Australia's first choice for power tools

22nd July, 2013

Author: Aleisha Parr - Business in Focus Magazine

Tooltechnic Systems has recently featured in the Business in Focus Magazine

Named Victorian Wholesaler of the Year for 2012 by the International Financial Consulting Company Dunn and Bradstreet, Tooltechnic Systems Australia (TTS) has taken the high end power tools industry by storm  since it entered the market in 1999. With its parent company operating out of Germany, TTS Australia was recently purchased by way of Management Buy-Out by Holger Schulz and Blair Brydon.

Mr Schulz had previously acted as Managing Director from the commencement of the company in 1999 through to 2006 – at which time Mr Brydon took over the controlling role as Mr Holger took a global position in Germany with Festool. In 2009, the two combined forces to purchase the Australian and New Zealand business arm from the Tooltechnic German holding company. With a clear focus on the TTS brands, Tooltechnic Systems Australia has been developing its product portfolio in order to support its core range and further strengthen the financial independence of the company, whilst making the company more attractive as a business partner to both dealers and end users.

In a recent interview with us, Mr Brydon discussed the company’s development as it has come into its own as an Australian business.

“We work closely with the trade customer to solve problems and provide them with the best possible solution for the task,” he explains, making note of the company’s stellar track record for selecting high-end, quality product lines. “TTS distributes brands that are performance leaders in their sectors to give professional trade people advantages in their day to day jobs.”

Available in Australia since 1980, Festool power tools are one of Tooltechnic’s leading lines, alongside Protool. “The basis of the Festool brand is that most tools are designed around the ability to remove dust at the source of where it is made. In most cases the Festool system can remove 99 per cent of all dust generated, so when working with dangerous or hazardous dusts this means the user is safe and it is far more enjoyable to complete the task.”

At the heart of the Festool system is its dust extractor, which enables tradespeople to connect and operate a variety of tools dust-free in any location. Indeed, the Festool Group is distinguished within the field for providing innovation with its broad range of dust extractors targeted to professional and industrial markets.

In 2010, Tooltechnic Systems introduced blades for a multitool in the Australian market, and soon after the company acquired the agency in 2012 to produce the Tyrolit Trade range of bonded, coated and diamond products. Having just achieved distribution rights for Tyrolit Abrasives sanding disks, Tooltechnic is proud to be introducing the line this year at National Manufacturing Week.

With a host of strong competitors also working within this segment, Tooltechnic Systems certainly has its work cut out, but with the prevailing consumer focus resting on productivity and material savings, Mr Brydon says that many opportunities are ripe for the picking yet within the industrial segment.

“Festool group products rely heavily on the building construction and automotive markets – which is definitely a challenge in the current economic environment,” he explains, “but we have successfully managed growth each year in these segments.

“The Tyrolit brand is growing ahead of expectations which are mainly due to the performance and quality of the key lines in the product range. With more than eighty thousand products in the range, the biggest challenge is introducing the right products for our target groups and keeping fully supplied.” In Australia, the company has in fact grown to include fourteen Premium Stores, each of which carry a majority of the company’s key products. To ensure a consistent client interface experience, each store is designed with a specific layout complemented by highly trained sales staff.

Technological advances have always been a priority for the company. Just two years before the management takeover, the company invested in a new internal intranet, enabling staff members to easily find key information on processes within the company. “Clear and efficient work practice instructions are a key objective on our business plan and we continue to refine these to benefit the end customer in all aspects of the business,” Mr Brydon explains.

Last year, Tooltechnic Systems also rolled out a new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system which manages all tool warranties, customer information and marketing communications. This system, says Mr Brydon, provides the sales team with a “360 degree view” of customers in their territory. “This will help us understand our customers better over time.”

Furthermore, the company has recently invested in a major e-commerce platform to be introduced this month, which is integrated with an SAP back office system, offering many benefits to the customers and distribution network moving forward.

“In the past our site has been managed from Germany,” explains Mr Brydon, “so the platform is out of date and not representing the Australian market in the best way.

The new website will offer a full resource of product information, manuals, brochures, videos, online help, forums and many more features to be rolled out over the coming twelve months. It is important to have a clear web presence and we have lacked in this area for the past three to four years.”

To be sure, the emerging trend in retail for consumers to interface with the internet before making a purchase presents a great challenge for traditional suppliers. “They are in the driving seat,” comments Mr Brydon. “We must research and interact with them to win the business which may otherwise go to the big boxes; the market is quite competitive.”

To this end, “We register all our customers and market our products through highly trained specialist dealers nationwide. They are trained on the features and benefits and how to conduct effective and impressive demonstrations – the ‘wow’ factor. Tyrolit has market leading R&D.”

With all of its internal and external sales team hailing either from trades or having undergone extensive product and sales training in Tooltechnic System’s own training department, the company promotes a sense of engagement within its client base, ensuring optimal satisfaction. “Every staff member each year is reviewed on the company’s eleven core personal values which help us ensure we have the right people in the right seats within the company to help get the job done.”

Ultimately, says Mr Brydon, the role of the TTS sales team is to coexist within the market with its professional end user, introducing new products and “helping make their job faster, easier and better. Our focus lies with working with the end user to make their job faster so their get the job done easier so the process is not as difficult or is more enjoyable and the result they achieve is better than what they had. If we can achieve these three principles for our customers then we will continue to be successful.”

To support this, Tooltechnic Systems maintains a full training department through which regular three-day training programs are offered. These programs target a variety of market segments in an effort to train dealers and sales representatives in application problem solving whilst also providing clients with the latest in sales information on the product range.

“The training is 75 per cent hands-on, so the sales person comes away with a real life feel of how to use the product and build some applications. All accessories and consumables are included within the training program so it gives the salesperson the ability to inform the customer on everything they need or is available to get the job done well.”

Within the industry, Tooltechnic Systems Australia has also nurtured strong relationships, working closely with many associations in key segments including the Master Builders Association (MBA), the Housing Industry Association (HIA), the Cabinet Making Association, the Master Painters Association, and the Collision Repair Association. Although Tooltechnic’s primary products are supplied through international manufacturers in Germany and Austria, the company also works with key local manufacturers in the trade, including CSR and Dupont.

To ensure customer satisfaction throughout every industry, Tooltechnic Systems utilises a specialist  distribution system whereby select partners work closely together with the company to help support its customer network.

The company is also active within the broader community, offering its support and expertise. As a sponsor of the Nissan Motorsport team in the V8 Supercars championship, Tooltechnic works with the team to define the best sanding process for the preparation of their cars for each round.

Concludes Mr Brydon, “Our vision to be Australia’s first choice for quality power tools solutions drives us to develop innovative ways to sell the premium products and provide value for money to the customers. A key element to our growth is having a focused team with the right skills and assets for each position and this is forever changing as the company develops and the priorities change.”

“We hope to continue on our path to become more customer focused, offering the right solutions and services to each of our target segments across the business. We have a lot to offer and we believe the projects we have invested in over the past two to three years will help us in achieving this.”


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