Here are just a few examples of successful search assignments Contacts & Management have conducted.
We were asked by a Belgian manufacturer of industrial fans for heating ⁄cooling systems to help them find a company in Germany that is active in their field and that would take on their products and market them in Germany.
Our first step was a survey of the market, finding who was offering similar fans and what sales channels they used. We found that these were often being sold through larger companies that installed heating or cooling systems in buildings. Often the companies had exclusive dealership arrangements with various companies for the different areas of Germany. This seemed to be a successful model. We therefore suggested to the company to follow this model.
The manufacturer agreed and so we drew up a list of larger installation companies that we then contacted. We had a positive response from a number of companies. We brought these companies together with the manufacturer in various meetings. In the end the manufacturer had three potential partners from which he could choose. He chose one partner who was not only an installation company but who produced products in this market place in its own right. They have now been working together for a number of years.
An Italian Manufacturer of dermatological creams approached us in order to gain a foothold in the German market. They produced all natural creams which helped alleviate rashes in various sensitive skin areas. They were the market leaders in Italy but had no market penetration at all in Germany. Their problem was that in Italy they had a direct sales force which generated the sales but they were unwilling to invest such sums in the German market before it was not clear that the German market was prepared to accept their product. It should be noted that all permits required for the German market had been obtained already.
Before taking on such a product we first did a study for them to find out, how the German market might be approached. We found that products such as this were usually prescribed by doctors but were sold through pharmacies. Therefore it made no sense to direct marketing activities towards pharmacies since it was the doctor who started the sales process. On the other hand, the doctor himself was not the client. Also there was the problem that there are more than 100,000 doctors in Germany. While the number of dermatologists is significantly smaller, it is still a large number. It was therefore our suggestion based on this information for the company to find other market players who were selling to the same target group, in this case dermatologists, and that had their own sales-force. These companies could act as major dealers, thereby increasing their turnover with the existing sales force. Due to other priorities this has not yet been implemented but the plan is in place and is ready to be put into action.