2020: it’s been a challenging year for each and every one of us. Whilst the first half of the year saw unprecedented and lengthy lockdowns driven by the first wave of Covid infections, businesses across a range of sectors continue to struggle with the challenges of the virus. In the latest blog from Kiverco, we look at how some of our leading voices have led the way in promoting compact mobile recycling throughout the course of the pandemic. Hats-off to the Kiverco salesmen!
The outbreak of Covid-19 has had an undeniable impact upon the global population. Whilst the effects of the pandemic have been felt acutely by healthcare workers and caring professionals over the course of this year, businesses and public institutions have each attempted to navigate the challenges of the virus in their own unique way. Yes - tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams have been a massive help in 2020. But in a profession where handshakes and eye contact are all important, how have sales professionals managed to secure deals through the most challenging of times?
Each and every sales professional will have a different answer to that question, and that will often depend on the sector of industry that they work in. Con Gallagher, Global Sales Manager at Kiverco recently spoke as a special guest on the Demolition & Recycling International Podcast, where he caught up with presenter Steve Ducker on driving modular waste recycling equipment sales through some truly unique circumstances…
The Challenges of Mobile Recycling Sales in Covid
Con joined the team at Kiverco just before the most uncertain of times, assuming the role of Global Sales Manager just as the first record of cases began to be documented in the UK. Whilst joining the company as a newcomer, Con secured his transition into the company with relative ease thanks to the capability and professionalism of his colleagues. For Con, Kiverco was his first foray into promoting bespoke modular recycling equipment.
“For me, that’s all been part of the learning curve, and I’ve really enjoyed it,” reflects Con, “and that’s really allowed me to bed down in order to understand how processes and machinery and equipment work”. He highlights that this gathering of understanding has ranged from initial consultations right through to design, manufacturing and integration of components produced by third-parties. “It’s been really exciting seeing all of that coming together, turning on that button to see the recycling plant work and process industrial waste.”
Being aware of Kiverco for over two decades, Con entered the company with a strong understanding of what the brand was about. “Covid has been a challenge for the waste industry globally. The one thing I will say that I have found invigorating is the steely determination of the company’s leadership in providing solutions to navigate some of these challenges.
Navigating Pandemic Challenges
Con highlights that this navigation of challenges has taken several forms. “That’s ranged from how we get in front of people to promote the product to prioritising the safety and welfare of our installation teams, both when installing systems and travelling. Finding a way through these challenges - it really has been an exceptional year by anyone’s standards”
Maintaining an international presence and reputation has been made all the more challenging by the outbreak of the virus, with travel restrictions forming the most significant obstacle. “I love being out, negotiating deals. Even something as simple as a handshake is forbidden, and not having these things has, of course, been challenging. We’ve found ways to overcome these obstacles, and I think we’ve been very lucky. We’ve signed multi-million-pound industrial waste recycling contracts this year, including in the Middle East, and we’ve knocked elbow to sign things off,” recounts the Global Sales Manager.
Whilst preserving an international reputation carries several challenges, the pandemic has also made the opening up of new markets all the more difficult. “I was brought on to secure a stronger and wider distributor network, and you’re typically conducting these conversations over video. In many cases, you just don’t get that same level of traction. We’ve been able to use traditional methods and digital platforms to keep feeds going, reminding people that we’re very much still here!”
Everyday Operations Transformed
Whilst the waste recycling equipment industry has largely transformed, Con maintains that the means of finding and appointing dealerships hasn’t changed that much, with many of the same processes still essential in the age of Covid. “The one difference is that bespoke element. You want people in the waste sector to have an understanding of the solution and its key benefit: diverting more waste from landfill. You need that passion and expertise and the drive to reduce the environmental footprint.”
How can society and public policy change to better highlight the benefits of recycling? For Con, a total changing of mindsets is needed. “Many countries are aiming for a higher volume of recycling, which is fantastic for businesses like ours. There needs to be a widespread tackling of the waste problem. There is a long way to go. There’s still emerging markets who need to understand what recycling means.
“Governments need to tie in with the construction industry to help alleviate the impact of construction and demolition waste by using recycled aggregates more. Providing sustainable outlets for recovered waste product is essential for the waste recycling process to be effective.
“Continued innovation is also essential - and we'll be delighted to announce a new range of modular recycling products over the coming months!”