Meet the Team: Katrin

Today it is Katrin’s turn in our round of introductions:

“A warm hello to you! I would like to start my presentation with the three most important places for me so far. These are Berlin (where I grew up), Freising (where I lived for over 20 years and founded my family) and Dresden, Saxony. Here I (or better: we) live again, following the five very nice years during my studies in this city.

As an engineer and adult educator, I have worked a lot at universities and still do so to a very limited extent. But professionally I am more than ever in the PCG team. With Bob, my husband, known to everyone as the heart and soul of Ökobox-Online, I am working on what has priority: testing software, contacting you customers, moderating user meetings, writing texts for the documentation platform or blog, recording videos for marketing purposes or as tutorials and discussing future features.

I find it fascinating how we in the team “only” connected with telephone, email, Trello and Skype work together on projects for you, the user of PC Gärtner and the Ökobox online shop most of the time. We can say that there is always someone from the PCG team nearby. No matter where.
Greetings from Saxony!”


PCG Team at the regional fairs

At this year’s BioOst in Berlin we were again represented with a trade fair booth.  Sunday, 22nd of April, was an opportunity for a regional exchange. Some customers visited us at our booth. In addition, there were some discussions with interested parties.

The next opportunity is BioNord in Hanover. Please note Sunday, 9th of September, Deutsche Messe Hannover, Hall 4.
As always, there are news about the PC Gardener, the modules, the Driver App and the online shop.


Spring User Meeting 2018

Many new and young PCG users accepted our invitation to the User Meeting 2018 in Schmerlenbach near Aschaffenburg, Germany. 60 people from 32 companies came together – many familiar faces and of course many from the PCG team.

Katrin has again moderated and conducted us through the wealth of topics:

We started with the presentation of various service packages that we see as useful for PCG users – from a consultation regarding the use of enterprise resource planning (Charly), to the new backup or assistance in implementing a uniform email communication (Bob).  After a breakup with the presentation of the chat system, Hanno introduced our new documentation system. In terms of content, of course, it was all about the new shop – what can you do with it, what is there to set? We demonstrated this during a “foray” through the building blocks of the new system. Designed as an open system, some special offers will be added in 2018 for the implementation of the online shops. Leon, known to many as the face behind the driver app, presented an idea – exciting! The users of the new shop spontaneously called their own small meeting – and developed good ideas.

As always, Erhard and Markus presented news from the PCG. Ralph showed – right with all the hardware! – how to connect a telephone system to the PCG.

The evenins went on in the bar (a new room in the monastery building!), there is always too much to discuss within the community.

So we stick to the concept: a user meeting in autumn on a Friday and Saturday in the middle of Germany (Kassel) and a user meeting in January/February from Wednesday to Friday in Schmerlenbach near Aschaffenburg. Register again, always 4… 6 weeks before the appointment, with Sandra!

Meet the Team: Andrea

This time it’s Andrea in our round of introductions:

“My name is Andrea Rohmann and I am part of the PCG support team.
I have been using the PCG software as a user for two years.
Since the beginning of 2016, I’m happy to be able to help with support questions by mail and phone, and I’m very happy to be working in a team where everyone is there for everyone.
I try to reproduce error messages, test them for their regularity and document them for development / correction. When not doing this, I create help texts and help films or cut and edit the seminar films.

I live and work in the beautiful Allgäu in the small (not Gaulish) village of Warmisried near Mindelheim/Bad Wörishofen. I was born in the Ruhr area.
When I’m not dealing with the PCG, I’m on my bike (to survive the ascents -> a pedelec), hike or rush with straw hat with the convertible through the Allgäu to discover beautiful places.
In indoor weather I like to forge jewelry, paint, listen to good music of all styles, watch movies that have something to tell and practice playing the didgeridoo. It’s good for free sinuses!”

Market Stats from Biofach 2018

Since we as a PCG team do not have our own booth at the Biofach this year, there is more time to look around with colleagues or at the congress events.  Some of the presentations were about statistics – the figures seem to support the perception we all have:

  • The market for organic products (in Western Europe) is growing – but not for all participants. Producers were mainly milk producers, who have grown in number and size. Agricultural acreage grew by only about 5% across Europe, but products were up 50% – driven by Vegan & Co.
  • Organic trade in Germany grew by about 10%, although 9% of this growth came from supermarkets. In total, only about 4% of the trade are organic products. Incidentally, the USA has the highest share in the food sector worldwide, with almost 10%.
  • France is interesting: the number of dealers and suppliers has risen by 30% in 2017.
  • Italy has many supermarket chains: there was a slide in the presentation showing 21 different brand labels – and then there are the growers’ associations. The situation is similar in the rest of Europe, so differentiation is becoming increasingly difficult.
  • If you look at the dimensions of organics, ecology/sustainability and ethics… organic food is winning enormously. So people buy because they find it good for themselves – not so much to save the world.

The figures and my interpretations are, of course, to be treated with caution – especially when comparing the markets. There are many different methods of counting, there are also various organisations in the countries that publish their figures at different times – sometimes in 2016 from country A has to be compared with 2017 from country B.  As with all statistics, the trend is therefore what can be compared well – and this fits in with the interest the Biofasch Show: organic continues to grow.


The chat module has been ready for use in the shop for some time now – although it was initially built for the new shop, it also works with the Amperhof shop model!

After a few experiments, we decided to develop our own solution – this opens up many more possibilities for integration into our system.

A supervisor can manage many chats at the same time – but she can also protect herself from too many requests by using a “pause button”. In quiet times on the other hand, the supervisor can be “woken up” by SMS (therefore he does not have to wait in front of the PC or on his mobile phone all the time.) Especially on Sundays in the evening, several colleagues would certainly be busy supporting the customers by chating. Various studies seem to confirm that customer satisfaction and revenue increases when someone can respond immediately.

There are many ideas for the above integration – from screen broadcasting to live support by remote control of the website (where can I find the delivery pauses?). The system is also prepared for cross-company use, where, for example, one jointly “sponsored” supervisor can maintain different websites. The integration of automated systems (chatbots) is also an obvious solution.

Do you need a chat? You have to find out. But often there are small questions that are answered quickly and leave a good feeling of “they take care”. Maybe a feeling that compensates for a real store visit in person. On the other hand, some customers expect this because they have already used it “elsewhere”.

Anyway, the module is quickly switched on in the shop – and if necessary also switched off again ; -)

Meet the Team: Hanno

Today it is Hanno’s turn in our round of introductions:

“My name is Hanno Scholz, and in PCG I am part of the support team. After four years as a driver and in the office of a PCG delivery company, I switched to the other side of the phone in 2014, so to speak. Together with my colleagues, I try to find answers for your questions and concerns, which will help you in the current situation – and, if possible, also provide suggestions for your future exploration of unused functionalities.
Another important area is to participate in the documentation of the modules, the writing of instructions and the maintenance of our innovation documentation: At the moment, my main focus is on moving our PCG help system to a wiki system that also includes the online shop help, and that should be easier for us to maintain and better to use for you.

I live and work in my birthplace Leipzig, where I was born more than four decades ago. Most of my free time I spend with my wonderful family, the five of us never get bored. If I had a little more leisure time, I’d like to pick up the clarinet and saxophone more often and achieve a level that is at least suitable for home use.”

Ready for Business! Websites with the new Shopsystem

Admittedly, it took some time – but now all the the great functions that existed already are included – and of course much more!

Actually, the system has been in operation since February last year. However, the implementation of the online sales concepts that are now possible is often not only a technical thing, but also requires a lot of thought in the companies, occasionally requires organizational changes, sometimes forces to think about the entire marketing concept… in short: it also takes time.

In addition to the modernization of the technical basis, many more item details can now be displayed, there are filter mechanisms, the navigation is freely configurable directly from the PCG, there are more possibilities to display subscription boxes, we have relaxed the registration (“guest”) and also the subscription control is back.

In the meantime some of our customers reimplemented their websites, which means that there is not only the PCG team, which can advise you, but there are also colleagues you can ask. Much of what we have learned has ended up in the new documentation system, which we will present shortly at the user meeting.

The new system consists of building blocks that have to be built into a website. For example, there is a shopping cart component, a component for displaying articles, for logging in, for filtering products or components for chat and mail. Once you know which pages to place these components on, the WebDesigner has to “dress them up”in your style.

In contrast to the previous system, this gives a lot of freedom to design – this freedom forces me to think: how can I best present my products? A little crazy or traditional? Of course you can look at colleagues… or at other shops out there.

So far there are some websites, which means several web designers are already familiar with them and can make you an offer. As a PCG team, we will also be able to offer you pre-configured systems during the course of the year, including training and assistance with initial setup.

Within 2018, there will also be a prefabricated standard system, which will replace the current (“Amperhof”) model. This should also work “out-of-the-box” and can be adjusted in a few easy steps. Of course, you then have a standard layout and not the flexibility of the solutions described above.

Incidentally, the new system could also be installed “by the way”: Why not have a website just for one event? Only for some product groups or brands? For recipes or for a specific region? With the technique of alternative system this is easily possible parallel to the main shop.

We are happy to advise you!


Meet the Team: Simon

And today it’s Simon who wants to introduce himself:

“I’m Simon Heilmeier, 22 years old and I’m from Freising. In 2017, I moved from my computer science studies to PC Gärtner GmbH in order to gain practical experience in programming. Since September I have been supporting the PCG team in programming and now, after the training, I will work more and more productively on PCG modules.

In addition to my education, I spend my time playing football and snowboarding in winter, as well as all sorts of things to do with computers.”

Delivery is Due!

With the automatic order reminders, customers can always be reminded of upcoming deliveries. A large number of customers gladly accept this notice and update their order.

In the last few weeks many small enhancements have been added to this feature. Of course, the most important thing was the memory of customers who only order occasionally. These can be specifically marked in the communication settings of the PCG.

The time of sending was previously fixed at 9:00 a. m. – now you can select the desired hour for sending.

In order to get more transparency about the function of this automatic, the execution can now be simulated in the admin area of the shop. There is also the possibility to initiate the process by hand. Another new feature is a report that is sent to the admin email after execution.

If the message is sent as an SMS, several SMS numbers can now be stored at the customer’s premises. The internal number check ensures that no mails are sent to Timbuktu by mistake.