People who take action

Around the world, the people at Sonepar go all out to engage with customers, meet their needs and advise them. These portraits and personal comments show exactly how.

With our branch staff

“For two years, I’ve been greeting and advising customers, but I also manage inventory. The most exciting aspects of my job are relating directly to people, being part of a team and experiencing continuous technological change. One key to success is keeping a smile on your face, listening to customers and helping them pinpoint their needs. But what means the most to me is serving customers who used to do business with our competitors and who decided, after two or three stops at our branch, to change over and build a relationship with Sonepar.”

With our eCommerce staff

“At SLO and Sonepar, we can share all the innovations and information we have. Both entities are very open-minded about new ideas. I love the fact that when I have an innovative idea, we can sit down together and discuss how we will push that idea forward. And if we don’t have enough resources to do something, we can always count on our worldwide Sonepar partners to help us.”

The crucial role of logistics

“Since 2009, I have been applying principles and techniques that are valid in any business sector to improve customer service. Only the details have changed. We don’t need to invent anything. Technical solutions, equipment and processes are available, many of them inside Sonepar. Our goal is to choose and implement the ones suited to our needs so that we can achieve “best-in-class” supply chains that truly serve our customers.”

The equally crucial role of technical advice

“We aim to assist SLO’s sales personnel to get through their daily tasks as well as possible and to support them both in technical matters and in bid calculation. One way our company innovates is by developing new service solutions. The members of my department are a significant asset because they have an enormous amount of know-how to share. What makes SLO stand apart in particular is that employee training is given high priority, and individual learning and self-improvement are encouraged.”

A quick stop at the showroom

“I started out in the apparel industry, then went on to decoration and design, before entering the lighting business. After two years of training, I landed the job at Luminter. I now get to work on a wide variety of projects where technical expertise is just as important as innovation and people skills. In my view, to be a good specification manager, you need to be passionate, inquisitive, in touch with your staff, imaginative and meticulous. But the job also requires you to keep the showroom moving forward by partnering with new manufacturers and seeking out the products and solutions most likely to appeal to your customers.”

And now for a word from our younger associates

“I’ve been working for Sonepar Ibérica for five years. We have been through a tough, but exciting period that gave me the opportunity to help the company shift its strategic focus to specialized customers. Sonepar has helped me to develop my career and grow professionally. And now, thanks to the Sonepar Junior Committee I have the chance to get to know the Group internationally and learn about different ways of working in other countries. We may be very different, but all of us are focused on the same goal.”

Plus a look at our seasoned veterans

“I started working at Guerin when I was 21. That was 40 years ago. In 2013, at the height of the crisis, I used my enthusiasm and sales experience to train a team of 17 young people who soon boosted sales by 100%. The analytical and management skills I had built up over the years were a big help in that respect. I love my job, and I know how to motivate my team.”

One project,
two actors

Simon Wilson

Corys •
New Zealand
“Our client was struggling to make a decision in terms of moving forward in their conversion to LED. They had had issues in the past with direct suppliers and did not want to go down that path again. Working with our sales representative Kevin Carmody, we came up with the idea of producing a report which put all the supplier data in a format that allowed a matrix for comparison. We started with what they had now and considered whether it would be more cost-effective to maintain or repair the existing fittings. They used our report as a basis for making a decision. To achieve better light levels, with less power and greatly reduced maintenance, they opted for the more expensive solution, which was also the more economical one in the medium term. I got tremendous satisfaction from hearing great positive comments even from the non-believers. We had made a dirty, dark, heavy industrial site a place where workers were actually requesting to be assigned.”

Chris Wild

New Zealand Aluminium Smelter •
“We have had a long-standing relationship with Corys that goes back over 20 years. On this project, Corys offered expertise with lighting designers from different suppliers of high bay LED fittings for no added cost to us. The due diligence they performed on our installation and the maintenance and lighting issues involved, with clear explanations of all the variables, allowed us to choose the most appropriate high bay fitting at that time. It has met with the approval of both our maintenance staff and the workers in that area.”