Synergy sets out channel plans after Burco break

Active Food Systems — the company behind the award-winning Synergy Grill — is reaching out to dealers and distributors after overhauling the way it goes to market.

The company has just launched a 900mm version of its product, which boasts twice the capacity of the original model, and is now seeking sales relationships with dealers interested in marketing the equipment.

Active intends to build a network of knowledgeable, focused dealers that can give the product the attention they believe it deserves given the energy efficiency savings it promises to deliver.

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The move to work directly with dealers represents a massive shift from its previous fulfilment model, which saw the 450 grill distributed exclusively through Glen Dimplex company Burco.

That relationship drew to a conclusion last year, according to Active, which believes it will be more effective to manage trade relationships itself after production of the Synergy Grill from Turkey to Great Britain.

“One of the benefits of bringing manufacturing to the UK has actually been that we don’t need a distributor — we are the manufacturer-distributor,” explained Gary Evans, managing director of Active. “We don’t need that super warehouse in the middle of the country or someone that we go to and say, ‘if you take volume then you can be our UK distributor’, which is the way we went with the 450 and with Glen Dimplex. We have decided that is not the path we wish to follow. It didn’t give us the control, it didn’t help us take it to the market.”

Active intends to appoint accredited dealers in the UK that it will supply and deal with directly. Dealers will fall into two camps — resellers and accredited dealers — with the latter typically working more closely with Active and marketing the 900 as the primary heavy duty grill in their portfolio.

The company expects accredited dealers to have their own sales force trained and actively selling the 900 model, employ their own installation and support engineer, and hold some stock.

“We don’t think that is too much to ask for giving somebody a bigger discount, the ability to buy in bulk and rebates after certain targets have been hit,” says Evans. “We will also give them tremendously good training and support.”

The full interview about Active’s channel strategy is featured in the January issue of Catering Insight. The article will also appear online later this month.

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