When you think of Miami, you probably think of the theme parks, the Everglades and, of course, alligators. We’re used to them. There’s about a million of them in Florida alone. On one of my favorite bike trails my wife and I frequent, we see them lying around, having a siesta in the Florida heat. They’re part of the landscape – just like the MANN+HUMMEL Filtration Technology office here. But we are not alligators lazing in the sun, we like to think of ourselves as chameleons – adapting to change and rising to new challenges.

The international market changed and so did we

Just like a visit to one of Florida’s theme parks, working here has been a bit of a roller coaster. The international division has its origins in the late ‘80s. Dana Global Sales was the international selling arm for the North American factories of brands such as Raybestos, WIX, Spicer, and Clevite. With over 75,000 part numbers, our office sold everything from filters, brake parts, drive train components to engine parts. It was the age of the generalist.

After the split from Dana, Affinia Global Sales’ product range fluctuated as we added or peeled off product lines. Our office could take on a new product line and start selling it within 48 hours. That has always been the beauty of the Miami office; we’re organized, streamlined and highly adaptable – much like the lizards that are so common here – changing color as needed.

From around 2013, our division started to focus on filters. My colleagues and I could finally do deep dives into specific segments of the WIX and FILTRON filter lines to better educate our customers on the wide variety of filters we had to offer. This was the beginning of the age of the specialist for our office.

Our new challenge

Since the merger with MANN+HUMMEL, our world has once again changed and we’re adapting to the new environment. Because we have only ever dealt with international sales, we are well versed in the various needs for export documentation and unique requirements of different international markets. We are well placed to be an international selling arm and interface with our global MANN+HUMMEL affiliates.

Miami is generally viewed by Latin Americans as “The Capital of Latin America” and because of that many other multinationals have some segment of their international division based out of here. My team and I get to see key customers face-to-face as they pass through Miami, either to visit other suppliers in the USA or visit their forwarders/consolidators or family members living in the area.

Starting this June, our office took on the added responsibility of selling MANN and Purolator filters into Central America and the Caribbean. This has always been a region where our WIX sales are very strong and we are certain we can leverage those contacts to strengthen both MANN-FILTER and Purolator brands into those markets.

Miami team

Our latest team member

I see a great future for our office and, to help us concentrate on our goals, I have introduced a new team member, a Daruma doll. I learned about these symbols of perseverance and good luck while living in Japan years ago. The dolls have blank eyes when you buy them. You select a goal and the team together paints in one of the eyes. Once the goal is achieved, you celebrate and together as a team, paint in the second eye.

Our team goal is to not only surpass the business plan numbers for these new brands we will now be selling into this region, but also to learn and master the extensive filter offering that MANN-FILTER brings to our portfolio. We’re looking forward to painting in that other eye come the new year!