Standex Food Service Equipment has revealed it is looking to build on the dealer-led sales approach that has come to typify its UK operations over the past two years.
Standex has traditionally carried out the majority of its business directly due to its focus on the retail sector, but since former Manitowoc UK chief Steve Loughton took over the reins in April 2010 it has worked to establish a loyal dealer network that can co-exist alongside that.
“I would say that when I came here — not including spares and exports — probably 95% of what we sold was retail, leaving 5% to be sold direct and through dealers,” said Loughton. “What I would now say is that outside of retail we sell nothing direct, and I would say that the amount that we sell to dealers has probably trebled.”
Around 35 dealers actively source product from Standex now and Loughton is keen to expand that even further.
“Personally I think that for the right kind of national coverage for our company, we would be comfortable with about 50 dealers — that would be a good number,” he said. “Once we start to get closer to that number I’d be looking to employ another specialist distributor salesman or dealer salesman because selling to a dealer is not like selling to a key account. It is a different skill, a different mindset.”
Theale-based Standex’s channel business is led by distribution sales chief Malcom Morris, who previously worked for Adande, Bradshaw Microwave and Valentine.
Standex brands include APW Wyott, Bakers Pride, Bevles, BKI and Tri-Star.