Thomas Kneitz, Chief Marketing and Sales, Heinz Glas

Nonetheless, this is our every day drive,” says Thomas Kneitz, Chief Marketing and Sales. “Ulrich Nebe has explained it very well when speaking of our industrial strategy, which is entirely focused on this goal through a will for industrial flexibility which is guiding us, trough also our capacity for innovation and research, through our global presence industrially and commercially speaking, and finally thanks to our teams operating locally.

To perform excellence in commercial affairs two strong points: a personalized educational program intentionally of a high level and an optimal structure of distribution across the world.

Speaking the same language!

Because to act successfully on the international parquet,” claims Thomas Kneitz “it is obviously mandatory to have a very good knowledge of our customer markets and in particular to carefully analyse and target their needs. Each customer sets great value upon diverse and various priorities. Some customers prefer excellent glass, some favour low prices and on the other hand some customers demand the best sophisticated decoration. It is also very important to understand one another very well and to start with, speak the same language. Our sales teams speak at least three languages fluently. But language is not enough. It is also necessary to have a perfect technical understanding of processes and of course of commercial affairs. The most important point is to be always near the customer. To guarantee a long-time and continuing success you have to understand the philosophy of each client and market specificities in each business-relevant country, and in addition you have to ensure, optimum, on-the-spot support.

“Think globally, act locally”

Another important strategic decision implemented by the managers at Heinz-Glas in recent years, an industrial and commercial network adapted to the new configuration of a globalized world and the Group’s desire to be a key supplier for global key accounts, while also serving efficiently smaller companies. “It is a necessity,” explains Thomas Kneitz, “to provide and guarantee technical and technological competence in all important markets. That’s why Heinz-Glas owns five production locations world-wide.

Rudolf Wurm (left) - Thomas Kneitz (right)

For Heinz-Glas it is a must to be able to serve equally both types of customers which are on the one hand, big international companies like P&G, L’Oreal, Coty and Yves Rocher, and on the other hand more "regional" customers like those found in Eastern Europe, South America and Asia.

You obviously cannot treat these two types of customers in the same way,” underlines Thomas Kneitz. “Global key accounts are found in particular on a Paris/New York axis, not to mention Barcelona. Regional key accounts customers operate more often in Eastern Europe, South America and Asia and are located in strong growing markets. But in all cases, it is necessary for us to be present on these markets the closest way possible to our customers. That’s why we want to establish in the different countries our own sales force with offices or fully owned subsidiaries.