Grundfos staff from North America and beyond traveled to Houston March 6 and 7 for a deep look into the company’s Commercial Buildings Services, or CBS.
Attendees witnessed Grundfos’ latest advances in products and sales tools, and received a profound understanding of the company’s billion-dollar ambitions.
Dennis Wierzbicki, president of Grundfos Sales U.S., stressed the importance of focusing on the ever-expanding CBS market.
“Make no mistake about it,” Wierzbicki said. “Our goal is to be the number one market share leader in the commercial buildings space.”
By 2015, he said, Grundfos should be able to double its business and receive recognition as the best provider of CBS pump solutions and products.
“We want this to be the best place to be if you are in commercial buildings,” Wierzbick said.
The event featured two types of sessions. In the mornings, attendees digested general topics about commercial buildings, and in the afternoons, they broke up into smaller groups to tour knowledge stations. The second half of the day allowed for more dialogue between the trainers and the audience, as well as a more specific focus on certain aspects of the segment.
Mogens Sørensen, global program manager, came from Denmark to speak at the event.
“I felt from the beginning that it was going to be a success,” Sørensen said.
He said he appreciated the opportunity to hear from the sales staff what products the North American customers needed.
As the commercial buildings market begins to recover from the economic recession, a growing trend has surfaced.
Grundfos distributor Mark McMillan, majority owner of McMillan James Equipment Company, spoke to the attendees about the movement toward energy-efficient designs.
Although rising energy costs and an increased desire to preserve the environment contributed to the trend, McMillan said the most important factor was legislative change. U.S. law now requires buildings to achieve certain, stringent levels of energy efficiency in order to be approved.
“We have engineers that are just screaming for more energy-efficient products,” McMillan said. “More than they ever have before, engineers are open to new technology, new thinking.”
McMillan made it clear that Grundfos had the ability to take advantage of this receptiveness. He emphasized the company’s long-term vision, commitment to research and development, and corporate culture. He especially applauded Grundfos for eschewing a profit-dominated mindset.
“Grundfos, unlike any other company I’ve ever represented, is uniquely positioned to capitalize on the drive for energy-efficient buildings,” McMillan said. “The time has never been better for innovation and there’s nobody better than Grundfos for the job.”
Technical training manager Clint Andrews presented a case that demonstrated Grundfos’ energy-efficient capabilities. He told the audience about the Parkview Towers in West New York, N.J., an apartment complex that realized 92 percent energy savings thanks to the installation of a Grundfos BoosterpaQ system.
In addition to attaining a thorough grasp of product innovation, attendees also received training on sales strategies essential for achieving success in the commercial buildings segment. Cross-selling was a major focus.
Sørensen, global program manager, said selling one pump was not enough.
“It’s not only about selling a pump but also getting in more of the product lines,” Sørensen said. “This advances already existing customer relationships.”
Grundfos needs to develop complete solutions, he said.
“If we offer the full package, it’s more convenient for the customer,” Sørensen said.
Carsten Nørgaard, CBS building development manager, said Grundfos should be able to achieve top-of-mind recognition among customers in North America. He even ventured to say that the company should be as well-known as Santa Claus.
“Even though we’ve been in the market for many, many years,” Nørgaard said, “it could be better. We’re definitely not on the Santa Claus level. We need to move forward somehow.”
And achieving this level of recognition lies in the basis of the business – the partnership between Grundfos and its distributors.
“Alone we are small. Together we are powerful,” Nørgaard said.