By David Gill
With a restructured organization based on geographic zones, Saeco is prepared to attack new opportunities in the international marketplace, according to Mark Buss, the new president, chief executive officer and general manager of the company’s Americas region.
The newly created Americas zone encompasses both North and South America, and Buss is in charge of Saeco’s operations in this zone. The leaders of the country subsidiaries in this zone, including John McCann, president of Saeco USA, now report to Buss, who himself reports to Stefano Folli, executive vice president of the Italy-based parent company. Saeco has also established zones for the Pacific-Asia region and for Europe.
According to Buss, Saeco’s new structure reflects the vision of Federico De Angelis, who became the parent company’s managing director in April.
“What we’re trying to do is take a diverse group of subsidiary countries and look for synergies in those regions,” Buss said in an interview with HFN. “There are synergies in organization, shared resources and product development appropriate for certain regions. There are also synergies in terms of regional accounts, meaning retailers who have opened locations in multiple countries in these regions.”
From a marketing standpoint, “There’s a huge opportunity for us in each of these areas to coordinate our regional marketing efforts,” Buss said. “Having a comprehensive marketing strategy across each region, especially here, will position us for growth. In product development, there are certain areas we need to address to appropriately develop product.”
Saeco is also in the process of extending the synergistic approach to its retail-channel strategy. “There’s an evolution across retail in terms of understanding that while you can pull consumers into the store with an opening-price-point product, it’s also an opportunity to sell them up,” Buss said. “If we can find this opportunity across channels of distribution, we can grow even further.”
These opportunities are the key reason why Saeco reorganized its international operations at this time, Buss said. “The company is taking a proactive move in an economic time that is difficult,” he said. “It would be easy to pull back and concentrate on cutting costs, like other companies are doing. But Saeco is putting itself in a position to grow when the economy turns around.
“We realize the market is going to take some time in coming back,” he added.
Buss has joined Saeco with more than 25 years of experience in consumer products, especially housewares. He served as vice president of international business at Hamilton Beach from 1997 to 2004, and was vice president of business development at Seymour Housewares from 1993 to 1997. From January 2005 until he took his new post, Buss headed MB Consulting, which he founded as a specialist firm in domestic and international expansion.