FG EUROFRED is looking to increase direct sales of Fujitsu air conditioning equipment in the UK, according to new sales director Tony Gittings.
The former LG general manager is driving sales for FG Eurofred formed following the merger of Fujitsu General UK and Eurofred UK to bring together Fujitsu General UK's distribution network with Eurofred UK's direct selling operation.
Explaining the new company's philosophy, Tony Gittings said 'No major air conditioning brand can operate successfully in the UK without a direct sales operation. All the major manufacturers have gone, or will soon be going, in that direction. Leading consultants and larger end users with branches all over the country want to deal directly with a manufacturer.
'However, unlike other manufacturers, we are firm believers in the continued role of a strong distributor network, so we have decided to take the bold decision to develop both routes to market equally. There is room for both.'
Addressing concerns voiced by FG Eurofred's distributors, he said 'We don't want to compete for existing business. We will be targeting companies who don't currently purchase Fujitsu. But we must adapt to address changes in the marketplace.'
The UK is the third largest ac market in Europe. In a market now dominated by direct sales of VRF, FG Eurofred have much to do since only 10% of Fujitsu sales are currently direct.
VRF accounts for nearly one third of total UK ac sales, 80% of which is through direct sales.
Tony Gittings said 'Currently sales through our distributors are almost exclusively splits. So, by increasing our direct VRF sales through consultants and larger end users, we will hit our sales targets without damaging our distributors.'
To support its distributor network, FGE is to make available to its distributors a figure equal to 1% of that distributor's Fujitsu sales for marketing purposes.
Fujitsu sales in the UK have been hampered by the lack of a three-pipe VRF in its product portfolio. While a new two-pipe R410A product is expected in the new year, a three-pipe range is unlikely to make an appearance before early 2010.
To ensure customers of the direct sales team get the best help and support, the company is investing in staff training, technical support, product information and design assistance. FG Eurofred also launched its new logo on June 10.