At Google’s best known conference – Google Next 2023 in San Francisco, Fortenova Group was presented with two awards for its achievements in the Google Cloud ecosystem – the Retail Industry Customer Award and the Talent Transformation Award. On behalf of Fortenova Group the awards were accepted by Dragan Mrkajić, Fortenova Group’s Director of Data & AI Strategy.
Fortenova Group has thus, among a large number of Google Cloud platform users worldwide, been recognized for its achievements in the successful application of advanced analytics and artificial intelligence in its operating companies – Konzum Croatia, Mercator Slovenia and Mercator Serbia, all with a view to developing leading technological solutions in the retail industry.
“The „Google Cloud Customer Awards“ are an opportunity to acknowledge the most innovative, technically most advanced transformative cloud implementations across all industries, from all over the world, built on our platform”, said Brian Hall, Vice President for Product and Industry Marketing at Google Cloud. “I would like to congratulate Fortenova Group for winning this award, proving itself as the leading innovator in the industry.”
The prestigious award for users in retail bears witness to the exceptional use of the Google Cloud technology in forecasting demand for fresh products, assortment optimisation and maximising the efficiency of promotional activities, which eventually drives growth and customer satisfaction. This is, of course, accompanied by the strategic management of teams and talents, as witnessed by the award won for talent transformation. This is a recognition of the successful initiatives focused on addressing challenges in building a talent team for the realization of the most demanding analytical solutions on the markets of Central and Eastern Europe.
“We would like to thank Google Cloud for the partnership. This awards are but an additional incentive in realizing our goal for machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide us with the maximum value of data available in all our companies. This will significantly speed up our decision making process, make it possible to quicker verify the value of our business ideas and as a result – change and improve our business models to the benefit of all our customers” – commented Fabris Peruško, Fortenova Group’s Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors.
By using data analytics and machine learning, Fortenova Group’s DataLab as the Center of Excellence for artificial intelligence for the entire Group has worked on models of product assortment and promotion strategy optimisation and the improvement of fresh product demand forecasting capabilities. It has been proved that artificial intelligence solutions can generate significant business value.
Thus, through a number of A/B tests conducted in the retail operations in Serbia, the Advanced Promo Optimizer AI module has shown an increase in the promotion margin by approximately 0.5 points. The Assortment Recommender AI modul, tested in more than 60 stores in Croatia, has shown a gradual increase in sales of 1-3 percent in the tested categories, while the fruit and vegetables forecasting model shows a profitability improvement of approximately 8 percent in 65 percent of the stores through the reduction of waste and product stockouts. The model is currently implemented in more than 500 stores in Croatia.
“These achievements reflect the joint efforts of our retail companies and the Fortenova Group DataLab, in which we have successfully recruited a new team of data scientists, for a successful entry on the global scene. With data and artificial intelligence in the center of our operations we are excited about what is lying ahead, as we will continue to provide innovative solutions and form the future. Congratulations to the whole team”, said Bojan Radlović, Fortenova Group’s Chief Digital Officer.
As many as 13 Fortenova Group companies received the Certiﬁcate Employer Partner (CEP) for the year 2022, which is awarded for excellence in human resources management.
Out of the total number, five companies – Konzum, Pik Vrbovec, Jamnica, mStart and Fortenova grupa d.d. – successfully completed the recertification process, while eight companies participated in the certification process for the first time – Mercator-Serbia, Mg Mivela, Roto dinamic, Zvijezda, Dijamant, Belje, Pik Vinkovci and Vupik.
The Certificate Employer Partner is an unbiased acknowledgement by experts from the European HR community verifying the highest quality of management in seven key areas of human resources. Thereby the practices in Croatia are compared to global trends, thus improving the standards in human resources management and promoting examples of excellence in HR. The certification process assesses and awards points to topics such as selection, competence development, leadership, work performance, involvement and satisfaction, career and succession, rewarding etc. at all organisational levels.
“When so many different companies from one Group receive an external professional acknowledgement that the standards they apply in their operations are at the highest level, regardless of their respective area of operations, this is a legitimate reason to be proud and a proof that our internal bonds are getting ever stronger. However, due to the situation on the labour market that employers on all markets have been faced with since several years, this certification has a particular weight as it brings a great positive reverberation and recognition. Having satisfied and motivated employees and encouraging work environments, as well as creating and maintaining those partnership relations is what constitutes one of the key competitive advantages for employers today. This also means having a positive impact on a number of processes in our regional environment, which is the fundamental prerequisite for long-term sustainability” – said Fabris Peruško, Fortenova Group’s Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors on the occasion of the Certificate Employer Partner presentation ceremony.
“This is a truly valuable acknowledgement for all our initiatives taken so far in the area of human resources development at Fortenova Group companies and to all teams working on it with great commitment. Besides showing that the companies’ operations are on the right track and that the employees’ impact on the organisations’ growth is continuously being strengthened, those acknowledgements are also a significant motivation for us to continue being a good practice example for other companies in the region by placing employees in the focus of our operations” – said Gordana Fabris, Director of Human Resources at Fortenova Group.
“It has been a pleasure to follow Fortenova Group over the last three years since the first company from the Group got involved in the quality assessment of human resources management according to the regionally recognised Employer Partner methodology. We are particularly pleased to see that the number of companies from Fortenova Group that hold the Certificate Employer Partner has significantly grown. The thirteen Certificate holders have a headcount of more than 26 500 employees and thereby not only have an impact on the Croatian and the region’s economies, but also affect the quality of many work environments. We know from our consulting experience how challenging it is for companies of that size and diversification to introduce new HR processes and implement changes. Fortenova Group companies particularly stand out in terms of the quality of their recruitment processes, onboarding for new employees and employee development through internal academies with impressive tradition. We look forward to future successes of Fortenova Group companies which will certainly not fail to happen given the great investments in people, which are their main value” – said Lara Šubić Šuše, Employer Partner Project Manager.
Fortenova grupa d.d. has received the acknowledgement “Family Friendly Employer”, awarded for the fourth year in a row by the Central Government Office for Demographics and Youth to companies with best quality solutions in achieving a friendly atmosphere towards employees and their families, particularly taking into account the adjustment of the employers to employees’ families over the period of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since 2018, when it was awarded for the first time, this acknowledgement has established itself as an important public commendation to those employers whose relation to their employees stands witness to their socially responsible approach and also shows a diversity of solutions for creating a friendly and encouraging environment for employees and their families.
“At the company we have focused on our employees with children, by providing parents with certain benefits in those moments of life that are important to them. At the same time we are focused on the idea of projecting optimism, as we believe that the optimism that we build within our company also affects the broader society. Viewed in the context of the declining population, we think that what is missing in our society is optimism. It is important for us to support family life as well as optimism, because we believe that it is possible to create personal wealth, values and business success in our region and that people can feel good here” – said Fabris Peruško, Fortenova Group’s Chief Executive Officer, on the occasion of the award presentation.
Gordana Fabris, Fortenova Group’s Director of Human Resources, noted that the wide array of benefits at Fortenova Group ranged from employee health care by way of covering additional health insurance costs, thru a number of measures supporting parenthood – flexible working hours and four-hour workdays for parents of children with special needs, the possibility of gradual return to work following maternity or parental leave, use of days off for the child’s first day at school or kindergarten – up to subsidized sporting activities for its employees.
“Fortenova Group’s commitment to building a community that places the focus on family values has been recognized by the Central Government Office for Demographics and Youth, which has awarded us the acknowledgement “Family Friendly Employer” for the year 2021. We are exceptionally proud of this valuable recognition, which is also an encouragement to keep focusing on the welfare of our employees even more” – Gordana Fabris said.