Yokogawa gets ready for the recovery; shuffles reps in two most important US territories #pauto

In a clear sign that Yokogawa's North American sales management sees the recovery beginning to happen, the company announced today that it was, effective March 16, appointing Techstar and BBP Sales as their representatives in the two most important US territories for the oil, gas and petrochemical focused automation giant. Techstar will represent Yokogawa in the all-important Houston area including the Ship Channel. as well as the rest of Texas and Southern New Mexico. BBP Sales will represent Yokogawa in the scarcely less important Louisiana territory as well as Southern Arkansas.

Normally, we don't print or cover announcements of new hires, new rep placements, etc. This however is significant for what it appears to signal, not just who's who. After all, somebody once told me that if you get your name in the paper nobody cares but your mother.

This one though, is important for everybody to think about for a number of reasons.

Yokogawa fared less well during the current recession than others of their competitors. At the same time, they appear to have done a good job restructuring and we'll see just how good they have done when the wallets come completely open, which is estimated by most observers to be late this year or in early 2011.

Clearly, they went looking for a few good reps. Both Techstar and BBP are relatively newish firms, and are young, aggressive and technically competent, with large support and service staffs. Even more importantly, not only do they share Yokogawa in contiguous territories, but they have several other product lines in common as well. This is a sales manager's dream date: two reps in the hottest territories you have to cover who already know and work with each other.

We'll see if Yokogawa guessed right. My money, speaking as an automation professional with about 30 years experience in sales management, is on "they did."