Capital Equipment News April 2019


Dennis Vietze took over as MD of Wacker Neuson SA in June 2017. He joined Wacker Neuson in 2000 and held vari- ous positions within the sales organisation before becoming director of market development in April 2013 at the company's production facility in Munich, Germany. He has extensive experience in management and possesses a wealth of knowledge on the company's products and services.

MS: So, what have you done to address these issues?

DV: It took me about a year to get my structure right and develop my three- stage business plan: The first stage saw restructuring of sales, the second a reorganisation of admin, processes and procedures, and the third stage, which is happening right now, is about streamlining our aftersales portfolio. Coming out of the corporate world, with almost 18 years of experience in the industry, the biggest target for me was to bring the whole team closer to the workings and methodologies of a corporate world. Our strategy in the local market is part of the larger Wacker Neuson group’s strategy and it is important for me that my team, both personnel and dealers, have an understanding why things should be done in a certain way, in line with the group’s strategy. My approach is different; I am from a generation that manages by results. I explain the bigger picture and the results I want to see and execution is delegated to different teams. Each team has its team leader and they are more than welcome to travel to meet other team members across the country. At the end of a set period they present the results of their efforts. It has not been easy but my team has come to appreciate the flexibility in the working environment. DV: I am pleased to report that, after almost one and a half years, we have everything under control from a sales perspective. We have achieved a couple of huge success stories, especially in our Strategic Business Unit (SBU) 2 (soil and asphalt compaction), where we have MS: What have been some of the key achievements thus far?

Dennis Vietze, MD of Wacker Neuson South Africa.

Back on track

Munesu Shoko [MS]: You have been here for one and a half years now. What have been your key areas of priority thus far? Dennis Vietze [DV]: My biggest focus in the first three to six months was trying to get a full understanding of the market. Owing to the big distances in South Africa, and considering that my responsibility spans across sub-Saharan Africa, I travelled extensively. I was out in the field for about 80% of the time getting close to our customers and dealers in order to gain an understanding of and feeling for the business. It was more of a fact-finding mission to recognise the issues and comprehend the business operation over the past few years. People were honest with me when I asked questions. I did not only want to hear about the positives, I also wanted the negatives to enable me to identify issues that needed immediate attention to get the brand back on track. From these conversations I learnt that we had lost a bit of reputation in the market and, consequently, market share. Since taking over as MD of Wacker Neuson South Africa in June 2017, Dennis Vietze’s three-stage business plan has already yielded a number of tangible results – chief amongst them are last year’s highly impressive 10% overall business growth and doubling of sales in the soil and asphalt compactor segment to regain the market leadership position in this important sector. Munesu Shoko recently had a face-to-face with him.


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