Sales Industry – A new challenge awaits

25. Nov 2019 | Education + Careers

After an eventful six months in the Sales Germany department, I was attracted to a new challenge: the Sales Industry department. Read on to find out how it differs from trading with Germany and what my new role is like.

Kostal contact systems

Herth+Buss has been an official distributor of KOSTAL contact systems since 1996 and specialises in selling parts for these contact systems. KOSTAL Kontakt Systeme develops and manufactures connector systems for the automotive industry.

As a distributor, it's our job to support customers. We do this in many different ways:

  • Quoting following enquiries
  • Organising delivery schedules
  • Delivering the goods
  • Technical consulting
  • Supplying technical documentation
  • Finding suitable connector systems

Our customer base doesn't just include service providers in the automotive industry, cable assemblers and original parts manufacturers (OEMs). Here and there we also have customers from other sectors, such as manufacturers of household goods or agricultural machinery.

My tasks in Sales Industry

Besides submitting quotes and inputting orders, I deal with complaints according to automotive industry procedure. Customer service is always the top priority here. This also means sending customers technical documents such as quality reports and 2D / 3D data for the relevant articles. It's my job too to make sure customers always get their goods in the right place at the right time.

Selling to Trade vs. Industry

Sales isn't the same everywhere. The trading chains from the departments Sales Germany and Export differ significantly from that of Sales Industry. While Trade sells goods to wholesalers, who then resell to the workshops or end customer, the process in Industry is a bit longer.

KOSTAL develops for example a new steering wheel (connector system) together with the OEMs in the automotive industry. Invitations to tender for prototypes concerning all suppliers to OEMs go out here. Every supplier thus has the opportunity to build and present the best possible prototypes of a steering wheel. Herth+Buss already comes in here, as all parts required for construction will be requested directly from us as distributors, with ordering and delivery taking place shortly afterwards. Once the prototypes have been completed, suppliers will present the end product to the OEMs. One of these suppliers will be awarded the contract at the end of the process and commissioned with serial production. The supplier then orders the serial volumes from us, processes the parts and delivers the end product to the relevant OEM.

So you see the process is quite different. But that doesn’t make it any less interesting. What I particularly like about my job is the wide range of tasks involved and helping customers with their projects.