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Yet in the past few years it must have performed more gyrations than almost any other company which geared up well ahead of this month's dismantling of European trade barriers. In response to sharp changes in the marketplace, it has had to rethink strategy and tactics several times.
The rethinking done by this successful British company, which employs staff, has been considerable. Since the Financial Times last wrote about its continental European strategy four years ago, it has changed tack on several counts, most recently just two months ago.
Having abandoned hope in the late s that the 'hover' mowers which made its name on its how to underwrite a hotel loan tran market would ever sell in mass-market volume on the Continent, it has now revised its view again; thanks to improved product design, hover sales are starting to accelerate in several continental countries, notably France, Denmark and Norway.
On the other hand, the 'wheeled rotary' mower which Flymo launched in especially to suit continental markets 'has not done well there - we've found it much tougher than we expected', admits Les Evans, the managing director.
Only a quarter of its sales have been made on the Continent. But with the addition of a roller it has sold unexpectedly well in the UK, carving out a new segment. Thanks to the hover boost, Flymo's continental export drive has been transformed from a tentative toe-dipping exercise in into a rapid forward march.
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In spite of a slide in prices, the value of its total exports - most of which go to the Continent - has nearly doubled to Pounds 15m, and is pitched to quadruple over the next four years.
At the same time total sales have risen by 'only' a half, to Pounds 73m. It had inadequate influence over how its products were distributed and sold by the various continental sales companies of its parent group, Electrolux.
But it has now persuaded most of them to slash overheads and sales prices by cutting out the wholesaling link in their distribution chains. They now sell direct to retailers. It is on the verge of annexing staff from those sales companies and integrating them into its own organisation, run from Newton Aycliffe in north-east England.
This single European organisation will have key managers dispersed across several countries. That some of these steps have been made necessary, and others possible, is thanks to three factors.
First, the speed with which, against all expectations, a European 'single market' in lawn and garden machinery is being created by several combined forces: Little is now made of the climatic variations and different consumer habits which just four years ago were expected to keep the European market fragmented indefinitely.
This retail-driven convergence of consumer buying patterns has enabled Flymo to cut production and inventory overheads by slashing the number of variants of each product. Instead of seven, it now has just two: The second enabling factor behind Flymo's rethink is the financial strength which has brought it through four of the worst years for European garden machinery that anyone can remember, because of the way drought combined with recession.
That strength flows from the company's low break-even point and its commitment to product innovation even through hard times; the latter pays off in the form of a stream of successful product launches, and in healthy cash flow. The third factor - partly the result of the previous one - is the backing that Evans has had from his Swedish parent in his sometimes fraught discussions with Electrolux sales companies across Europe.
It has helped him considerably that, 18 months ago, he was promoted to the position of a European 'product line manager' within Electrolux, reporting direct to its president in Stockholm. Previously, he had a product line manager above him.
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As part of the move, Evans was given responsibility for the consolidated profitability of all Flymo's sales, including those through staff in continental countries who in other respects reported to local Electrolux managers.
For companies in other industries faced with intense price competition and over-costly distribution arrangements in European markets, Flymo's experience over the past four years is especially instructive, in spite of its unusual position within a large multinational. Init was faced with trying to sell through a set of sister companies which were unused to having direct relations with retail chains.
Instead, they used wholesalers to distribute to specialist dealers.
In most national markets, the structure of the distribution chain for imported machines was also so complicated, and the mark-ups for each link sales company, wholesaler and retailer so generous, that selling prices had to be pitched up to twice as high as those in Britain.Oct 10, · What every hotel lender needs to know about HMAs and hotel franchise agreements.
What every hotel lender needs to know about SNDAs. What every hotel lender needs to know about cash controls.
What every hotel lender needs to know about hotel due diligence. The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Tsn EF"trAN Gur,r nqp AsrA has put the total lforeign) deb billion in ; rising from just payments on external debt rose of developing countries at $ gering sum of $ billion in ducers did provide economic aid bctween atd (most of Arab and other Muslim pittancc oompared to tbeir total intcrest payment$ in , This apart.
The hotel loan market has been on a good run for the last twelve months with competition among lenders heating to a point not seen since prior to the financial crisis.
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The inclusion of peer reviews here is inter- esting. In general, though, the book is perhaps at times too focused on her life and career, the discussion of her research confined to contemporaneous reviews. He built and owned the Dagmar Hotel in downtown Hagerstown, and sat on the boards of a variety of organizations.
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