Winter brought with it a driver change for Hino Distributors (NZ) Ltd. Hino is excited to introduce industry experienced Michael Doeg as the new General Manager.
Michael’s story began on the showroom floor, selling passenger vehicles alongside dealership management. His enthusiasm is fuelled by the dynamic nature of the industry, providing a different challenge daily.
Michael brings with him the experience of 10 years at General Motors (NZ), climbing from the District Manager position to the driver’s seat as National Sales Manager. Over this time he successfully helped introduce global systems into GM’s New Zealand operations, and following 6 successful years stepped into the Isuzu Sales and Marketing position to again implement these systems.
“It’s a great business,” he says, “the challenge is not sitting back and resting on your morals” when you are in an already successful company,” Michael identified upon entering Hino Distributors. Bringing with him the passenger mentality from previous roles, Michael seeks to continue building on the growth of the 300 Series light trucks, targeting trades people and van drivers who may not have previously held truck purchase intentions.
Hino’s competitive advantage through its distributor/retailer model was particularly attractive to Michael who particularly recognises the benefit of a direct relationship between the customer and organisation. “It’s refreshing to have a discussion with customers, because they want to. Working in an industry that everyone is interested in, is only further accentuated by the group of people surrounding Hino – they love what they do”.
The industry’s individuality and Kiwi No. 8 wire attitude also impresses Michael, as demonstrated through the sometimes complex local engineering Hino used to fit the purpose of the individual customer. Hino proudly offers modification via our modification centres, leveraging the relationship with Truck Stops to satisfy the end consumer – a total solution within one company. Furthermore, Hino offers the Built To Go 300 and 500 series range which are tailored for end user requirements from stock and provide cost effective truck and body solutions.
Entering Hino with a background in marketing and sales, Michael pinpoints the two challenges facing any business looking to grow. First, you must look after existing clients – which Hino is recognised industry-wide for undertaking very well. Second, you have to be attractive to new customers, but not at the expense of current customers. Coupled with the industry challenges of a push towards rail and shipping, and to some degree legislation, the industry needs to continue being agile. Facing these challenges, Michael believes Hino will continue to lead the way in the Heavy Truck industry with innovative solutions, while remaining as close to customers and leveraging the relationship with Truck Stops and their modification centres.
Although not holding a truck licence, Michael believes he will make time in the near future, showing further investment into the industry. Looking back at his most exciting driving job he recalls his time as District Manager, “[Being] out in the field four days a week, working with the dealers and having conversations at the coalface… [provided his] biggest learning experience and was the most fun”. From his experience on the front lines, Michael believes that micro managing isn’t effective, instead understanding the processes or ‘building blocks’ of an organization provides momentum. It comes down to the relationship with people, both internally and externally. Keeping everyone involved in a transparent and open workplace reduces reliance on individuals and develops a much more productive workplace.
There is no secret to business, as Michael rightly points out “Nobody comes to work for the sake of it, they want to help contribute and make a difference…we all like to be rewarded, but one of those catalysts is contribution”.