By Claire Reilly
The last few months have seen several major appliance brands move away from running their sales departments on a state-by-state basis. Last year, the new MD of ASKO Appliances announced the company would ditch its state-based sales system in favour of managers who would be responsible for individual categories, while Fisher & Paykel last month restructured its business to include channel managers for its key retail accounts.
As these shifts occur, Miele has weighed in on the state-versus-channel debate, talking up the merits of its channel sales system. According to Miele Australia managing director Michael Jeanes, the move towards a national network of channel-specific managers has been a wholly positive one for the brand.
“We now do not have state managers, we are channel managed,” Jeanes told Current.com.au. “So we manage everything from headquarters now, and we manage it by channel.
“We have a head of the Miele chartered agency — for retail and going to market — we have a head of projects, we have a head of professional, and we have a head of our gallery showrooms. So we market those as channels now and the states implement them.
“It’s a much better system,” he said.
While Jeanes acknowledged that some would see the shift as a negative, he insisted that Miele’s system of channel managers allowed the brand to better work with its retail partners.
“Some would say we’re moving further away from our retailers, but actually I would say we’re moving much closer to them,” he said. “We know what they’re feeling, what they want, and we try to deliver that. We’re much closer to the market.”
Jeanes also added that Miele’s unique agency system helps the brand to connect with retailers and deliver them meaningful results on the sales floor.
“I think first and foremost, we offer retailers a great package,” he said. “The way we go to market means it’s virtually risk free for our retailers. From their point of view, we’re using their expertise on the floor to sell the product to their consumers. That’s all that they really have to concentrate on.
“We offer them a great margin and we offer them a great package.”