THE new sales and marketing director at FG Eurofred, Julian Brunnock, has promised changes to the business and a new emphasis on the way the company promotes and sells Fujitsu air conditioning in the UK.
Calling on his experience from previous executive roles at Lennox and, latterly, Daikin UK, Mr Brunnock has pledged support for the company's distributors, many of whom have felt themselves side-lined since the formation of FG Eurofred in 2007.
New products are also promised, some of which will be unveiled for the first time at the ACR Show in March, and there will be a re-emphasis on promoting the Fujitsu brand rather than FG Eurofred.
'Coming in to the business fresh, if you like, I have been surprised at how reliable the product is and the loyalty to the brand that exists among our customers,' Julian Brunnock told ACR News
'Quality and reliability-wise Fujitsu products are on a par with Mitsubishi and Daikin. We now need to build on these perceptions to promote the Fujitsu brand as the value for money alternative.'
With FG Eurofred, virtually leaderless since the beginning of this year following the departure of Tony Gittings, Julian Brunnock has been brought in to redress the balance between direct sales and distribution.
The formation of FG Eurofred, the UK joint venture subsidiary established by Fujitsu in Japan and Eurofred, Fujitsu's largest European distributor, to replace the Japanese company's former UK subsidiary, changed the company's emphasis from a distribution-based business to a direct sales one.
'Our efforts have been more towards direct sales than distribution,' admitted Julian Brunnock. 'Don't get me wrong, the direct sales plan was a good one, and one we are still pursuing, but my job is to redress the balance. 'We seemed to have lost our way a bit but our distributors have remained remarkably loyal under the circumstances.'
To help redress the balance, FG Eurofred recently appointed Paul Airey as distribution sales manager and three regionalised distributor account managers to specifically look after its seven distributors. At the same time the 14 direct sales staff inherited at the time of the merger, many of whom had little or no air conditioning knowledge or background, have been whittled down to four.
'The direct sales plan was a good one, and one we are still pursuing but we now have a stronger, more experienced and knowledgeable direct sales team - albeit smaller.'
The industry will also see a re-emphasis on the brand, the FG Eurofred UK subsidiary name taking a back seat in all future promotions to the well-recognised Fujitsu name. And those promotions are likely to include support for a move into the heat pump market, a market in which Fujitsu is already strong in France.