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Fujitsu General America recently held its second annual national distributor conference in Dallas.
The conference was held at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center, Oct. 9-11. Roughly 230 reps and wholesalers attended, a 25-percent increase from the previous year’s inaugural event in Tucson, Ariz.
“Our commitment to distribution at last year’s conference was to become easier to do business with,” says President and COO Matt Peterson. “From the feedback we received this year, it’s clear we’ve made real headway. This year, we continue that mission, with the additional focus on better equipping our customers to go to market.”
“Building Our Game Plan” was the theme of the sports-centric event in Texas. Fujitsu rolled out a new playbook for customers to draw from in the coming year. New products, programs, training, service tools and marketing initiatives were all unveiled.
“This event is about giving Fujitsu an opportunity to hear what the customers have to say, what’s important to them and what we need to change in order to get better and make their lives easier,” explains Andy Armstrong, vice president of sales and marketing. “And finally, we want to communicate what’s changing for us. We need them to know what’s going on next year, and we want them to leave excited and ready to attack the new year.”
Tom Carney, director of sales at Halcyon Products, says: “The level of engagement I witnessed in Dallas was fantastic. Customers see we’re implementing programs to make their lives easier and they’re incorporating those ideas into how they take the Fujitsu line to market.”
“Learning about new products and technology during the break-out sessions was valuable,” says Jim Allen at Johnstone Sacramento. “We asked for these products and improvements, and they’re delivering.”
With the integration of the Ventacity ERV and Smarter Building Controller, along with more options within the Halcyon mini-split and Airstage VRF lines, Fujitsu’s systems have expanded and become more flexible for a broad range of residential and commercial applications. For company managers, the opportunity to interact with customers proved invaluable.
“We think it’s extremely important for our reps and wholesalers to meet our people,” notes Tomokazu Hosoi, vice president of business development.
“It humanizes us,” adds Victor Gomez, vice president of technical services and aftermarket. “Knowing who our customers are and meeting them face-to-face is invaluable.”
This interaction took place in general sessions, breakouts and during leisure time. On the second day of the event, attendees chose between playing golf at the Cowboys Golf Club and touring the Dallas Cowboys AT&T Stadium. Visitors toured the $1.2 billion football stadium, walked through locker rooms, explored the press office and kicked field goals beneath the 160-foot-wide Jumbotron.
“Networking and communication are vital in a manufacturer-wholesaler relationship,” says Greg Servais, with Dakota Supply Group. “This meeting is a fantastic opportunity for us to meet other Fujitsu distributors across the country, learn from them and share our own experience. You can’t put enough emphasis on networking at a function like this. And the golf was pretty good, too!”
On the last night of the conference, Fujitsu hosted a celebration at The Glass Cactus nightclub. After cocktails and dinner on a deck overlooking Grapevine Lake, awards were presented for sales and growth achievements, as well as golf performance.
“Having the Fujitsu line is a privilege,” notes Master Group’s Stephan Montroy. Master Group took home the Halcyon Innovation Award. “It’s a complete line with quality product and fantastic support.”
“The passion that the Fujitsu staff has for their product and company is apparent at this meeting,” Johnstone Sacramento’s Allen says. “That’s contagious to us at the distributor level.”
“The new management team is great,” Servais says. “I love their direction and I’m excited about where they’re taking the line — and the company as a whole. They offer us the dialog, communication and partnership that a distributor looks for in a manufacturer.”
“You come to this event and you get to see just how much Fujitsu cares about its partners and end-users,” says Joe Duncan, at Ferguson.
“I want to express my sincere appreciation for making the trip here and supporting us and being part of the Fujitsu team,” Peterson says. “Our marketing team is planning the event for 2019 and we look forward to seeing everyone again.”