For our next on-line interview we have been lucky enough to interview Alan Farrimond, MD, PANDUIT Europe.
For those of you who dont know, PANDUIT™ is a global leader in wiring and communication products, delivering end-to-end solutions in support of demanding electrical and networking requirements. Therefore the interview is certainly different from our first two interviews with Lord Browne of BP, and Bob Springs of Draka, which im sure you will find very much of interest. Click the link below to read the interview on our web-site:
1) In a market place where innovation and (new) technologies are key, what is PANDUIT™ doing to ensure it remains a market leader?
PANDUIT™ has developed away from selling products to providing complete solutions using industry leading technology for greater performance. By working closely with industry leading companies such as Cisco, RIT, Hewlett Packard and others in the PACT ™ (PANDUIT™ Alliance for Converged Architecture) programme we develop products outside our core range which provide complete, interoperable solutions to the end user. PANDUIT™ invests 10% of net sales in research and development which is carried out by PANDUIT™ Laboratories – a collaborative effort between dedicated research engineers, scientists and application experts from PANDUIT™, PACT ™ and other research organisations. PANDUIT™ Laboratories build the benefits that customers want into our products. Working with Cisco we created the new NET-ACCESS™ cabinets which allow easy access for MACs and into which Cisco switches fit neatly.
2. How does PANDUIT™ differentiate itself and its products in a highly competitive industry?
PANDUIT™ is famous for its excellent quality research, design and engineering. PANDUIT™ products and solutions meet the highest industry performance standards to guarantee the end user reliability where it is needed most. We build on this solid foundation further by working with the key industry players to create fully interoperable solutions which ensure maximum productivity and bandwidth for customers’ networks.
3. What are the main goals of PANDUIT™ in the next five years?
We will focus on our core values: Innovation, Quality and Service. This will mean continuing to develop products with exceptional design features and benefits to differentiate PANDUIT™ from all other companies. Over the next five years our innovation focus will lie in areas such as convergence, virtualisation, security. We will continue to partner with the industry leaders to provide integrated solutions of superior quality, delivered on time to earn customer preference. We will position PANDUIT™ as the industry leading provider of innovative, high quality solutions.
4. What do PANDUIT™ see as the biggest challenges you face in accomplishing your goals?
One of the biggest challenges facing PANDUIT™ is the commoditisation of infrastructure products. We are countering this by investing heavily in research and design to create the next generation solutions which really add value to our customers’ business. Coupled with our innovative solutions with superior customer service, delivery and technical support, we aim to earn customer preference in markets which value quality solutions.
5. What advertising advantages does the internet offer PANDUIT™ that other media do not provide?
The internet provides global reach to our customers. PANDUIT™ can provide the most up to date information via the internet to a customer on an oil rig in the North Sea, on a construction site in Dubai or in an office in China. There is no delay while information is mailed out and many people across the world can view the same PANDUIT™ information simultaneously. We have invested very heavily in our online catalogue and in our presence on respected online directories in order to reach customers wherever they may be.
6. Internet advertising revenues reached a new record of $4.2 billion at the end of the third quarter, which is a 33% increase from last year, what percentage of thePANDUIT™ marketing budget will be spent on the internet?
PANDUIT™ recognises the importance of the internet to many facets of our business. We are looking to the internet to provide great benefits to us and our customers. Going forward we will be increasing our budget on internet projects to around 10% of the marketing budget which will include globalising our website; translating it into many languages and adapting it for international use.
7. How can PANDUIT™ ensure they remain the number one manufacturer of network and communication products with the emergence of companies providing cheaper products from India and China?
PANDUIT™ targets and will continue to target those markets which recognise and demand innovation and quality. Many customers recognise the importance of quality and are happy to invest in quality solutions to gain maximum benefits from their networks systems in the long run. The ROI on quality infrastructure products is far better than that on cheaper products.
8. What do PANDUIT™ perceive to be the biggest threat to your company?
Commoditisation is a threat, but one we are confident we can counter by providing customers with exceptional solutions which meet their needs and exceed their expectations. We provide products which are reliable and won’t let our customers down. One of our central values and core aims at PANDUIT™ is to provide exceptional service right from the first point of contact to an on-going support post installation. We have a “one call does it all” philosophy, meaning we go out of our way to make it easy for the customer to do business with PANDUIT™and to be truly satisfied with PANDUIT™solutions. This approach and level of support is simply not there with cheaper options.
9. What career opportunities does PANDUIT™ offer to future employees?
We are a global company with sites all around the world and many interesting, international projects. PANDUIT™ offers its employees possibilities to work on highly interesting projects and to move internationally to any one of our global locations. We offer on-going training and development to our staff and invest heavily in winning, developing and keeping the best people.
10. With over 80 PANDUIT™ locations across the world, how can you ensure that the PANDUIT image of ‘Quality, Service and innovation’ is maintained?
PANDUIT™ has very strong international communication channels internally that all messages flow quickly and free from distortion from headquarters in the US out to the regions of the world. All employees in PANDUIT™are on the same page which helps ensure that all activities are undertaken with our central values in mind. That an organisation operates on a global basis should be no barrier to ensuring the central values inform the way all tasks and actions are executed.
Our thanks to Alan Farrimond for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions.
Click the link below to find out more about Alan Farrimond