By Martin Vedris

SYDNEY: Haier Australia’s new CEO Keith Allen continues to restructure the company and add key staff in a bid to establish a stronger presence in the Australian marketplace for the whitegoods brand.

According to a statement released today, Michael Trad, who previously worked at Samsung and also operated a private consultancy business, has been named Haier’s new operations manager and will lead an internal restructuring program focused on improving the level of after sales service support.

Haier service and operations departments will be developed into separate units to enable greater specialisation in areas such as the call centre, order entry, service centre support, logistics and spare parts and warehousing.

“Each area will be a specialised unit which will give us the ability to tangibly measure results and resources,” Trad said.

Also planned is an increased focus on training and recruitment of staff specialised in each department’s area.

Kathryn McGuire, previously Kleenmaid Appliances NSW commercial manager, is Haier’s new business development manager commercial.

“My appointment is part of an internal restructure designed to take the Haier commercial business to a new direction and to gain greater entry into the middle market with our current range of products,” McGuire said.

McGuire said she intends building a greater number of high profile customers and expanding the business further into the hospitality and aged care sectors.

“As brand awareness grows, I hope to find out more about what customers want and respond by bringing new innovative products to the market,” McGuire said.

Marijo Udovicic has taken on the role of Haier administration and materials manager after stints working at Altech Computers and NEC. He was most recently the computer wholesale operations manager at Altech after working through the ranks to senior positions at NEC over a 17-year term.

At Haier, Marijo will be responsible for coordinating the procurement and inventory management required to provide accurate forecasting for finished goods.

Jim Harris has been appointed business development manager HVAC and will specialise in developing Haier’s air conditioning business nationally, after accumulating 40 years experience in this industry sector.

“Haier has an expanding and innovative range of products ideally suited to the Australian specialist dealer and retail markets” Harris said.

Harris intends to develop a specialist dealer network for Haier Air Conditioning throughout Australia.

Gary Solomons also joins Haier and brings a wealth of experience to his new role as warehouse manager, having worked for 15 years at Mitsubishi Electric and later, BenQ.