A few weeks ago we broke a story on how a few independent reps were dismissed by AJ Fernandez in a less than ideal manner. We did as much research as we could at the time to paint a full picture of the story and even wrote a follow up on the story to show some of the fallout of that event in the Southwest. In the spirit of due diligence and covering both sides of the story we were able to get ahold of Clay Roberts, Vice President of Marketing & Brand Creative Endgame for AJ Fernandez, and the following is his prepared thoughts on the events that transpired:
“It has been our directive (from day one) to provide highly individual service to each and every retailer. With that, we must expect our entire sales force to meet certain goals and expectations.
Unfortunately, and for internal reasons, the outsourced sales agreement with our National Sales Manager was terminated prior to the IPCPR. The team in Nicaragua, who had actually never had any interaction with the sub-brokers and or sales representatives, made a poor decision by terminating a few agreements without truly studying the larger picture. The issue? They felt that certain territories did not expand in the manner previously proposed to them. It was certainly not malicious intention to cause an issue, especially as the brand was created to support the brick and mortar community, but a mistake was made in the confusion of the internal shake up.
Note: We fully support brokers, continue to employee brokers, and will continue to use the brokers. We simply installed in-house sales representatives in high traffic states. This was not for reasons of profit, but rather to provide the best possible service to brick and mortar. Furthermore, we continue to have multiple retailers, in most every territory, who insist that they will “not do business with certain brokers/representatives” Solution for this issue? We have provided those individual retailers with in-house representatives. Needless to say, it is all a bit confusing at times. But we are trying our best to accommodate each and every request.
One very well respected broker took the brunt of the aforementioned situation. Company has apologized profusely, with an open offer for he and his team to continue to carry the line. Furthermore, we have recently hired a very competent (in-house) National Sales Manager. He will work closely with the entire sales force, both brokers and in-house, to deliver the best possible line of communication between North America and the factory in Nicaragua.”
We just want to thank Clay and the folks at AJ Fernandez for taking the time to talk with us about the events that transpired.