The success of a globally active business depends on a dynamic sales structure which can adapt quickly to changing economic conditions. 360° went behind the scenes with JoachimZaulig, Head of the Business Development department, expert in international sales and long-serving elumatec employee.
Mr Zaulig, what role does your BDM department play in the company?
Essentially we look after the subsidiaries of elumatec AG around the world. We also work on opening and expanding new markets for the future. Using the business data from each individual subsidiary, and on the basis on in-depth discussions with their employees, we establish how well equipped a subsidiary is to face its future challenges, whether and what additional support it requires, and where new markets may be opening up. With this knowledge we then focus on creating a catalogue of appropriate measures to be taken, agreeing them with the board, and subsequently implementing all points ourselves at each location.
That's a lot on your plate. How is your department set up to handle it?
I don't do anything - I leave it all to the others (laughs). No, of course we divide ourselves up to focus on different things. Bülent Köksal, Anja Schopp and I analyse the local subsidiaries to see whether and how they can be optimised. This is a global process and frequently takes a considerable amount of time. We also implement these measures ourselves at these companies. Here at elumatec, Jasmina Baier collects the data, analyses it and takes responsibility for activities such as planning business trips. Last but not least, the measures we implement at the subsidiaries have to be overseen and managed, and Sandra Kienzle is the person responsible for that here.
Which elumatec AG subsidiaries is your department focusing on at the moment?
I am supporting Anja Schopp as she looks after and manages our subsidiary in Australia, where she is initiating restructuring measures. South America is also part of her remit, although in the short term the economic outlook there is not particularly promising. Bülent Köksal has been responsible for Turkey for around a year now, where he took over the role of CEO, and Iran and Azerbaijan are still closely linked to Turkey. I myself have been busy in India and South Africa in recent years, and now that the process of implementing our measures there is complete I am heading for new shores.
Could you give us a practical example of what you do?
Many of the structures in and around our subsidiaries developed for historical reasons. In some cases, they maintain partnerships with various service providers which haven't been scrutinised for some time. We analyse the costs and how they are incurred, align them with market prices, and consequently are often able to help the subsidiaries reduce their costs.
To what extent are you responsible for the results of the subsidiaries you look after?
We get involved when subsidiaries are looking to restructure, when they need local optimisation or when markets need to be built up again from scratch. Basically, whenever something new needs to be created. This means we enjoy a greater degree of freedom that normal. On the other hand, in each country we are responsible for all activities and their consequences, given that we manage the projects independently to a large extent. This includes personnel, operating equipment, structures, sales and customer service, administration etc. The job is really like that of a transitional business manager or founder of a small business, making sure the business stands on its own two feet as per the expectations.
What does the future hold for your field of work?
As you can see in the news every day, at the moment we are exposed to a lot of unstable economic and political situations around the world, and this naturally has a big influence on all businesses operating in these places. This means that, more than ever before, a key requirement for businesses in the affected regions is the ability to constantly adapt, and adapt more and more quickly for the most part. As a result, many export-oriented businesses will almost certainly anchor our area of responsibility even more firmly in your company in future.
(left to right) Bülent Köksal, Anja Schopp, Sandra Kienzle, Joachim Zaulig, Jasmina Baier
Photo Credit: Pro-solutions-GmbH