Meet the team: Till

Now it’ s Till’s turn:

Greetings, my name is Till, I was born in 1989 and I’m from Berlin. I grew up in the warm south, now I live in Freiburg, the city with the most hours of sunshine in Germany.

After finishing high school I worked for a few years as a bar tender in different bars, until I got more tempted to work with my head. At first I wanted to study electrical engineering, but then a good friend introduced me to the basics of programming and got me “hooked” – so I decided to study Computer Science. In order to get into university, I passed the Bachelor’s degree and started to study and then experiment.

During my studies, I soon noticed that it was the small and large, tricky tasks in software development that made me forget the time in front of the screen. Therefore, I think it is great to work in this field of IT and I am happy to have met PC-Gärtner, for whom I have been working remotely in a co-working space since the end of summer 2021.
With my work I hope to contribute to the success of the PCG team. (To not miss the exciting evenings as a bartender, I try to work one evening a month if time allows, so if you are around…).
I actually got in touch with PCG through Steffen, who I’ve known since my teens. I was hoping to meet you all in person at the last user meeting, unfortunately I was prevented from doing so by Corona’s rules – but I am very confident about the next user meeting and am already looking forward to meeting you all face to face.

News in shop 6/22

As usual, small adjustments and error corrections have been made to the system. Here we will briefly mention some of them:

  • Search in the shopping cart: This is helpful for large shopping carts and completes the sorting possibilities in the shopping cart. Both elements must be integrated and, if necessary, adapted by the web designer.
  • Irregularities in the data cannot always be detected – there are now alerts (email or SMS or PCG) that signal them before the customer is aware of them.
  • Mass mails can now be sent out slower automatically. This reduces the workload of sites or customer service for certain actions.
  • Optimisation of the automatic detection of “spam-clicked” returns. This ensures a high delivery rate of e-mails.
  • The new e-shops respect all the requirements of the new legislation (Omnibus), including the modification of the reference quantities or crossed-out prices.
  • New options for shop elements allow the web designer, for example, to build simpler pick-and-buy logics into the web pages.
  • Seasonal articles are no longer paused if they correspond to a cancellation.
  • The CSS test is back! This wasn’t a priority for the new shop templates, but it’s easier to build and test an alternative CSS during the process – and saves a staging system when it’s “just” the design.
  • There are new options for the minimum order settings: the value of a packing station can now override the total value, or a high total order value can sometimes override a packing station specific value.
  • After the PCC user meeting, the cancellation option has also been reviewed.

Nostalgia:

We have definitely unplugged the good old Schönegge model. This first – and super-fast – Javascript version of the shop was still operational until the end of 2021 – so for more than 18 years! Well, not everyone thought it was pretty 😉 – and it hadn’t been in conformity with the law for a while.

Legal requirements for basic price units from 28.05.2022

Since February 2022, the unit “100g” is no longer available as a basic price unit in new software versions. In the PCG update, it has been or will be replaced by the unit “1 kg” on items whose basic price was affected, and converted accordingly, in order to be in line with the changes to the Price Indication Ordinance (PAngV) from 28.05.2022. If the basic price unit for certain articles remains “100g”, we recommend that you update PCG instead of changing them manually.

The basic price specified by law is intended for easy price comparison for consumers, must be clearly attributed to the product, but must not be displayed larger than the selling price. It must be indicated as a price per quantity, including VAT and other price elements. The usual units of quantity are kg, litre, metre, square metre or piece. The base price does not need to be indicated if it is the same as the final price or for quantities of less than 10 g or 10 ml.

This post does not constitute legal advice. For more detailed and accurate information, please look for more information yourself.

Hybrid PCG User Meeting 2022

As already announced, the PCG User Meeting 2022 will take place in the charming town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber as a hybrid meeting. Please reserve Wednesday, 2nd to Friday, 4th February 2022 and register by mail by 16th January.

At the moment, the 2G rule and FFP2 mask obligation apply for participating in the house and we will inform you quickly if something changes.

However, online participation is of course also possible. Please note this on the registration form.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is flur-1.jpg

We are hosted in Rothenburg im Wildbad, which is the former spa house in the immediate vicinity of the Tauber river, in the Tauber valley. Nevertheless, the town centre and the railway station are within walking distance, although there are a few metres of altitude to climb. Parking spaces are available, of course.

See you soon in person or on the screen! We look forward to a great start of the new year with you!

First image: (c) Wildbad Rothenburg

Meet the team: Malte

And today, Malte presents himself 🙂 :

I have been fascinated by natural sciences since I was a schoolboy, so I started studying chemical engineering after my A-levels, followed by an apprenticeship as a CTA (chemical-technical assistant) in materials science. However, I realised after a while that university wasn’t necessarily for me and I decided to enter the working world.

So I joined Charly’s company and I really liked it there. I spent more than 3 years working in many different areas and got to know a lot about the PCG. As I was already unofficially in the role of a mini-supporter at the Ökokiste for the daily small problems of my colleagues, I was pleased about the offer of a change to PCG support. That’s how I ended up joining the PCG team.

I grew up in a small, charming village in central Hesse. I have two older siblings and am the proud uncle of four little rascals. In my free time, I like to ride my bike or relax on the sofa with a good series or movie. When I have time, I like to try new, exotic dishes, with a preference for Asian cuisine.

Logistics

Most users of our system have their own logistics, which has proven particularly useful in these pandemic times: not only is the quality under their own control, but the lack of capacity is also easier to manage. In addition, in-house optimisations typically result in very efficient (and low CO2) delivery.

Bikes, drones

But service providers can of course help, especially when it comes to peak times, or specialists, e.g. bike messengers in city centres, (limited) electric vehicles or drone deliveries. Sometimes this becomes a permanent collaboration, beyond helping during rush hours.

Ok, we actually can’t report a cooperation with a drone delivery service yet, but we already have some experience with bicycle delivery services. It is possible to transfer the relevant data (addresses, weights, number of boxes, sizes) to the IT of the respective partners, usually once the packing process has been completed. Depending on how these partners have organised their drivers, the order of the boxes at the transfer point is also important, and this can deviate from the internal optimisation.

It could even go so far that the partners receive a preview of the upcoming deliveries before the actual order deadline or the end of packing – and then report their desired packing order back to the system.

In addition to the previous manual export of the tours from the goods management system, there are now several IT interfaces to logistics systems that are common in the logistics sector. Not only is data sent automatically, but also the feedback “delivered” or “in delivery” comes back to us in the system and can trigger the familiar customer feedback (email, SMS, push). Even the not-so-trivial refund management is getting better and better and is sometimes already fully automated.

Depots

Another commonly used optimisation idea are depots: besides the de-facto depots of the customers (customer A also receives the boxes from B and C), these can also be the market places or friendly farm shops.

A depot can be public in the system – i.e. selectable for every (new) customer – or private. A private depot is typically assigned in the ERP system, but can also be protected by a secret code, so it can be used by someone to have their order delivered there.

The secret code is sometimes also the key to a delivery system (e.g. Sesame Boxes), whose depots should of course only be opened by authorised customers. Such systems also require space management, as subscriptions and orders reserve this space in the future.

Of course, this capacity information can also be useful for any other depot. A depot that is “full” is then no longer available for further orders.

Tours

Capacity management is also helpful for tours in order to achieve the efficiency described above. Some values can be stored in the system for this purpose, e.g. number of orders or maximum customers who can be supplied.

Meet the team: Rebekka

Life without an organic box delivery service never existed for me. During my childhood and youth on the Schniedershof farm in Wachtendonk on the Lower Rhine, my parents’ farm was always omnipresent. Making hay, looking after the pigs, chickens and kitchen, packing organic boxes for a small tip, playing shopping in the farm shop and, of course, admiring and looking after the cute puppies and kittens … we were allowed to enjoy this and much more as children. Since I was also interested in office work, after 13 years of Waldorf school and 8 months of voluntary service in Ghana, it was obvious to study something in this direction: ‘Rethinking Business’-Business Studies at Alanus University. But even then, I was more interested in the artistic and philosophical subjects of the general studies than the business topics. Nevertheless, I gained valuable experience at my practical partner dm-drogeriemarkt and worked for 2 years in the branch in Dormagen as deputy branch manager after my studies. But since the assortment there did not interest me much, I decided to make the switch from LieSe to PC-Gärtner in my parents’ company in 2015. Until 2018, I was responsible for the packing station, contact person and developer for all topics concerning PC-Gärtner.

I was drawn to new paths again: a study to become a Waldorf class teacher in Stuttgart. I have now paused this during the Corona period, am doing training in choaching and healing, and am contributing my knowledge of PC-Gärtner in support, at training sessions and again in my parents’ business.

Save the date: 2022 PCG User Meeting

In a way, we remain loyal to the conference centre in Schmerlenbach. Because our new planned location is also a Christian conference centre – in the historically beautiful Bavarian town of Rothenburg/o.d.T.: the Wildbad Rothenburg.

Please note the date Wed, 02 February (evening) to Fri, 04 February 2022 (noon) for the next PCG user meeting.
In addition to the organic certification for the used and processed food as well as regional products in the centre, the house offers conference spaces and rooms in a historical ambience. Furthermore, the town of Rothenburg and the railway station are both within walking distance (25 min). A bus also runs to the house. The ICE stations are Nuremberg and Würzburg and regional trains run from there.

As usual, we want to have a look at the latest developments and take you with us into the new developments of the PCG universe. In addition, we want to meet during the breaks and on the two evenings to catch up on what we were not allowed to do this year: the face-to-face conversation in small and large groups. The PCG team is especially looking forward to this!

Picture credits: Wildbad Rothenburg

Incidences

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is p1.png
Orders in March 2020. Peaks are on Sundays

For all of us, March is the anniversary of a sudden increase in sales.

What next? Perhaps the “incidences” tell us something. First of all, we appreciate that the first wave brought us the highest number of visitors; unfortunately, the October wave did not have the same effect.

The annual cycle has little changed: March has always been the strongest month. In 2020, however, it has risen considerably while drops at Easter and the summer holiday period have remained similar. Only the peak before Christmas shows that there was less mobility after all.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is p_jears.png
Transaction statistics for the last few years

The growth of the last few years also seems to continue despite the Covid.

The permanent arrival of new customers appears to be higher than in previous years. The proportion of non-subscribing customers has also increased somewhat, but this varies greatly from one company to another. Long-term companies generally have better results than the rest of the market.

Not surprisingly, tour planning has been needed and used much more often. More information in this image:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is tplan-1024x125.png
Tour planning from March 2019 to February 2021.

The increase in the volume of emails is somewhat surprising. Obviously, the shop settings were also modified much more frequently to match the daily activity. Paypal also worked well with us:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is p_various.png
Top: Paypal transactions. Middle: Settings changes. Bottom: Mail volume.
From March 2019 to February 2021.

During this period we had to rebuild a large part of the infrastructure, so we can keep making progress.

You can find more statistics in the PCG or in the admin area of the shop.

Meet the team: Miriam

After growing up on a farm in the Lüneburg Heath, my eyes turned to the world abroad for a while after school and finally to Marburg to study.
As a geographer, you learn not to go into too much detail, but to keep your eye on the essentials.
That made many tasks easier in my later job in a small tourist agency. There I was already dealing with the design of websites with different systems.
In 2018, after my maternity leave with my two children, I joined the marketing team of Bosshammersch Hof. In the meantime, I started working at 360ff and mainly work on planning and support for our NEOS package.
I enjoy following the creative process and working in a cool sector to create something new.