Tecnopool provided insights on the company’s success in the US, naming the key factors that helped it play a key role in the North American food processing market. According to Nicola Scudella, Tecnopool’s sales manager for North America, these factors are: understanding of the local culture, in-country presence, personal relationships, and technical expertise.
“When I was asked to manage it, the USA and Canada commercial area was essentially in an embryonic phase; now this area represents our second foreign market in terms of volume,” Scudella explained. “It is also the area where we have set all our records in terms of system size, for instance, the Kraft plant in Minneapolis that cools 10,000 kg/hour of Velveeta cheese. Virtually all Velveeta cheese in the USA is processed by one of our systems. This project took two years to complete. It is a continuous challenge in a commercial arena that’s as big as Europe and very demanding.”
But what are the keys points for an Italian company to succeed in the United States?
The Italians’ approach to business and the Italian way of selling were considered key points in the company’s US performance. “Commercial negotiation is an art that mirrors the spirit of a population. We Italians have a certain style, a polite and friendly way of making requests, which to some extent is more calculated. The Americans, on the other hand, appreciate clarity; the less strategy a customer perceives, the more they feel they understand you and the sooner the project is completed. This doesn’t mean they are naive counterparts, though. They know very well how to defend their requirements, maybe by playing on misunderstandings. There is no right or wrong way, however ignoring these differences would make everything difficult. It’s part of the game, and honesty I have never in my life seen a negotiation without any pitfalls”, Scudella added.
Another key factor for a company that supplies comprehensive total food processing systems is the high level of technical expertise. Companies like Tecnopool, with exclusively custom-made system solutions, acquire credibility with a commercial team that is well trained in technical aspects. Not only in terms of mere reputation, but for the advantages that this know-how brings to the customer. It is also important to state that technical expertise is essential when selecting food technologies due to the fact that the quality of the final product is the result of a correctly defined production process that was supported by a good system design practice, according to Tecnopool.