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Opportunity Brief: Key Account Manager – Dellner Polymer Solutions

Ford & Stanley Executive Search (Part of the Ford & Stanley Group) are specialists in Executive Interim and Permanent appointments to the UK, European & North American, Rail, Engineering and General Manufacturing Industries.

We have been exclusively entrusted and appointed by Dellner Polymer Solutions on a retained search for a Key Account Manager who will be pivotal in ensuring the continued growth and evolution of the business.

Below you will find an ‘opportunity brief’ developed from notes taken during the scoping meeting (Situational Discovery) held between the Search Director & Research Manager of F&S Executive Search and the Dellner Polymer Solutions Interim MD, Sales Director and HR Manager. This brief is designed to give candidates a deeper insight into the opportunity inherent within the role, the challenges the role presents and provide access to the detail that sits behind the job specification.

Client Opportunity Statement:

“As part of our growth plans, we are looking to increase our presence in the European markets and build relationships in person with our clients instead of remotely. Key to this will be the hiring of two Key Account Managers based in central Europe who can visit clients on a weekly basis. Historically, this has been done by the sales team based in the UK but due to workload, we need to create a dedicated resource.

Due to our reputation, we are known already to our clients, and these roles will not involve ‘cold selling’. Instead, we are looking for candidates with strong stakeholder management skills and a commercial mindset who can build on the existing relationships we have and develop them to open up more opportunities.

You will form part of a Key Account management team based out of several countries that include the UK, USA, and Spain.”

The Opportunity

Who are Dellner Polymer Solutions

 Our History

  • Our story begins in 1933, when Silentbloc was formed in London, UK.  Following this, in 1941 Dellner Brakes, a family-owned business, was founded in Sweden by Master of Science Jan Dellner.
  • In 1947 Rima was formed as a distributor of electrical feeding equipment, and in 1948 came Woodville Rubber Company, producing rubber soles for footwear.  1958 saw the foundation of Bubenzer Bremsen Gerhard Bubenzer Ing. GmbH, Kirchen-Wehbach.  
  • 1967 saw Rima open a new facility, dedicated to the design, development and fabrication of hydraulic equipment and storm brakes. In 1981 Rima Fluid Spa and Rima Impianti was formed, specialising in the assembly, repair and trade of electric and hydraulic components.
  • Fast forward to 2009 and Dellner acquired Woodville Polymer, creating Dellner Woodville Ltd. Originally employing a handful of people producing rubber soles for footwear, the company has grown to become a global supplier of engineered polymer solutions.
  • The Dellner Bubenzer Group was formed in 2019, bringing together Sweden’s Dellner Brakes, Germany’s Pintsch Bubenzer, Italy’s Rima and UK-based Dellner Woodville. Silentbloc joined the group in 2019, when Dellner Polymer Solutions was formed.
  • Dellner Bubenzer continued its rapid expansion in 2020 with creation of new UK company, Dellner Romag Ltd, joined the group to form Dellner Polymer and Glass Solutions.
  • In 2021, Dellner Brakes JHS, Dellner Brakes, Dellner Industrial, Pintsch Bubenzer and Rima merge to form one company — Dellner Bubenzer. Dellner Group now incorporates Dellner Bubenzer and UK- based Dellner Polymer and Glass Solutions, incorporating Dellner Polymer Solutions, Dellner Ferrabyrne, Dellner Percy Laneand Dellner Romag Ltd.
  • Despite our rapid growth we maintain our continued vision “To be the customers first choice for polymer and glass solutions.”

Our Culture & Values

 Our roots stem from Dalarna, a part of Sweden where care and a sense of community is strong. Our ambition is that this should always be reflected in our culture and our values.

By embracing our values, we lead by example in how we do business and how we operate.

  • Commitment – we try harder.
  • Innovation – We think differently.
  • Joy – we spread joy and knowledge.
  • Team Spirit – We are ONE Dellner Group.

 Our service offering:

Design – Strong design and development skills are the key to our success

As a company, we oversee the whole process from initial specification and design through manufacture to delivery. Dellner Polymer Solutions has an unusually high proportion of design and development workforce working alongside both experienced and younger engineers. This results in a good cross-section of skills and an exceptionally wide range of experience for our customers.

Develop – We work in conjunction with customers from their initial concepts to end result

For new applications we work in conjunction with customers from their initial concepts to end result. We will consider any design and development project either for customer specific specifications or for engineering exercises. Our aim being to offer products that increase product life with minimum life cycle costs.

Testing – All of our products undergo considerable testing during the product proving processes.

Product development is an important part of our work, and all our products undergo considerable testing during the product proving processes. State of the art test facilities at all manufacturing sites ensure quality, consistent parts are manufactured to the highest standards.

All manufacturing sites have comprehensive testing equipment including linear tension and compression testing machines along with a 6×6 metres six channel test rig to test suspension sub-assemblies. Dellner Polymer Solutions offers strain gauging, data processing, and test rig design to a range of industries and chemical compound analysis is also available. Side-by-side fatigue testing is used to quantify the benefits of any new or modified design. All newly designed parts are tested to ensure that the characteristics meet or exceed the specification.

Parts are also tested as part of the batch release process. Our test facilities are used regularly to test our own products for compliance.

Manufacture – Our manufacturing facility contains a variety of plant and equipment.

Our Littlehampton manufacturing facility is approximately 3,000 sq.m and contains a variety of plant and equipment including 32 Vulcanization Presses ranging from 100 – 1000 Tonne, 2 Rubber Mills, a fully ventilated Bond Painting facility, an assembly and finishing area for all types of bushes, a complete overhaul/assembly section dedicated to the refurbishment and new build of various assemblies, including Traction Centres, Anti-Roll Bars and associated links, and Airspring assemblies.

A Paint Shop for all types of paint and finishes.

In addition, we have a separate warehouse of approximately 1,400 sq.m which is used for storage, including an inspection area for goods-inwards and dispatch. Goods are inspected, packed, stored and dispatched to the highest industry standards.

Our Burton upon Trent site is 6,500sq.m, factory 3,000sq.m. The factory houses a variety of plant including 8 Rubber Injection presses, the newest a state-of-the-art Maplan Ergo 460 4L rubber injection moulding machine, purchased late 2022 and 16 conventional presses. Our capabilities include a rare large compression and transfer moulding press with a platen size of 2.5m x 1.2m.

Two electrically powered dry Autoclaves, the largest able to accommodate products up to 1.6m diameter 5.0m in length.

Burton also houses specialist testing capabilities to define and qualify polymer materials including rheology, hardness, tensile stress, tear, and compressive characteristics. 

An ability to apply compressive forces up to 3000kN and 250kN in tension. In 2023 we purchased a torsion machine capable of 20kNm of torque (the only one of its kind in the UK).

Tooling Design & Manufacture

Mould tools are designed and maintained in-house by the Dellner Polymer Solutions team which enables simultaneous engineering and development within the shortest possible lead time.

Our use of our 3D CAD CAM facility allows the 3D data to aid the design and manufacture of tooling, which makes it cost-effective for the customer. We produce designs for specialist prototype and development single cavity and multi-cavity production tools using our CNC machining capabilities

Service – As an OEM supplier to the rail industry we offer a structured set price refurbishment service for parts

Refurbishment – As an OEM supplier to the rail industry we offer a structured set price refurbishment service for parts, these parts are returned looking as new. This is a more attractive option than buying new parts – particularly for high-metal objects as the metal areas are designed for life. It is a cost-effective way to keep the trains running.

Dellner Polymer Solutions collect the used products, bring them back to our facilities and blast out the rubber to metal components. We then clean them, replace with new rubber, paint and deliver the parts back to the customer one week later. Rubber is burnt via pyrolysis as an inert process so there is no damaging environmental impact. Any need for the customer to hold multiples of the same spare parts is negated and there are no time delays caused by disassembly and re-assembly. This is a full refurbishment process, please contact us for specific details.

Condition Assessment – As with most industries and particularly within the rail and wind turbine markets, quantified life expectancies and costs of both existing and developed products are of great importance. Extending periods between services can reduce the number of services and hence decrease operating costs.

After a product has reached its predicted life span, we inspect it, and test it to assess the part for future use. Condition assessment for mileage extension is an important area for us and where service life and condition can be fed back into our design processes and calculation with the aim of increasing life span and reducing life cycle costs.

 Main challenges that will be encountered in the 1st year:

  • Access to the European Market – 75% of Dellner Polymer Solutions business comes from the UK market and due to this they are known to the European divisions of these businesses. We need someone who can take these warm relationships and convert them into opportunities.
  • OEM preference to buy from the country of their manufacturing sites, need someone to show them that Dellner Polymer Solutions can offer a competitive product without any disruption.
  • Dellner Polymer Solutions is known as a British-based business and this can cause invisible barriers due to Brexit.

Top deliverables in the 1st year:

  • Growth in the previous year in your market and showing continued growth for the following year.
  • Developed new engineering quotes from the OEMs in their prime locations.
  • Built and developed relationships across the OEMs in your sector

Agreed on Hard Skills for candidates to secure an interview:

§  Fluent in Prime Language (French or German)

§  Rail KAM or Sales experience.

§  Any Rail Sales / Relationship management experience for as long its in target country locations such as France or Germanic regions. Be it OEM, Supply Chain, Operators, Infrastructure, ROSCO or Consultancy.

§  Track record of building strong relationships across the customer business to leverage opportunities.

§  Must be based in country and understanding the buying process from a cultural perspective.

§  Ideally those more experienced, black book of contacts and used to working to a high degree of autonomy

§  Willingness and flexibility to travel countrywide for client meetings

§  Previous experience in the Polymer sector (Desirable)

 Agreed on Soft Skills for candidates to secure an interview:

§  Typical sales / relationship management attributes such as charming, persuasive, communicative, confident.

§  Strong commercial savvy, ability to spot opportunity

§  Ability to work to a high degree of autonomy

§  Able to work collaboratively with colleagues across different regions .

§  Intrinsically motivated and able to ‘self manage’ their time.

 Working Arrangements & Location:

You will be based remotely in your country of residence and will be travelling on a weekly occurrence to your client base. There will be the occasional travel to HQ in the UK.

Our Interview Process:

  • 1st Stage – Formal Interview. Candidates are assessed on their suitability for the job in the context of the above and challenged on how the opportunity lines up with their career aspirations.
  • 2nd Stage – The ‘shortlist’. Candidates are asked to reflect on 1st stage, providing evidence and discussion on key points. Package requirements are reiterated and finalised.

Dellner interview process:

  • 1st Stage interview to be held via teams with the Sales Director & HR Manager
  • 2nd Stage interview will be on-site with the Interim MD.

Good to know:

  • Role reports to the Sales Director and will be responsible for client relationships / development of opportunities within their respective region (France or Germany).
  • This is a new position for the business, previously the regions had been covered by the UK Accounts team but due to location, it was difficult to have a presence on-site and to arrange next-day meetings, which meant lost opportunity.
  • The company and group have ambitious growth plans which this role will play a key part of.
  • Role reports to the Sales Director and will be responsible for their region (France or Germany).
  • Due to Dellner Polymer Solutions’ reputation and product, there will be a lot of low-hanging fruit that the successful KAM will be able to go after quickly.
  • Dellner already hold relationships with the OEMs, it is up to the successful candidate to manage and develop these relationships.
  • This role will be a remote position in the Prime location, but it is expected that the candidates will be on the road visiting clients during the week and to have more of a site presence.
  • There will be occasional travel to HQ in the UK.
  • Dellner Polymer Solutions headcount is circa 120 employees which is a mixture of permanent and temporary staff across 2 UK locations and 1 Indian location. Dellner Group is a 210M€ turnover business and has facilities in Sweden, Germany, United Kingdom, Benelux, Italy, USA, Italy, Denmark, Czech Republic, Dubai, India, Singapore, Brazil AND China.
  • Littlehampton, UK – Rubber to Metal specialists
  • Burton on Trent, UK – Rubber Fabrication Specialists
  • Pune, India – Rubber to Metal Specialists
  • Manufacturing capabilities include rubber to metal moulding with a wide range of press sizes, complex rubber fabrication, hand-built inflatable parts, and component overhaul.
  • Key markets served: Rail, commercial vehicles, marine, defence, wind turbines, off-highway, medical, oil & gas, furniture and leisure.
  • Product offerings include Brushes & ball joints, fabrications & assemblies, springs, mounts, stabilisers, Silberline bearings, inflatable clamp seals, inflatable lumbar supports, tube press sleeves, exsanguinators, tank tracks, pressure seals, Sisiara mat, webbing, anti-roll bar systems, suspension, link assemblies and couplings.
  • Turnover of the business is ~£33 million.
  • Currently 75% of Dellner Polymer Solutions is UK-based, they are known to all the European Train Builders but need someone who can now develop these relationships into opportunities.
  • The role will be part of a wider Dellner Polymer Solutions Key Account / Sales team, currently, there are counterpart KAMs in Spain, UK and USA.
  • Part of the Dellner Group with five other business units: Dellner Rail Brake Systems, Dellner Glass Solutions, Dellner Bubenzer Braking and Hydraulic Solutions, Dellner Wind Solutions & Dellner Hydratech Hydraulic Cylinders and Systems.
  • The right candidate will be the type to not be fazed by the challenges of taking existing  ‘warm’ relationships and developing them for opportunities for the business
  • This executive search assignment has been exclusively retained with Ford and Stanley Executive Search who will be managing all direct and indirect interest.
  • We intend to have this process concluded before the middle of June 2024, this will allow the successful appointments to have a presence at InoTrans.
  • It is expected that the preferred candidate will spend 2 weeks at the start of their employment with Dellner Polymer Solutions in the UK for induction and to build their knowledge base and relationship with key stakeholders.

Budget & Benefits:

Low 60,000€/ Mid 70,000€/ Top end 80,000€. (depending on experience)

  • Company Car Allowance – 7,000€
  • Performance-based bonus – up to 10%

Likely Job Titles: 

Head of Sales, Sales Manager, Head of Key Accounts, Business Development Manager, Head of BD

Executive Search Delivery Team:

  • Oliver Nunn – Research Manager Associate (Headhunting, Networking, Research, Search, Longlisting, Interviews, Shortlisting, Data & Market Intel)
  • Daniel Taylor – Director of Executive Search (Headhunting, Interviews, Shortlisting)
  • Ralitsa Kuzeva – Executive Assistant (Diary Management, Coordination, Candidate Experience.

About Ford & Stanley Executive Search:

At Ford & Stanley Executive Search we go beyond a recruiting transaction with our core mission being that of every interaction we have with clients and candidates is best in class. We are select in the opportunities we represent, as such, work under strict exclusive and retained search assignments with forward-thinking and proactive global companies that place their trust in our ability to deliver a winning shortlist at the first time of asking.

Our Search Directors (who are themselves members of the F&S Group Board) and our in-house research team invest time at the front end of process with our client’s leadership team or stakeholders to consult, understand the opportunity inherent within the role, business need, map and agree timescales with supporting delivery plan well in advance of conducting the search.

All candidates both active and passive (head-hunted) can expect full and professional engagement from the Executive Search team in addition a timely, thorough and engaging recruitment process from a committed employer that seeks to secure ‘cream of the crop’ from a busy and noisy candidate market.


    • Job type: Permanent
    • Location: France
    • Date posted:
    • Salary:£70000 - £80000

    This opportunity is being managed by:

    consultant photo

    Oliver Nunn

    Research Manager


    Telephone 01332851790