hotset sales manager Sven Braatz: “hotset has the best prerequisites for further, determined expansion — both nationally and internationally.”
With the signing of Sven Braatz as new Sales Manager and Head of Business Development, the temperature control systems manufacturer hotset has strengthened its management team a few days ago. One of the primary tasks of the 44-year-old industry expert is to synchronize the sales structures of the Lüdenscheid-based company with its high pace of innovation. Read here which levers the new hotset manager will set in motion to achieve this.
Mr. Braatz, who or what brought you to hotset in Lüdenscheid?
Braatz: As a native of Lüdenscheid, I know the company name since my childhood. During my professional career, the heating elements and thermosensors of the company then met me again and again. With increasing frequency finally in my last function as sales manager and project manager of a well-known manufacturer in the silicone industry. Here, hotset is considered a set premium supplier that stands for quality “Made in Europe”. When I then learned that CEO Ralf Schwarzkopf wanted to strengthen his management team, I did not hesitate for long…
…and as sales manager are now also a member of the hotset management team.
Braatz: That’s right. In this role, I will do my part to ensure that hotset can unleash its enormous innovation potential even faster than before and with significant annual leaps in growth. In doing so, I will be able to contribute both my commercial and technical know-how as well as my experience from sales management and marketing.
Where in the corporate structure will you start to do this?
Braatz: In technological terms, hotset has positioned itself very strongly, especially in the recent past. In the development of new products and systems, we can score with high innovative strength and very short innovation cycles. This can be seen, for example, in the many product launches in recent months, the rapid further development of variothermal mold temperature control with the Z‑system and the commissioning of the system center for temperature control technology. All of this reflects an extremely lively innovation scene. And as I know, our engineering department already has further ideas in the pipeline. All this puts pressure on the sales department, which has to keep up with this fast pace of innovation. I therefore see a primary need for action here.
How can we imagine this in concrete terms?
Braatz: As a manufacturer of heating elements, thermal sensors, control technology and temperature control solutions, hotset has been very successfully playing the triad of component supplier, system developer and project partner for years. Our sales department communicates all three areas of activity to resellers and dealers as well as to OEMs and bulk buyers and also to special project customers — nationally and internationally! That in itself is a truly mammoth task. Especially since each of these customer groups has its own expectations and demands and therefore requires a different method and intensity of approach and support. In addition to the high pace of product development, this is the second factor that can now be heard as a creaking in the woodwork of the sales structures.
New face at hotset: With the signing of Sven Braatz as new Sales Manager and Head of Business Development, the temperature control systems manufacturer strengthened its management team a few days ago.
So it’s a matter of bringing hotset’s sales organization into line with the company’s high innovation momentum?
Braatz: Yes, especially since the third pressure factor is that current demand is fueling the expansion drive of all three business units. We must therefore prevent a scenario in which the sales department wears itself out between the growing demands and loses its previous efficiency. This would slow down our growth and make it more difficult to enter new areas of business. We have to ensure that our innovative spark can ignite ever better in the market.
That sounds like a complex task. How will they tackle the issue?
Braatz: We have already defined the most important areas of responsibility, and we are currently in the process of systematically analyzing the structures and processes in detail. This already indicates that we probably need to realign only a few sub-aspects. Strategically, I see hotset in an excellent position. The company offers the best conditions for further, determined expansion — both nationally and internationally.
Let us share your thoughts?
Braatz: I would not like to anticipate. But it is apparent, for example, that some very powerful sales processes are not yet implemented holistically, that some interfaces between sales and production can be better adjusted and that some regional responsibilities can be assigned more cleverly. We will largely free the management from temporary sales tasks. And since we are now at the top level in the use of digital media, we will attach greater importance to this area.
How quickly will this be felt by customers?
Braatz: In the very short term! Because in the course of our measures, both communication and the efficiency of the customer approach will improve significantly. We will also intensify the business relationships with our trading partners. And in the project business, personnel continuity is at the top of our agenda. In the future, those who work with hotset should benefit even more from our innovative power and the creativity of our engineering. Ultimately, the satisfaction of our customers is the central value by which we want to be measured.
And what long-term visions will guide you as Head of Business Development?
Braatz: First, I will make both the national and the international sales machine of hotset as a flexibly controllable and resilient constant of the company fit for the future. Based on our previous growth course and within the framework of our triad strategy, this serves the goal of being able to develop new business areas more quickly and sustainably and to win new customer groups. The central momentum I have in mind is to optimize the feasibility of customer requirements and to improve hotset’s customer orientation in breadth and depth. In support of this, we will significantly expand the company’s presence on the web and in B2B-relevant social media areas across all sales channels.
Mr. Braatz, thank you for the interview.