Pyroguard operates from seven regional offices across the world, enabling us to provide first-class support to local markets. The team behind Pyroguard Iberia are Sales Director, Alex Batista and Project Coordinator, Susana Calvache. We caught up with them to find out more about their roles and how they work together to serve customers in their region.
Tell us more about Team Iberia and what your individual roles are within the business
Alex: When Pyroguard was looking to expand into Iberia in 2017, it was important that the business established a dedicated team in the region to support the local customers in this market. I joined the company as Technical Manager initially living in Portugal, before moving over to Spain. Since then, I have progressed to Sales Director and my role now involves strategic planning, providing technical support to our customers, as well as working with various stakeholders in the chain, whether that is architects, consultants or framing manufacturers – not just our direct customer. I also liaise with our technical teams in the UK and France regularly to ensure our solutions are approved in line with Spanish building regulations.
Susana: I joined the business in 2018, shortly after Alex, as demand in the region grew – and continues to grow! As the Project Coordinator, I provide support to customers throughout their project, in terms of managing logistics, lead times, as well as customer expectations. I work with different departments across the business, mainly the production team. I act as the liaison between our customers and the factory to ensure everything is running smoothly. Overall, my role is quite varied; I dip into sales tasks, operative tasks and marketing.
We know you are both based in Spain, but how do you support your customers across the Iberia region?
Alex: We speak to our customers on a daily basis whether by phone, email, face-to-face or virtual meetings. I usually spend a lot of time on the road visiting them and I fly out to Portugal once a quarter for a couple of weeks at a time. It’s good to be able to catch up with existing customers – and to meet prospective ones – in person.
We don’t take a typical sales approach. We build and nurture our relationships, making sure that customers know that we care about them and that they are always at the forefront of our minds. This means thinking about the finer details, such as giving them a call on their birthday or sending them a Christmas card. It’s these small touches that help to develop a better relationship.
Susana: Besides Iberia, we also export to other markets because of the cultural connections that we have. For example, we have Portuguese customers who work on projects in Africa – such as the Gulf Bank Headquarters, Algeria project and we work hard to make sure that we are providing them with the best support that we can at every stage of the project.
How do you collaborate with your colleagues in other countries?
Alex: I am a member of the Sales Director’s management team and we come together at least twice a week to share our ideas, constraints and any other general thoughts and experiences. Each market has different needs and requirements, so it is useful to be able to learn from each other and to maximise the information that we have available. I also liaise with the technical team to get certification for Iberia.
Susana: As it is just the two of us, connecting with our colleagues overseas via Zoom is something that we have always been familiar with. I have daily meetings with other project coordinators, as well as regular updates with the customer service team in the UK. I also have a background in marketing, so I am able to get stuck in and help the UK Marketing team. Most recently, I assisted with content for social media and the new website.
What do you do to try and improve your knowledge of Pyroguard and its products in order to help your customers?
Alex: The industry in which we operate is very highly regulated and with that comes documents and certification that are very technical and can be difficult to understand. We spend a lot of time studying so that we are able explain things to our customers in a simpler context; we try to do everything that we can to make their lives and the process of working with us easier. A lot of the time, documents are also not written in Spanish or Portuguese and often our customers do not speak or cannot read any other language aside from their native, therefore they put their trust in us to be able to provide them with accurate and reliable information.
What do you enjoy most about working together and at Pyroguard as a whole?
Susana: Myself and Alex work very closely and our strengths, qualities and personalities complement one another really well. Being at Pyroguard also gives us the opportunity to work with and learn from our colleagues from different cultures and who have varied experience in the industry. It is useful to be able to go to them for advice and ideas. While we might all be working from different offices across the world and serving our own markets, at the same time, we are all working towards the same end goal and the customer is at the heart of everything that we do.