Drives to be sold online with distributors
Danfoss has started to sell its VLT MicroDrives online through its distributors but is using a central corporate website to do so.
This ensures that the transaction side is handled corporately but distributors supply the goods and provide the support and service.
Colin Toolan, Danfoss’s manager e-business explained that the whole purpose of the site is to, “Broker the deal for the distributor”. Once a customer has chosen what drive or drives they want, the site allocates an appropriate distributor – currently the nearest one on the basis of post code, and the customer then has to agree to the distributor’s terms and conditions. Payment, however, goes centrally via PayPal, and although payment goes to the distributor, they do not see or have any access to card account information.
The distributor is then responsible for delivering the drive, and providing any necessary after sales support.
Lei Gommers, partner sales manager for Danfoss Drives said that more than a few customers lack technical knowledge, and, “Still don’t know what 0-20mA really means”, so one of the features planned to be added to the website will be a “Call me” button.
The drives are made in a plant in Haiyan, China, but not only are the drives designed in Denmark, and incorporate components chosen in Denmark, but the key managers of the Chinese factory are all, we were told, Danish as well.
The VLT MicroDrive can control motors up to 7.5kW, and comes in two forms, one with a potentiometer on the front, which is rated IP20, and one without, which is rated IP68. Despite its small size and low cost, it includes: automatic energy optimisation, automatic motor tuning, flying start capabilities, and RS485 and Modbus connectivity. The new web site is www.VLTmicro.co.uk and the UK is the first country in the world where the online selling facility is to be piloted.
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