Champion of Smart Window Coverings & Outdoor Shading Solutions | Yilmaz Ozturan| Somfy Systems
President and CEO
Yilmaz Ozturan, President & CEO of Somfy Systems, is a firm believer in the benefits brought about by the transformation of the home and building industry thanks to new technologies and connected solutions. With over 23 years of international experience in sales, business development, and strategy in the motorized and smart shading industry for Somfy Group, President-CEO Ozturan has developed a keen sense of the challenges and complexities associated with working across global markets.
The well-being and comfort of homeowners and residential occupants are at the heart of Somfy’s strategy. Their mission is to develop solutions with their business partners that enhance consumer convenience and comfort in daily life. “We work with a network of dealers and business partners throughout the U.S. and Canada that provide motorized and smart interior blinds/shades/draperies, exterior screens, awnings, pergolas and more. All our automated solutions contribute to reducing the energy consumption in a house or a building,” says Yilmaz.
“It is my third year now as President-CEO of Somfy North America, following my predecessor’s three-decade career. My most important task for the first six months was to listen before enacting any changes.” Yilmaz thoroughly assessed the situation by meeting with everyone from the organization and visiting key business partners within those first few months. “This was an essential step toward understanding and immersing myself quickly into my new scope of responsibilities.
I decided to initiate a new strategic journey together with the leadership team and their contributions. This allowed us to align all our operational actions and share key milestones.”
A new organizational structure was formed to address key distribution channels (Professionals- End Users- Specification/New Home). The One organization structure combined U.S. & Canada operations to benefit cross-border customers and align processes to create efficiency in daily work. The new organization required Digital Human Capital to increase and digitize touchpoints with dealers and consumers. After reinforcing critical departments with new team members bringing digital competencies, Yilmaz quickly realized success in strengthening their consumer touchpoints by implementing:
- a digital advertising campaign generating & qualifying consumer leads for dealers
- a new e-learning platform that provides access to on-demand training, allowing business partners to learn new solutions & technologies at their convenience
- a virtual showroom concept for Somfy Expert dealers, giving them an intuitive tool to sell their product benefits with critical use cases
These actions were achieved thanks to close cooperation between the various departments and a joint commitment to the renewed mindset of a Business Maker Attitude. “Our efforts are succeeding in taking customer centricity to the next level,” explains Yilmaz. “The new collaborative journey allowed us also to solidify our 3-year strategic objectives with a 6-12-18 month action plan and align them with The Somfy Group’s 2030 ambition. It helped us also to reinforce and clarify the voice of Somfy North America at every level. As a result, we were able to attract investment to accelerate our transformation initiatives and position North America as a key territory for the worldwide Somfy Group.”
The empowerment at all levels with mutual trust elevates the team to perform like entrepreneurs, allowing them to take actions and make decisions to reach the best customer satisfaction. This is strongly supported by a culture of growth and value creation for the business partners and employees.
Somfy North America is actively involved in supporting the local Habitat for Humanity chapter. Employees participate in build days as well as other charitable activities to improve homes in the community. During this pandemic period, the company has contributed funds to multiple organizations to assist those most affected and in need of support. In addition, the teams recently organized a Back-to-School supplies drive for a food pantry in the community. Somfy will continue to support such initiatives and is proud of the collective commitment of its employees to participate in these efforts.
One issue Yilmaz sees repeatedly is when homeowners, who purchased a home after falling in love with the view from a large wall of windows, discover after they move in that the windows cause too much glare and make that area of the home unbearably hot. Standard drapes & shades are a typical first solution, but that means manually closing them when the sun gets hot and losing the view they wanted in the first place. Installing Somfy powered motorized shades, however, changes everything. Choosing a semi-transparent fabric means that the gorgeous view stays, but the glare and heat are gone. Motorized shades allow the homeowner to open and close them via remote control, a smartphone app, or voice commands through Google Home or Amazon Alexa. A homeowner can even create scenes and schedules so that the shades automatically open and close throughout the day as the sun and heat shift.
When homeowners want to create a more comfortable outdoor space for their family, they can achieve the benefits they desire and added convenience with motorized screens. Say a homeowner has a porch that they would like to use more often. They are much less likely to stay outside when it is too hot or when the mosquitoes and other bugs bite. Add motorized screens, however, and both of those obstacles are overcome. Motorized screens are an excellent solution for keeping bugs away, and they can also help make the temperature more comfortable. Imagine sitting on your porch swing and bringing down the screens with the click of a button on a remote or your phone. If you want to take a quick walk to the mailbox, it is just another simple click to raise the screen. Most porches are enclosed using multiple screens, so it is only necessary to move one in order to come in or go out. When the weather is harsh, it is easy to roll up the screens to protect them with that same button click.
“35 years ago, Somfy decided to communicate the benefits of our solutions directly to consumers to ensure they are considering motorization of their shades, blinds, awnings, screens and rolling shutters. As a B2B company, our ability to directly engage with consumers was critical, and it helped us empower our business partners to clearly communicate the consumer benefits and not focus so much on the technical aspects of our solutions,” explains Yilmaz. “For the days to come, Somfy will focus on increasing the value proposition for those distributing and using our solutions, and continuing our efforts to digitize and innovate will result in higher satisfaction for all that live with Somfy products.”