Developing strong relationships with your sales channel is surely the best way to bring success to any business where, due to the distribution policy, the end customer is at arms length?
Certainly this is the belief of Stephen Schiller, managing director of Idec Electronics.
Schiller comments: "Developing a mutual understanding of each others business, coupled with open communication to the complete sales channel helps to build integrity and trust".
For this reason Idec recently held a distributor conference at its premises in Basingstoke where the distribution network was gathered together to hear the latest on the company's products, forthcoming product launches and the developing sales strategy for the UK.
The end of 2005 saw Idec shift its UK business model towards the sales channel, setting expectations to them for the rate of enquiries and also challenging the sales channel to maximize the return of these enquiries.
As part of this programme Stephen Schiller set in place tools to improve the market access to Idec information and also methods to increase the rate of enquiries.
He comments that "however large or small the potential, the enquiry is handled by the distributor with our team on hand and available to provide telephone or on site sales and after sales support in partnership with the distributor, ensuring the best possible results can be achieved".
During the distributor conference the secrets behind these tools and methods were discussed in greater detail and an insight into what comes next was also reviewed.
In addition to the discussions regarding the business development activity there were presentations on the recent product launches including the jumbo pilot light, dual push button and slim relays which have been added to the industrial control products, also for the automation product range, the new web server unit that has joined the MicroSmart PLC family.
To top this Idec also gave an insight to a number of new products which are to be launched over the coming months improving the offering from Idec in the push button market, programmable logic controller, HMI market and also a new range of safety products which will allow Idec to enter into the machine safety market place.
The general feel of the day was positive with all parties going away with a good understanding of the Idec strategy for the UK and updated information of the product range.
The final comment from Stephen Schiller was "the facilitation of the event proved successful, thanks to the careful execution of the Idec team, with all the goals being achieved and has certainly built on the relationships that will prove ever more important as we continue with the planned strategy".