At Kyocera Document Solutions South Africa, it’s business as usual on steroids. Ex-GM, Wayne Holborn, left in March 2018 and new GM, Werner Engelbrecht, took over the day-to-day running of the business. “Business as usual” in this sense means that Kyocera is still looking after its partners and their clients with the professionalism and commitment to excellence that has elevated the Kyocera brand to where it is now; the only difference – on the surface, anyway – is there is a new person at the helm.
Guided by the same set of business principles that every Kyocera sales company in every territory strives to live up to, Engelbrecht quickly settled into his new role. With over twelve years in the business, he looked around at what needs to be done to take the business into the future. Being full of ideas, revved up and ready to take the company forward, it is more than just “business as usual” at Kyocera, as can be seen in Engelbrecht’s drive to go around to every major Kyocera dealer to introduce himself and get a sense of where the company stands with its partners through open and frank discussion.
The process will wrap up in the next month or so, and already he’s getting valuable feedback that will help the company deliver better services to the people that count on it.
“The market has changed, the world has changed, and while it’s business as usual for us for the most part, that doesn’t mean there aren’t things we will want to address going forward,” said Werner Engelbrecht, General Manager at Kyocera Document Solutions South Africa.
“For starters, I believe we need to change how we interact with our channel. Gone are the days of relationships between us and our dealers developing over a quick cup of coffee; it’s become clear to me that while our top-level relationships are good, there’s work to be done from the top levels down and there is a lot more opportunity for collaboration with our partners.
“We want to go see more customers together with our partners and work on customer solutions together. Our interactions have started to be a lot more focused, with an agenda and timeline and more accountability and feedback provided… and not about the quality of the coffee,” says Engelbrecht with a wry smile.
One comment in particular surprised Engelbrecht. “I heard from some of our dealers that they think that because they’re small, they’re not important to us. That was hard to hear, but it’s not true at all – all of our dealers play a key role in our business, no matter their size, and we will work hard to make sure every one of them feels valued going forward,” he says. One of the over-arching values Kyocera strives to embody as an organisation is to “do what is right as a human being”, and this plays a big part in the way the company operates both locally and internationally.
“Our partners do business with us because they want to, not because they enter into a contractual relationship. It is important to us that these business relationships with our dealer base are done in the right way, for the right reasons – so that both parties benefit and are happy with the outcomes. I believe this is quite unique to us, and elevates us above our competitors,” he says.
“To sum up, we are upping our game. We’re not sitting in complacency – we’re listening closely to our partner base, and actively looking at ways to improve our channel communication; our internal processes; and our relationships with all of our stakeholders. This is a process in itself, but we’re firmly on our way and I’m excited about our future.” Engelbrecht concludes.