Our new edition of Frezza Partner Insights takes us to Brussels, where we meet our agent Jean Marie Thiry, who represents us in Belgium and Luxembourg.
Jean Marie’s career began when he was only sixteen years old and still a student: it was at this time that he began working in order to buy his first wood-working machine. At 19 years old, he chose the profession of carpenter, but after a few years, he realised that it wasn’t his path. When he turned 30, he embarked on a commercial career and started working for a company that distributed Made in Italy leather sofas.
The first encounter with Frezza took place in 1989, at the age of 33, when he became District Manager for Wallonia, the southern region of Belgium. He held this position for more than twenty years, until 2012, before deciding to become a Frezza commercial agent. Since then he has remained loyal to the company, managing all relations with dealers in Belgium and Luxembourg.
1. Your collaboration with Frezza began in the 1980s, which means that you’ve experienced the growth of our company first hand. What are your most significant memories of this experience?
It’s impossible to encapsulate more than 30 years of collaboration in a few lines. There are many memories and stories I could tell, but one is particularly close to my heart: when we obtained the first contract for the supply of office furniture to the European Commission. This excellent result opened many doors for us, especially with well-established dealers.
2. Technological developments, agile working and smartworking are causing a continuous transformation of design requirements in the workplace. How is market demand changing in Belgium and Luxembourg?
The sector in which we work is evolving continuously and at an increasingly fast pace. In the past, when I started this career, there was a clear hierarchy to follow in companies: we mainly sold executive desks, a status symbol for those who had to prove their rank in the company. Large and elegant structures in spacious offices were a tangible sign of a person’s success. Semi-directional desks and operative tables were only taken care of secondarily.
Today, the world has changed: many companies are moving towards flat and agile organisational structures, made possible by technological evolution and flexibility. The result is an increasing focus on operative spaces and collaboration areas, both in Belgium and Luxembourg.
3. What makes customers choose Frezza and its products?
Frezza is a company that is very attentive to the ever-changing market and the needs of its main players, i.e. companies, end users (workers) and designers. This translates into products that are functional, ergonomic and unique, as well as manufactured with quality raw materials. All of these qualities show a strong commitment in terms of design.
For our partners, the reliability of the company is also very important, especially with regard to production: Frezza ensures timely deliveries, unlike some competitors.
The closeness of the company to its dealers, who are accompanied at every stage of their projects, is equally important.
These factors and Frezza’s pro-activity have enabled us to retain our customers over the years.
4. What is behind the long-standing and consolidated partnership with Frezza? What are the 3 main characteristics that have enabled this long and fruitful partnership?
The partnership I have with Frezza has lasted longer than my marriage…!
The agent-producer relationship is like a couple’s love story: one must keep the flame “alive” over time for it thrive! The three characteristics that made this partnership last for so long where without doubt mutual respect, transparency and honesty.
5. Frezza will be attending Workspace Expo again this year, scheduled to take place in Paris in April 2023. Do you think it’s important for companies to actively participate in these events again?
Absolutely: events and trade fairs in my opinion are indispensable. During these events, we can welcome partners and hear their opinions on new products, customer needs and market trends. By doing so, we can further consolidate the relationships we cultivate every day when working.
Trade fairs also expose us to a wider and more specialised audience, allowing us to make new interesting contacts.
We would like to thank Jean Marie Thiry for answering all our questions and for providing us with many interesting insights.