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Supporting Romanian small businesses’ drive for growth

The EBRD's Business Advisory Service (BAS) programme has helped a Romanian gardening equipment producer adapt and improve its sales strategy.

Entering the EU single market has provided Romanian small enterprises with an extra incentive to become more competitive. Setting up their family business right before the EU accession, Catalin and Cristina Stroe learned quickly that a successful business needs support to grow and adjust to the changing market.

Their company produces gardening and forestry equipment such as lawn-mowers and chainsaws under brand Ruris, and distributes its products all over Romania through a network of 60 dealers, three big retailers and three specialised shops.

With a wide variety of products and a complex distribution scheme, the company encountered some difficulties in the supply chain management which led to frequent shortages of certain products and overstocks of others. Moreover the company’s resources could not support both intensive operations and business growth.

Better sales strategy

How to find assistance to strike the right balance and keep on growing? The EBRD Business Advisory Service (BAS) team based in Romania had the solution to both help the company adopt a better sales strategy and contribute to the development of a thriving local consultancy market in Romania. By matching Ruris with the right local consultant, it was possible to prepare a business plan to identify the proper sizing of the company’s resources to support growth, restructure the product portfolio and reorganise distribution channels.

As a result of this technical cooperation, which was funded in part by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance and in part by Ruris, Catalin and Cristina in 2010 have adapted their sales and stock structure to the demand. They identified lead products, established budgeting and financial controls and revised their distribution network in the most effective way.

One year on, overstock has diminished, sales growth has reached €800,000 and nine new staff have joined Catalin and Cristina’s team of 51 employees.


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