Interview with Torsten Lischke, Managing Director of DINSE GmbH
1) How is the United States currently presenting itself as a target market?
The United States is one of the world’s largest markets, where the welding industry is dominated by a few major players such as Lincoln and ITW. While gas-cooled systems are traditionally and predominantly used in the States, we Europeans have a lot more experience with water-cooled systems, which are becoming increasingly popular in the US when it comes to more challenging welding jobs.
Distribution channels in the US are different to those in Europe. As mentioned above, there are a few very large distributors, which have a branch in virtually every town. It is very difficult for foreign companies to break into these distribution channels. This can only really be achieved through intensive sales activities with the end users. If you are prepared to do the “hard slog”, show a lot of patience and find good American employees, then, as a German company, we see the market in the US as very lucrative. At the end of the day, the Americans are also looking for a reliable partner who offers excellent products, which in turn will solve the problems of the end users. In our experience, the price is only a minor consideration. To our advantage: The “Made in Germany” seal of approval is highly valued in the United States.
2) What are the predictions for the future? How do German and European companies view the current situation in the US?
Our growth rates in the United States are currently in double figures. This is not surprising, due to the limited presence of DINSE in the US. If we could only achieve a tiny fraction of the reputation we have achieved in Germany, it would give us significant growth potential for years to come – even if the US market were to shrink.
3) What role do American companies play as cooperation partners for European companies?
Cooperation partners are also important for DINSE in the United States. However, they are found less among distributors and more among system integrators and robot manufacturers. Here we come across the same companies that we deal with in Europe and Asia.
4) What are the advantages of the US market compared to other markets?
The US market is huge and offers extensive opportunities, initially in niche areas and through special applications and eventually by selling high-quality products through distributors. There is a need for innovative solutions with high-quality welding torches – particularly for automated welding.