Advertorial • 08.01.2015
“We offer the end users a solution that meets their exact requirements”
Interview with Stephen Bergeron, Vice President Global Marketing, APG Cash Drawer LLC
Serving thousands of customers around the world, APG Cash Drawer has a reputation as a designer and manufacturer of the most durable and dependable cash drawers in the industry, offering a wide range of drawers for applications found in Retail, Food, Hospitality and Convenience Stores. Stephen Bergeron, Vice President Global Marketing, talks about what makes his company successful and how APG is engaging the European market.
Mr. Bergeron, despite the tough global economic conditions over the past years, APG Cash Drawer has experienced strong, steady growth. What do you attribute this to?
That is a simple question; the answer is corporate culture. If you give a thought to how we operate and our reputation for quality and flexibility, it is only possible if each and every member of the company is engaged, motivated, and are in control of their individual contribution to achieve our goals. In this way, all team members know that their part of the puzzle is relied on 100% of the time and they own that responsibility. This goes for product development to logistics, those on the line or those with a bowtie.
This is the reason we host so many existing and potential customers at our global headquarters. It is one thing to talk the talk but when our partners see for themselves how we operate, it is a real eye opening experience. We are very proud as an organization and we are always pleased to show this off.
How is this reflected towards distributors and end users?
The most direct answer is the reputation we have developed within the industry that APG operates under a very customer centric philosophy; we never compete against our partners and we try to maintain a very flexible work force and manufacturing process. By not competing against our partners they trust us and bring us into deals early in the sales cycle. This allows us to offer the end users a solution that meets their exact requirements and not try to jam solutions into the mix.
Specifically, we are very quick to react and respond to customer demands and needs. 70% of our orders are un-forecasted and ship in 7 days or less. Even with this delivery speed we maintain 98.8% shipment accuracy and a 97.8% on time delivery. This is even more exceptional within the industry when you consider APG offers over 1600 different cash drawer configurations.
These configurations are based on size, color, interface, and currency. Our customers have also come to expect a robust product offering. Our standard duty Vasario product has a 1,000,000 opening life cycle with a less than 1% failure rate. While our Heavy Duty, Series 4000 and Series 100, have a 4,000,000 opening life cycle and a less than .5% failure rate.
This all leads you back to the initial question of corporate culture - this flexibility and speed is only possible with a company where all individuals feel valued and responsible for its overall success each and every day.
There are some major investments underway from APG Cash Drawer to gain more traction in the European market. What realities led you to undertake this endeavor and what benefit will this bring to the market?
APG entered the European market roughly 10 years ago with our OEM partners and has enjoyed success through their sales efforts. We are releasing a new suite of 5 cash drawer products that meet current footprint requirements. These products are available in both a lay-flat and flip-top configuration and will fit existing retail furniture. This really is the biggest change, these drawers are not a redesign but rather a new line of products built from the ground up to meet the needs demanded by our European partners.
In order to bring the level of quality and turnaround expected by our existing customers, earlier this year we opened a warehouse and configuration center in Dusseldorf, Germany. We also have sales and marketing offices in England, Germany and Belgium. These offices allow us to support a variety of languages, English, German, French, and Dutch.
By investing in these markets - creating an organic base in these markets - APG has established a direct communication channel with the people who are best positioned to provide feedback on what is working, what we can do better and what is on the horizon. This will allow us to continually refine our products and corporate culture to provide the best solutions to these markets. This is often overlooked when expansion is considered. APG is here now not to 'push' products to the market but rather to 'pull' the ideas and needs from the market so we may be better able to serve our present and future partners. We know our future success depends on a continual dialog with our customers.
Who uses your cash drawers?
We provide confidentiality to our customers and because of our distributor networks we are often unaware the actual locations and storefronts of end users. We know we already enjoy a strong market share within Europe and are continually pleased to see what this means in practice; our drawers are used in a wide variety of retailing and gastronomy settings. I can say that some of the largest fast food chain in Europe and France specifically use our products. Our flip-top drawers are installed in hyper-markets across Europe. Our lay flat drawers are installed in several High Street retailers in England, France, Germany and Spain.
Interview: Ben Giese, iXtenso.com