As a key account manager, Gülnur Durak speaks to Daikin customers on a daily basis. She sees a clear change in their mindset. “Sustainability has definitely become top-of-mind for our customers. They have set ambitious targets for decarbonising their building stock as well as their production processes. It is up to us to help them realise these goals and future-proof their business.”
Daikin Europe’s International Key Account team provides a total solutions offering for large multinational companies. What do these solutions entail?
Gülnur Durak: “Basically, we assist every customer in finding the perfect solution for their needs – regardless of the sector or the size of the project. We have a strong team of international key account managers, based at our EMEA headquarters in Brussels, Belgium and a large network of local key account managers across the region. They focus on building long-term partnerships with (inter)national customers. Depending on the needs of our customers, we mobilise different departments and experts within the Daikin organisation and join forces with our valuable partners in the sector.”
“In 2021 we were able to grow our international team of key account managers by 30%. And that is great news, since there are plenty of customers to be served and we certainly plan to keep expanding our business. We focus on five main sectors: retail, hospitality and leisure, large manufacturing and pharmaceutical companies, property development and logistics and distribution. However, we do not work exclusively for these sectors: any multinational company can count on our services.”
As a key account manager, you speak to customers on a daily basis. What is the most important thing on their mind today?
Gülnur Durak: “We are seeing a clear change in the mindset of our customers. Heating, cooling, ventilation and refrigeration have become more critical to their business strategy, in many ways. Energy prices are on the rise and building regulations are becoming tougher, which means there is much more is at stake.”
“But for many of our customers – especially those that think of the long term – it’s much more than just initial cost and compliance. Sustainability has become top-of-mind throughout their entire organisation and they are looking to reduce their environmental impact in every domain. They have set ambitious targets for decarbonising their building stock as well as their production processes. These companies are seeking partners who can help them achieve these goals, and perhaps most importantly, they are more eager than ever to invest in sustainable solutions.”
“We are seeing a clear change in the mindset of our customers. Heating, cooling, ventilation and refrigeration have become more critical to their business strategy.”
Gülnur Durak, Section Manager – International Key Account Sales at Daikin Europe
How can Daikin help customers realise their strategic ambitions?
Gülnur Durak: “First of all, it is very important that we speak the language of our customers and listen to their needs. Many of the people we speak with on a daily basis do not necessarily know anything about our products or their specifications. But they do know where they want to go with their company. This may vary from sector to sector. Industrial companies, for example, will be looking for improvements in productivity and continuity, whereas retailers may be more focused on a fast expansion of their business. For the food sector it is all about uninterrupted cold chains, whereas large data centres depend on effective cooling for their operations. It is up to us to respond to these different needs and combine the best possible technologies in our solutions.”
“In terms of sustainability, customers are curious to know what our new technologies have to offer, how they can save energy with Daikin’s efficient solutions and remote monitoring services and how they can eventually reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We also help them comply with environmental legislation and international standards such as BREEAM. Through our LꚙP program, we provide them with a sustainable solution for the recovery and reuse of refrigerants at their end-of-life, and we offer full transparency about the use of materials and resources in our products. Our proximity strategy is a great help in this respect – not only does it reduce our logistical footprint, we can also invite our customers for a visit to our factories, where they can see for themselves how we manufacture our products.”
What does this mean for Daikin as an organisation? What strengths do we have and how can we further develop them?
Gülnur Durak: “It means we need to think beyond merely shifting products, and position ourselves as a true solutions provider. We need to help our customers make the right choices throughout the lifecycle, from the initial design of the installation to later maintenance programs and even future refurbishments. Many of our customers are also looking to standardise and build up best practices they can use across their entire building stock or production sites.”
“Daikin Europe is actually well-positioned to do this. We have a strong, established organisation in place and are active all over Europe, the Middle East and Africa, with a strong local presence in many countries. If a customer has a problem that needs to be solved in Portugal, Morocco or Finland, we always have someone on hand to help. We also have a wide portfolio of products, solutions and technologies. This not only means we can help our customers in every domain, it also makes us a much more credible partner for our customers, because they know we will not be pushing them in one particular direction but look for the most optimal solution for them. It’s the combination of these strengths that makes us a preferred partner for many of our customers, today and tomorrow."