When did you start to work for Erca? What is your professional background – did you already work in the packaging machinery business before?
In November 2021 I started to work for Erca and I had a great training period with highly skilled colleagues from our training department. My professional background is also in packaging machinery, mainly in the sector of fresh dairy products.
You are responsible for different regions. In which regions do you work? What are the challenges working for regions which are so different? Not only on different continents but also different languages and mentalities.
Today my sales area covers LATAM, Spain to Romania, Turkey, Israel. In the past I’ve also worked in the Asian and African market. No matter what, you adapt yourself to the different culture but also to each interlocutor. When working in export you are used to a multicultural environment.
Good to know that you still have some fundamental rules in business wherever you are!
The markets of the individual customers are often very different from each other. Can you give examples about the differences of the market and/or customer requests?
Not only markets, but also customer cultures are different. You need to know trends and innovations to anticipate next steps. We do that quite well at Erca. Stay open and curious so you can learn from customers and their own experience.
Customer requests can be different. For example: the doors on machines; some will ask for “polycarbonate”, prohibiting glass, while other customers will specify “glass” only
(toughened safety glass ).
Many different languages are spoken in your sales regions. In which languages do you communicate with customers? Are there perhaps even several languages spoken in your team?
I speak native French. I’m fluent in Spanish and English. In particular I’m familiar with Latin America and Spain. I improved my skills in Spanish while living in Quito-Ecuador. I was there attached to the French Embassy working as a civil technical cooperant for 2 years.
In your opinion, are regular on-site visits to customers important for a healthy and long-lasting relationship with customers?
Yes of course, when being on site you can have a look at the facilities, meet machine operators, and maintenance staff with whom I like to exchange concrete information. And face-to-face meetings favour concentration and interactions that end up always with a good mutual understanding and even some good new ideas!
We appreciate customers visiting our facilities in Falaise, Normandy, so they can have a look at the machines in assembly or participate at a test run.
You started to work for Erca in autumn last year when it has still been difficult to travel. Did you already have a chance to visit many customers? If yes, in which countries?
Yes, like everyone, I tried to adapt to the situation. So far, travels where possible in Europe, even with restrictions. I’ve travelled to Danone Spain for example. For some others I had to wait a little and regularly check entry conditions and wait for the right time. If there is a concrete project or specific request, we always find a solution with authorities and/or with the help of the customer /agent.
Mid of June I attended a tradeshow in Mexico, and I met a lot of customers/ prospects.
What has been your most exciting or adventurous business trip?
Each business trip is exciting!
What are your top 3 places that you remember most from your travels so far?
In my opinion, the top places are everywhere you can develop a nice industrial project with a potential customer.