Finding cross-selling opportunities with matching energy products
“I’m very satisfied with progress only a few months into the integration process,” states Francesco. “We managed to group the legacies of the two companies into one unique commercial structure with minimal conflict, and we’ve done a very good job, considering the business protection streams that we identified at the beginning of the process. So we are now ready to exploit cross-selling opportunities, thanks to an extensively widened product range.”
Executive Vice President Energy at Prysmian Group
In these words, Francesco does little to hide his pleasure at the speed with which the integration is running, while openly demonstrating his eagerness to begin reaping the benefits of the combined strength of Prysmian and General Cable in the Energy business.
Francesco revisits the journey that began in March 2018 when Energy set out three main goals:
“One year on,” declares Francesco, “we are close to the best scenario envisaged at that time”. He gives some examples of this successful process, such as the leverage given to the Group offer in the US by the strength of GC in its aluminium low voltage product line, overhead conductors and in some special cables for the mining industry. From a geographical standpoint, the highest priorities have been managed in Southern Europe – which were planned for from the outset of the project – due to the overlaps in terms of markets and customer coverage, while the situation in North and South America allows us to leverage the strongly complementary nature of our presence and offers.
Right now, the Energy business is focusing on the integration of its commercial footprint, both in terms of product offering and go-to-market models, particularly within the overlapping regions. Francesco explains that 2019 started with resilient combined sales, with a client base very similar to that of previous years, which benefits the sales margins. In the Trade & Installers business, which accounts for €3.3 billion globally, a great benefit comes from major global clients, with the first three international distribution groups – Sonepar, Rexel and Anixter – together accounting for nearly one third of the global sales.
In the medium-long term, Francesco identifies important cross-selling opportunities that can be grasped, thanks to the companies’ complementary product portfolios and business-cluster coverage. “Our focus in these very early days will be based on a few simple pillars”, he explains. “They are to:
Within the Energy business, one of the core strategies of the combined Group will focus on servitisation: Prysmian will promote full-service solutions and transform products from passive components of the systems into active parts of the offer. This strategy will enable the Group to present clients with a predictive maintenance approach to the network. To this end, General Cable will leverage specific Prysmian capabilities in electronic devices, applied to industrial products, and power transmission and distribution networks.
The Group will benefit from General Cable’s high competence in kitting and harnessing activities both on automotive and industrial cable types. Within this scope, Francesco also reports that, “We have recently made an interesting investment in China: the automotive know-how we inherited from General Cable brought the Group’s harnessing capacity to the Suzhou plant, which should now open doors to the Chinese automotive market”.
The Group’s other core strategy is focused on digitalisation and CRM approaches based on digital platforms. This enables Prysmian Group to integrate its operational systems with customers’ own platforms, creating more effective and efficient customer centricity. This attitude is pervasive, explains Francesco. “General Cable had its own systems based on Microsoft platforms. As a Group, we are trying to use a common platform based on Salesforce – today’s main cloud solution provider - to standardise our approach in all units, covering all modules, from vendor management to opportunity tracking and so on”.
“Our digital platform,” he adds, “must optimise our customer relationships and improve our market coverage”.