Roger Kroon, Vice President Global Distribution Management
I head the Global Distribution Management at Weidmüller. My team of dedicated distribution experts and I are on a mission to secure long-term and mutually beneficial partnerships with our distributors and create real value-add for our customers.
Topic: Change as a catalyst to drive distribution business and mastering ever changing market requirements with pioneering mindset, flexible portfolio and services
Reading time: 3 minutes
Honestly, “change” is probably not what most people enjoy thinking about when waking up on a Monday morning. I have been in the industry business since the late 90s and let me tell you something: Change has always been by my side.
When I took over responsibility for Weidmüller's global distribution sales just over a year ago, I was once again confronted with an abundance of changes. Not just in terms of my own position. More importantly: the new business partners and the fantastic distribution sales team at Weidmüller I would now be working hand in hand with.
When I think back on the last 14 months, I can say that the changes have enabled me to make many new, strong personal connections. Change is my constant companion who shows me how to enjoy every new challenge.
By reading the trade press, but especially in conversations with our partners, one thing becomes clear to me again and again: constant change is the new normality! Technological progress is changing the expectations of the end-customers towards the industrial wholesale trade. For us this means: A broad portfolio with the latest innovations is not enough. Expert advice on how to advance new technologies and the training of installers to become "solution experts" are in demand.
But as technology becomes more and more interconnected and complex, simple solutions are hard to find. So hence my tip: Don't try to go it alone! To provide first-class customer service and to remain successful, rely on the right network of partners and let your partnership build on the strengths of the other.
My team and I have set ourselves the goal of connecting the advantages of our sales partners with Weidmüller's in order to ensure long-term and mutually beneficial partnerships and to bring together what works and what matters.
In times of Corona and in the long term on a technological level with Industrial IoT and increasing automation and digitalisation – pioneering spirit and flexibility are required to master all challenges! In my search for solutions for the future, I have learned that a look into the past can be a great source of inspiration.
Weidmüller’s past is proof that a pioneering spirit and a thirst for innovation is deeply rooted in our company DNA: starting with the first plastic-insulated terminal blocks and tool classics such as STRIPAX, through the expansion of our portfolio to over 30,000 saleable products and over 40 innovations per year. Over the last 70 years we have evolved from trailblazing terminal blocks to innovating Industrial IoT. Our pioneering spirit creates trust with our sales partners. And contributes to mastering new challenges in the coming years.
Mastering a task on a global scale is a huge challenge. An even greater challenge is to bring about change at this level. At Weidmüller I am fortunate to have a highly committed sales team that knows its local markets and has its fingers on the pulse of what drives our distributors.
To focus on services that create added value for our partners, I’m going to work outside my comfort zone! After all, the intensive exchange of knowledge about the use of new technologies, right through to joint end-customer consulting and the development of individual customer solutions has made me realise that it’s our strength, working in a market that is characterised by constant change.
Our aim is to deliver the whole package to our distribution partners: On the one hand, we provide them with proven and future-proof products. On the other hand, we give them insight into our technology and solution developments and encourage an open dialogue in order to improve ourselves and be prepared for new challenges.
So one thing's for sure: Facing challenges head on and making sure we can cover all areas – from products to innovative solutions and services – makes us a better partner for our distributors!
Coming to my conclusion: Playing to each other's strengths in strong partnerships makes us more desirable for end-customers and installers. In the end that means: in times of change, focusing on the “whole” reflects well in the “sale”.