“From inception NeckIt! was always intended to be a global product, so we listened very closely to the industry and their requirements for a simple, effective and inexpensive anti-siphon device. We got that right five years ago and have not needed to change our design since, while others have struggles to imitate and make regular amendments to their products,“ says Russell Fowler, “but a great design is only one part of the equation. Best value for money and top quality standards were essential, and after manufacturing initially in the UK and Czech Republic we moved our bulk production to China.”
It was important for NeckIt!’s standards to be set and maintained. FuelDefend works very closely with their Chinese agent and have been together for five years. “Personal relationships, professionalism and trust are key to working effectively in China and we focus hard on all these aspects, such that our respective families are now good friends.This translates into the work environment and great operational flexibility to the benefit of all parties and, ultimately, FDG’s customers.”
Fowler continues: “We have design and prototyping facilities in the UK, USA, India, Taiwan and China and a tie up with a leading academic institution, which enables us to react quickly to market needs. It means we can produce new ranges of product, which we are currently doing for the van market and the construction equipment/agricultural market. Bulk manufacturing takes place in two sites in China and one in India.” Most importantly for the company, quality assurance is carried out by the automotive QA giant TUV.
“It’s not cheap, but it is absolutely necessary and, after a very intensive period of getting our factories up to standard, it has been a boon for us, knowing that our products are perfect when they arrive at the customers door – anywhere around the world. We have worked closely with TÜV Rheinland. Indeed, for us to win the Paccar global supply contract for our ASDs it was essential. Further, we were approached by Scania to be their global supplier after they visited us at the RAI Show in Amsterdam three years ago. The fact that our manufacturing was approved by TUV gave Scania great confidence from the outset – and made a bold statement about us. We now manufacture bespoke products for them, packaged as Scania own brand.”
FuelDefend Global’s first success with the major OEM dealer networks was DAF UK: “We will always be very grateful to DAF for giving NeckIt! a big break in the early days, not least of all that a competitor product had been in the market for some years before NeckIt! was launched.”
Not only did the UK operation produce some excellent early success, but they led the company into their European operation; today FDG sells tens of thousands of units into the DAF Europe market through its parts division. FuelDefend’s Customer Service Director, Veronica Geduld, explains: “We work very closely with DAF to ensure they receive product on time and to specification – and at great value. Sometimes it means flying in product from China at short notice, but this is our commitment to them. Accordingly, we have an excellent relationship, which engenders great flexibility and accommodation between both companies.”
Geoff Reyner, International Sales Director, adds “We travel extensively across Europe to support the likes of DAF and Scania in their sales efforts. Our sales strategy is to work with major OEMs and independent parts distributors such as TTC, Europart and GAU and to assist them. We do not sell directly to operators, other than our established customer base in the UK. This keeps clarify in the market and enables us to work with our distributors and never against.”
Geoff has just returned from three weeks of travel around Portugal, Spain, France, Germany and Russia, while his CEO has just completed three weeks around Italy, Sweden, Poland and Russia. “At least we were able to share a few vodkas together in Moscow. We will soon announce our excellent new partners there. STOP FUEL THEFT NOW! or as they say in Russia!” quips Reyner.
Over 85% of FuelDefend’s sales are exported – to all continents – and the company is justly proud of that. With the best range in the world they can protect most trucks, buses, vans, reefers, plant and machinery in the world, offering a one stop shop to distributors and operators alike.