Going the Extra Mile Seals the Deal

Combining technical knowledge with premium customer service, the Vahterus refrigeration team seeks the best custom-made solutions for customers’ heat exchanger needs in refrigeration applications.

Vahterus Editorial Team

Customer accounts are shared between key account managers and sales engineers. Everyone is responsible for keeping in touch with their own customers and replying to their requests for quotations. Although each team member works independently, problems are solved together, and during the busiest times, help is never far away.

A typical case begins when a customer contacts Vahterus with a request for quotation. A sales engineer or key account manager then seeks the best solution that can be supplied, within an efficient timeframe. Budget, installation location and available space are common factors that need to be considered. When the structure, price and delivery time of the heat exchanger are agreed upon, an order is placed. Before it goes into production, the person who made the deal reviews the case once more, ensuring that all the details are as discussed.

The case is then handed over to a sales coordinator, who registers the order in the system and is responsible for the delivery of the product all the way up to billing. The sales coordinator also keeps the customer informed of possible changes during the production process.

”The ability to react quickly to changes that come from customers, as well as from in-house, is key in this job”, says Sales Coordinator Anna-Liisa Aula. She came to Vahterus ten years ago to undertake an internship while studying international trade at Satakunta University of Applied Sciences. After the internship, she was hired in her current position in the refrigeration team.

”There can be rapid changes in the status of a case, especially with deliveries. That’s when you need to act quickly and keep the dispatch office, transport company and customer updated of the situation”, Aula says.

To be able to work with such a specific technology, the sales team must have in-depth technical knowledge and understand the requirements of the customer’s system. They are the link between the customer and the product development team. This is a job you grow into by working hard and earning your success. After the first discussion with a customer, it can sometimes take up to a few years for an order to be placed.

Key Account Manager Mikko Tuomainen started working at Vahterus in 2014 after graduating from Tampere University of Technology as a Master of Science. He considers finding a technical and economical solution that corresponds to the customer’s need the most challenging – and at the same time, most interesting – part of his job.

In his daily work, Tuomainen seeks to develop existing customer relationships, find potential new customers and increase sales. In addition to keeping in touch by phone and email, maintaining customer relations means travel-ing to visit them from time to time.

The refrigeration team aims to convene weekly meetings, but they are not always possible because of travel schedules. Still, regular discussions are the best way to keep everyone up to date about current and future events, as well as the market situation.

”With the EU F-Gas Regulation, prices for high-GWP refrigerants have increased considerably, which has raised the demand for natural refrigerants and solutions that use them”, says Tuomainen of today’s market. Another clear trend is the growing demand for heat pumps, for which Vahterus heat exchangers are the perfect fit.

Sales Engineer Johanna Reinvall has been at Vahterus since 2000. Before starting in sales ten years ago, she had different roles in documentation, marketing and project management. Like the rest of her team, she approaches sales work with a customer-oriented mindset. ”One of our main principles is to take good care of existing customers. We believe in promptness, precision, and we aim to answer queries within a day”, Reinvall says.

It takes focus and flexibility to prevent tasks from accumulating when there are a lot enquiries coming in. Going the extra mile delivers the best results. ”Whether it’s a quick answer to a question, or being able to offer a good price that seals the deal, a satisfied customer is the best reward for the work done”, Reinvall sums up.