key Accounts Sales representatives providing dynamic support to all distributors through daily visits, carrying out training sessions on the products, selling techniques for the distributor sales teams, holding workshops, etc.
  • The message has been conveyed to the entire commercial health sector that HARTMANN is a producer and importer of a large range of top-quality medical products at competitive prices and that it provides a long-term, profitable opportunity to dozens of representatives throughout Greece, through certified partnerships and continuous training, to represent, sell and distribute HARTMANN products.
  • Sellers of HARTMANN medical products can receive swiftly the products at their storage facilities from the central HARTMANN warehouses thanks to cross-company shipments, thus avoiding importation of large quantities of products of questionable quality from other countries, which would entail long delivery times and advance payment of the total, high price for each order.
    Thanks to this strategy, PAUL HARTMANN Hellas A.E. has significantly reduced the expenses of the local 3PL warehouse, distributing just 30% of total sales from Greece and the remaining 70% of total sales through door-to-door cross-company shipments from the central HARTMANN warehouses in Germany directly to the storage facilities operated by representatives in all major Greek cities.
Today, PAUL HARTMANN Hellas A.E. has proved that any crisis can become an opportunity.

It is a question of how determined one is to seek out the opportunity concealed in the crisis through innovative processes.

The only fixed reality in life is change. Everything is in a continual state of flux. In this constant climate of change, each of us must be prepared to change and adapt to the new circumstances. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, said that "Medicine is prevention, not treatment".

In any crisis, armed not just with emotion, but also with reason, we must predict the future as best as one can, so that we can continue heading towards tomorrow confidently and safely through innovative processes.

The patience, perseverance and hard work of PAUL HARTMANN Hellas A.E., with the right products at competitive prices, with a well-thought out strategy, with suitable commercial partners, with the right HARTMANN team (the right people in the right place) and with the continuous valuable help and support during the difficult times from our colleagues at the headquarters , have resulted in a secure, long-term and profitable future for the company, under any conditions and in any economic and political climate.

As Sophocles has mentioned “Neither the tower nor the ship are anything without the fighters within them” (Oedipus Rex 56-57)


Dr Panos Koronakis
Founder of PAUL HARTMANN Hellas A.E. (2002)
HARTMANN Award 2015
Professional Management in Complex Environment

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