Guangzhou, China – Seconding staff from Asia to the head office is the best way for western firms to understand Asian markets and grow sales, according to Stefano Andreolli, area manager at Cannon.
‘The market is complex and we need people to look after the market,’ Andreolli said. ‘It is much easier if we have people who talk directly with people in China and the Far East.’
2017 has been ‘one of the best performing years for Cannon, and it’s not over yet’, Andreolli said. The market in China is changing, he added. ‘It is much more mature than it was three or five years ago,’ he said. ‘There are very competent companies asking very technical questions. We have to prepare ourselves, and we haven’t found a better way of doing this than bringing people to headquarters to directly transfer information.’
In Asia, Cannon has major businesses serving the automotive sector, with machinery for moulded foam and NVH applications sold to both big western names and local producers. Cannon is broad in its approach and works with both groups, Andreolli said.
‘We still see big investment in the refrigeration sector,’ he claimed. ’The market is consolidating, the big get bigger and the small disappear.’
The market is mature, and Cannon has been supplying it for a number of years. ‘We ask ourselves, “What can we do to better?” We try to give customers here technical service and maintenance.’
This drive has led Cannon to start a project on the internet of things. ‘We have a big project in research and development, and will soon be testing devices at customers to connect machines to the cloud to give us data in real time.’
In the future, Andreolli suggests this could lead to easier remote production monitoring, and also predictive maintenance.