Jeez brings the hardware store to your home.

No need to lug paint pots anymore: with their fleet of Sprinters, start-up Jeez delivers paintbrushes, lining paper and rollers to DIY enthusiasts – even if they live on the fifth floor. The experts from Jeez can even provide professional advice.

Jeez: "Design where you live".

Inside the Jeez warehouse, things are pretty busy: Robin's on the phone but still casts a scrutinising look down the aisles. With an air of routine, he picks up paint pots, lining paper and paint rollers before loading them into the bright-green Jeez Sprinter ahead of their subsequent journey through the rush hour around Darmstadt. Hardware stores tend to be located out of town and so the journey to them is often long – especially in metropolitan regions. And then there's often the difficulty in finding one's way around the seemingly endless aisles as well as the issue of price. This provided Robin Lanzer with sufficient motivation to set up an alternative. The Jeez mission is simple: providing customers with added value in the form of service and advice for their DIY work whilst also delivering high-quality products at regular hardware store prices. The mobile hardware stores deliver either to the homes of private customers or to commercial customers on building sites.

Everything from a single source.

The Jeez experts currently deliver to between 8 and 15 customers daily. If the customer already knows what they need for their DIY project, they can order it on our website and arrange a delivery time to suit them. For their deliveries, the vans are also filled with any products related to those in the original order. If the customer has forgotten something, they can then choose from 2000 articles directly in the van. "We don't just carry pots of paint to the fifth floor for our customers, we also bring them all of the other articles they might need from our product range." If, in addition to the products in the delivery, further advice is required, clicking on the pink button on the Jeez website is all it takes to request the help of an advisor. He or she then also comes free-of-charge to the customer's home. "Our advice service is available for all trades and all articles which we have in our catalogue. That's the result not only of the training which our Jeez experts receive, but also their long experience working in hardware stores – they are familiar with our entire range of products."

From chemistry lab technician to start-up founder.

But how on earth did you end up founding a mobile hardware store? "The main reason was that I worked in the hardware branch from the start of my career." Initially Robin completed a training course to work as a chemistry lab technician. After this, he studied business and became a trainee at one of the leading German paint manufacturers. There, he spent several years working in sales. He then got thinking about setting up a paint truck with all of the necessary equipment on-board. The idea for his start-up was born. "With my position in sales, I had developed a network which opened a few doors for me to found Jeez on a solid and sustainable footing and set the business up step by step." Eventually, the concept developed into a mobile hardware store which he then established in 2016 with two partners.

Robin's ultimate tips for founding a start-up:

  1. Never give up, have plenty of stamina:
all beginnings are tough and so showing stamina will be of crucial importance.
  2. Set yourself plenty of time for things, even if things are looking tight at the end of the month:
sometimes you have to be creative in order to bridge the bottlenecks. But in the end, it's worth it!
  3. Allow room for error:
don't just think that you can found a start-up totally error-free. Instead of waiting, get into the practical side of things; try things out and make mistakes if necessary. Afterwards, learn from your mistakes and try to only make them once.
  4. "Stay hungry. Stay foolish":
That's what Steve Jobs used to say. Always be curious and inquisitive, and stay open to change. 
  5. Teamwork:
When picking your colleagues, place importance on positive thinking. After all, optimism will stick around to the very end.

The digital and real worlds become one.

 

"We can be reached digitally at any time and from anywhere, but we go out in person to our customers."

Jeez – the mobile hardware store in a Sprinter.

"No need to lug paint pots anymore!" is written on their website – the Jeez team are true to their word. With their Sprinter fleet, the mobile hardware store brings paint, wallpaper and flooring directly to the customer's home. Competent advice is an additional free service which the company provides. 

Delivery service even if you live in the fifth floor.

The unique selling point of Jeez: "Because we're on-location we have a different approach with our customers." The ability to visualise your home when in a DIY store lies at around 30 to 40 percent. But the Jeez experts can directly demonstrate how a certain colour or type of tile will look in your own home. Often, one thing leads to another, explains Robin: "The variety of orders is much greater than in a regular hardware store as a result of the level of trust which the customer has in us. We transport materials to them, carry them up the stairs and even offer additional services." But even a well thought-out concept isn't totally problem-free at the beginning. "You start from nothing and first need to establish a customer base. At the same time, you have a certain amount of staff and running costs to think about." Jeez currently has ten employees and this number continues to grow: "We're currently growing at a rate of two employees per quarter. But it'll be at least another two or three years before I can approach the end of each quarter stress-free because things are running smoothly."

Thanks to the Sortimo system, all of the articles are within easy reach in the Sprinter.

In Europe, there is currently a clear trend: "The DIY market is turning more into a 'do it for me' market." Robin therefore sees the biggest growth potential in the field of generalists: a handyman or woman who isn't specialised in a specific trade as would usually be the case, but who is a type of all-rounder. "The consumer simply wants a solution and that's why we offer the Jeez-Maker service." Various subcontractors who have a contract with Jeez cover all trades in and around the house: with everything from drywall construction to landscape gardening, as well as roofing and painting. The portable click-system from Sortimo makes it possible for the experts at Jeez to make sure they have the right stock on-board for their routes. The company opted for the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter because the click system from Sortimo fits best into the Sprinter. "And because we wanted a strong and reliable brand by our side."

Keeping an eye on everything.

Robin checks the stocks regularly so that he can order replenishments in good time.

Competition serves to boost business.

In the coming ten years, a lot will change in the DIY segment – the entrepreneur is fairly certain on that point. "I think that similar concepts to ours will follow in the future. If big brands come up with a mobile service, that will be quite helpful to us, as it will also increase our brand's weight." Where does Jeez anticipate being in the future? "In 20 years' time, we want to be represented Europe-wide," answers Robin without having to contemplate the question. The vision is to be the best service provider for people who want to restyle their living space. "We don't just want to deliver products, we want to provide complete solutions." Consumers should be able to pick their materials from a modular system, have these products delivered and, if required, opt for an all-inclusive package. "The service and the entire package are a much bigger component in our mission than simply delivering products and having a broad catalogue." Robin's mobile phone rings again – the next delivery is ready. And he's already on his toes.

The whole range.

The Jeez expert obtains an initial insight on-location and is on-hand to provide help.

 

Everything on-board.

Tailor-made vehicle installation and safe transport thanks to the Sortimo click-system.

Everything which DIY enthusiasts could wish for.

In the Jeez warehouse, the articles are sorted according to topics.

Everything is possible.

The paint mixing machine on-board enables customers' preferred paint colour to be created directly in front of their door.

Photos:

Maren Wiesner

More links to discover:

Jeez - www.jeez.de, @Facebook

 

The conversions shown were made by independent third-party providers. The providers and the conversions were not checked by Mercedes-Benz. The photos in no way serve as an evaluation by Mercedes-Benz of the provider and/or conversions in question.

Lorem Ipsum