Future first for MotorolaWhat lies behind the successful Future Electronics/Motorola partnership? Mick Elliott reports You’ll have seen the pictures many a time. Component manufacturer presents its Distributor of the Year award. Smiles and pats on the back all round. But what goes in to winning one of these much prized awards? Is there more to being number one apart from the obvious path of selling loads of product? Future Electronics won Motorola Semiconductors 1997 Distributor of the year Award and Simon Sall, Future’s UK product marketing director puts the achievement down to commitment and focus. Sounds easy, but behind those two attributes are many initiatives which go to contributing that little bit extra to the sales strategy. Within the Future European business each Motorola team competes in a monthly award scheme. On pure sales the companies operating in the bigger markets have a clear advantage, so balances are in place. For example winning new business or increasing sales on specific products carry extra kudos. From the seven teams a player of the competition is nominated, and to ensure nobody gets excluded, a Players Player is voted for. It can be someone outside the immediate Motorola team who has contributed to ensure the customer requirements are met. Simon Sall emphasises the time spent with customers and the attention given to selling the whole Motorola product range, the discrete and power products as well as the glitzy high end technology devices. The same applies to the customer base. “Future Electronics services the bigger customers and Future Active Industrial looks after the smaller guys,”says Sall. “We think we have more people out there on the street.” “You have to invest in the new wave of customers,” he asserts. “You don’t have to place huge orders to access the data and services Future can offer.” Engineering support has also been strengthened. Sall acknowledges the role played by Fred Knowles now Future’s European technical director. “We can sit down and do the design with the customer’s design engineer,” says Sall. “All our field applications engineers have backgrounds in OEMs, and can relate to the problems our customers face. It makes a big difference.” On the Motorola line there experts on programmable devices, MCU products, digital signal processors and the power, discrete and linear products. Says Sall: “Our commitment to customers is to have more Motorola product available than other distributor. There is no doubt sales follow the inventory.” Last year Future increased its Motorola business by 20 per cent. Sall will not divulge this year’s target, but he is determined not give up the number one status just yet.