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UK site pilots online sales of micro drives

07 November, 2008

Danfoss Drives has set up a Web site for UK customers to order its VLT Micro Drives online. They can customise the drives and pay for them using PayPal or credit cards. Same- or next-day delivery is guaranteed.

“It’s simple, easy and fast,” says Tony Pickering, director of Danfoss’ Northern European region. “We wanted a platform that reflects the simplicity and ease-of-use of the VLT Micro Drive itself and that allows the customer application to be up and running in the shortest possible time.”

Unlike some other drives manufacturers’ sites which forward visitors on to their distributors’ sites, Danfoss acts as a broker, matching customers and distributors and ensuring that secure payment is guaranteed. The site identifies the purchaser’s nearest distributor automatically. Visitors will only be able to see the prices that apply in their country.

The PayPal-based payment system means that Danfoss does not need to know either the customer’s or the distributor’s credit card or account details, while the distributors do not need to check the credit-worthiness of the customer and will not see the customer’s credit-card details.

Although Danfoss will continue to handle large Micro Drive orders directly, it hopes that most small orders will come via the Web site.  “We want the site to be the Micro Drive point-of-sale,” says Colm Toolan, Danfoss Drives’ e-business manager.

Pickering points out that with each site visit by a sales engineer costing almost £200, it makes no sense to sell drives costing not much more than £100 in this way. “Web sales have to be the future of doing business in the low-cost market,” he says. He hopes that at least 60% of Danfoss’ Micro Drives sales in the UK will be via the Web site within a year.

The UK is acting as a pilot for the Web ordering service before it is rolled out in other countries. Seven of Danfoss’ 17 UK distributors are participating in the scheme. Others could not meet the conditions of becoming involved, such as guaranteeing same-day shipping.

Danfoss plans to develop the site further. For example, there are no discounts for bulk purchases at present, but this facility may be added later, along with more sophisticated configuration options.

♦ Danfoss’ president and CEO, Jorgen Clausen, has retired and been succeeded by Niels Christiansen, the former vice-CEO. In a separate move, Sven Ruder, who has been president of Danfoss Motion Controls since 2001, has been appointed president and CEO of Sauer Danfoss, succeeding David Anderson who is retiring.

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