Such was the enthusiasm that RS Components used to describe its global strategy at a European press conference last week I half expected Status Quo to appear and knock out Rockin All Over The World.
Messrs Rossi and Parfitt being unavailable, a trio of RS Components directors delivered the message in more measured terms at a presentation to over 120 journalists in Budapest.
The global strategy started last year when the word appeared in new job titles for a posse of the RS Components executive management team.
Keith Reville, the Global Marketing Director assigned the shift to the strong forces driving globalisation in the electronics industry. A regional approach has been consigned to the dustbin as RS seeks to present one face to its global customer base.
It will continue to upgrade its website search functionality, offer mobile solutions to customers and start to implement behavioural marketing to tighten its ties to customers.
Reville describes this as “eCommerce with a human touch” – a message reinforced by Klaus Goldenbot, the Global Sales Director. He described an initiative whereby RS calls a customer who has abandoned the website without a purchase.
Whether this is universally welcomed was a point put to Keith Reville. He says that customers welcomed the response – “as it showed we care about them as customers.”
The human touch for larger accounts will be an emphasis on understanding the customer’s business and their requirements.
None of this will work too well without a few products to sell and that task falls into the remit of distribution industry veteran Chris Page. He wants to get RS to a point where at least 75% to 85% of its products are available to its global customer base. It is a singular task because says Page, “We stock 555,000 products from 2,500 suppliers, and we introduce 50,000 new products every year.”
Page cited a similar initiative for the RS maintenance products range. In 2010 only 45% of the range was common across Continental Europe. By 2013 that figure had risen to 75% wit common European marketing campaigns and incremental sales of £30m.
“We want our global customers to be able to see the stock no matter where the products are or where they are,” he adds.
The products will be available on one, two or three day lead times globally. The roll out of SAP business software worldwide – “at one point we had four different business systems in Asia-Pacific,” Page recalls – will enhance the customer experience. The company is also planning to establish a central hub warehouse in Asia-Pacific, the site to be decided.

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