In a robust response to the effects of the past year’s recession, SICK UK is bucking trends by enlarging and reconfiguring its sales force, and investing in a revised customer facing structure as a springboard to the future.
"It’s important to realise that difficult economic times can shake up the status quo to create opportunities," comments Kevin Brown, National Sales Manager for SICK UK. "We realised that retreating and slimming down is not what our customers needed, and would not help them when the upturn comes. As a result we have been able to increase our sales team by 10%."
"More focus on our customers’ needs and more time in front of the customer are already paying dividends. The recession has been a catalyst for change."
The SICK UK sales team is now organised into Commercial Goods, Manufacturing, Logistics Automation and dedicated Distributor Support teams and, while still regionally based, is able to offer better in-depth solutions.
"With such a broad product and industry base, our customers’ expectations were not always being fulfilled," adds Kevin. "For example, by establishing the Commercial Goods team to service the food and beverage, packaging, pharmaceutical, print and paper sectors, we can apply synergies and solutions across the sectors to benefit our customers"
The SICK UK Manufacturing sales team offers similar benefits to the automotive, machine tool, motion and drives, handling and timber processing sectors.
"Distribution is another critical area," continues Kevin. "The downturn has seen customers seeking to consolidate or rationalise their supplier base and they often look towards distribution to achieve their goals. Through partnering with national and key independent distributors, SICK can provide an even better service and support for customers.
"We have strengthened our own sales force further by investing in a new dedicated team which will work hand-in-hand with the distributors’ sales forces. Relationships with distributors embedded with key manufacturers are another commitment to this highly important channel for servicing the needs of our customers."
The new SICK structure is being introduced in early 2010, and paralleled by additional Product Technical Specialist support for customers.