Mark Watson Regional Sales Manager Scotland
Having recently moved from a Senior Technician role to technical sales, Mark Watson, Regional Sales Manager Scotland, is putting his technical knowledge and experience to good use. He has adopted a consultative sales approach with customers and is quickly building their trust.
One of his customers – one of the largest red meat slaughterhouses in the country – needed a steel belt replaced on the meat cutting section of the process. A like-for-like belt would have cost them ca. £20,000 supplied and fitted and this type of belt, comprising one continuous piece of steel, is not easy to fix – any damage to a section of the belt and the whole belt needs to be replaced.
“They had been having the steel belt maintained by a separate outside company,” explains Mark. “Our solution was a HabasitLINK® plastic modular belt which cost them ca. £5,000. As well as being a more cost effective replacement of steel belts, the customer can now fit the belt themselves and carry out quick repairs, minimising downtime.”
Based on Habasit’s refreshing consultative approach to finding the optimum solution for the customers’ application and budgetary requirements, this satisfied customer is now also opting to install Habasit belts in other parts of its production process, as opposed to competitor products.
As well as being an attractively priced alternative to using steel belts and easier to maintain, Habasit’s plastic modular belt products have been developed to improve hygiene conditions and cleaning procedures in food processing areas. High levels of hygiene and quality control are used to get fresh meat from farms to customers’ tables.
Following the transport and slaughter of animals, carcasses are skinned, cleaned and preserved by chilling, freezing or adding salt. Then they are cut into smaller parts or ‘cuts’ ready to send to manufacturers and supermarkets, wholesalers and large food service companies like hotels, restaurants, hospitals and fast-food chains.
Mark is finding his years of experience as a senior fitter in the operations side of the business a great benefit. “When it comes to discussing product types and possible solutions with customers, I find my technical knowledge a great benefit,” he explains. “I’m a ‘people person’ so I enjoy interacting with customers and seeing that they receive the best possible service and support for their business. I’m working less with my hands now, but the experience I have gained over the years is crucial in ensuring I continue to support our customers in my new sales role.”
As well as having already built relationships with existing customers during his fitting career with Habasit, Mark is finding that his broad range of knowledge on Habasit products helps build confidence and trust with new customers. “It’s reassuring for them to see that I have a good understanding of our products and their applications.” explains Mark. “I can generally make suggestions to improve processes without having to seek advice or information. It also means I can easily discuss fitting aspects with our Technicians and Operations Managers, therefore, we can quickly find solutions to problems, be more efficient and avoid repeat visits to sites.”
This style of working also fits well with Habasit’s innovative approach to technical development and product improvement and the way the company adapts to changes in customer requirements. (LC)