Brazilian multinational corporation, Metalfrio Solutions S.A., is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of plug-in commercial refrigeration equipment. They seek differentiation through innovation and customer relationships, through their brands of Metalfrio, Derby, Caravell and Klimasan, to meet the different needs of their customers (“Metalfrio”). In addition, Metalfrio goes beyond just their point of sales, as they include services along with their products, adding value and uniqueness to the company. However, it has taken many years to get to where they are now.
Created in 1960, it was primarily focused on refrigeration components when it was first established. Due to overgrowing demand, Metalfrio began selling commercial refrigerators to many producers of ice cream and beverages in Brazil. In the 1989, a leading Brazilian producer of stoves and manufacturers of household appliances, Continental 2001, acquired 60% of capital in Metalfrio. A few years later, a German group Bosch Siemens Hausgerate (BSH) bought out Continental 2001, thus acquiring Metalfrio. BSH invested well enough into the company to help transform them into an environmentally responsible producer, a first in its sector in Latin America. Later becoming an independent subsidiary and being sold by BSH, Metalfrio quickly became a regional leader and soon after had its sights on the international level (“Metalfrio”).
Metalfrio was on the rise. The company rebranded itself by adding Solutions in its name, shifting the brand to be more focused on the service sector. Next, a Brazilian investment fund acquired Metalfrio, and for the first time in over a decade, Metalfrio was 100% a Brazilian company (“Metalfrio”). The group of investors came up with a strategic plan to help accelerate the growth and development of the company. They focused their attention towards their products and their relationships with customers. During this period, Metalfrio was also gaining attention for receiving many quality certifications for their products. Soon after, the company was being well received in Europe and Metalfrio took their first step in becoming a multinational corporation by setting up an industrial facility in Turkey specifically for the European and Middle Eastern market in 2005. Within the next few years, Metalfrio began manufacturing in Russia, Turkey, Mexico, and Brazil, along with a distribution center in the United States. In addition to reaching the international market by buying and acquiring brands and factories such as Derby, Caravell and Klimasan, in 2007 it became a corporation for its initial public offering, thus changing its name to Metalfrio Solutions S.A. (“Metalfrio”).
Today, Metalfrio has over 350 different models of products and distributes in over 80 countries worldwide. Their clients include many global companies, such as Coca Cola, Unilever, and Nestle (“Metalfrio”). Impressively, they are the second largest company in its market, fourth most international Brazilian corporation, and ninth most innovative Brazilian corporation (“Investor Presentation”). Despite international recognition and claim, Metalfrio still has a lot of work to be done, particularly to maintain their reputation, global reach, and competitiveness in a saturated market.
With the understanding of their position in the global market and their objectives of expansion into new markets in the future, Metalfrio has been at the point where being a commodity driven company is no longer an option. With that in mind, there have been focusing on how to reposition itself to be a products and services driven company with an emphasis of their customers’ needs. Thus, the focus of this paper is to analyze the how and in what ways the company has been been doing so accordingly.
For Metalfrio, to change their strategy from selling goods to goods and services is nothing new to the global marketplace. As Stephen L. Vargo and Robert F. Lusch (2004) write in...
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