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Meet Our Leaders: Will Geller – Sales Director, EMEA

24 April 20235:26

IP Leaders

Quality By Vision

Meet Our Leaders: Will Geller – Sales Director, EMEA

William Geller is a respected, people-focused sales director at Industrial Physics. His remit covers our entire portfolio of test and measurement solutions across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

In this installment of our ‘meet our leaders’ series, the father of two sat down to talk about his career to date. It’s a family-focused success story combining loyalty, ambition, and a desire to see the best in his team and help his customers. Oh…and there’s some good old-fashioned rivalry with a former competitor – now turned colleague and friend – for good measure!

An intercontinental career

Will grew up in the New York area of the United States where he spent the formative years of his life.

Growing up although he enjoyed spending time with his friends outdoors in the suburban area of his home, he still managed to find the time to excel as a student. Especially in mathematics and computers. He later followed his interest in computers to Tel Aviv University where he double majored in mathematics and computer science and literature.

Still as a college student and tired of the odd jobs he took to support himself, he began working part-time at Quality By Vision (QBYV), a manufacturer of vision-based inspection systems for metal packaging. Little did he know how this temporary student job will impact his future career.

It’s a family affair

Established in 1997, the early days of QBYV showcased a modest, family-owned business that served the region and parts of Europe. Will’s focus was on software development and applications, but he enjoyed the freedom of a working environment in which he and his colleagues “wore a number of hats”, rolling up their sleeves to help out wherever needed.

As the role progressed, he started to realize that he was enjoying customer support and sales a lot more than coding – which was a stroke of luck! A period of sustained growth catalyzed QBYV’s options for international development, making possible the opening of a US sales office. Will and his wife who was also a member of Quality By Vision – seized the opportunity and relocated to New Jersey in 2006 to establish the US branch of the company.

It was a brilliant move for the ambitious couple. They had family and friends in the area, which made it easier to hit the ground running.

Will and his wife made a great team – both were passionate about the prospect of bringing quality test and measurement solutions to their customers.  He said: “My job involved a huge amount of interstate travel. I was always on the road traveling thousands of miles on highways from customer-to-customer, staying in hotels and attending meetings and trade shows or on the phone talking to prospective customers. It was a brilliant opportunity – and it was just the two of us!”

Unique products open big doors

But it wasn’t all plain sailing to start out. At this point Quality By Vision had zero US clients, while CMC KUHNKE – the biggest rival in Europe at the time – had already captured the metal packaging inspection market across the states. CMC-KUHNKE were able to offer robust, accurate inspection systems based on physical micrometers, but Will also had some unique vision inspection products in his portfolio. These included the highly accurate SEAMetal family of double seam inspection devices and the timesaving Seamer Setup Camera devices.

Around this time much of the expertise around canning and seaming was disappearing from the market – this was due to highly experienced people retiring. The aforementioned machines enabled factories to get better results than were available historically with less knowledge than the old school engineers had amassed. Plus, the Quality By Vision and CMC-KUHNKE machines made their processes more efficient, saving them time and money in the process! It was clear even from then that these two product lines complemented each other and offered something special to customers…

Tasting success with major clients

Access to this portfolio of first-in-class innovation and his dedication to a life travel on the open road soon opened some big doors. Quality By Vision secured major clients within the food and beverage industries as well as some of the world’s biggest growing breweries.

Around this time Will’s efforts were becoming increasingly apparent to John Wagg at CMC KUHNKE. (now another leader within the Industrial Physics team!)

“John is now my colleague at Industrial Physics after CMC-KUHNKE became a specialist testing brand under our broad portfolio of solutions, but he was my direct competition for a decade… It’s kind of ironic that we both now work together in a similar role and are striving together towards the same vision – to protect our customer’s brand and product. We’ve become friends now and we both appreciate the value that our combined portfolio of products can bring to our customers – there’s no doubt that we are stronger as a team.”

Exciting times of exponential growth

It was a “fun time” for Will. In his first year they were turning over in the region of just over $200k, but by the third they had grown to over $1M turnover from the US business alone.

With this rapid exponential growth and wind in their sales, the team added distributors across US and Latin America. Soon the QBYV factory in Yokneam was manufacturing large numbers of inspection devices: US clients were now accounting for over a quarter of all global sales.

Will continued: “To start with there was a little bit of ‘making it up as we went along.’ But we were able to help out some big companies, made great connections and moved around with them. It was a fantastic learning experience. I developed so much business experience and sales acumen and learnt a great deal about the market, our customers and the competition. These are skills that have stood me in great stead today now that I look after such a comprehensive selection of solutions for our customers.”

He enjoyed offering fresh testing solutions for his customers’ problems. But excellent technologies aside, the real success came from a combination of word-of-mouth recommendation, exhaustive travel, and plain hard work.

After the success of this incredible stateside chapter Will was promoted to Global Vice President of Sales.

Industrial Physics comes knocking

In 2018 the opportunity to join the Industrial Physics group presented itself. They had already acquired CMC-KUHNKE when they approached the QBYV leadership team with a realistic plan to take the business to new heights. The QBYV family decided that it was the right time, and the right place, and happily joined up with global test and measurement partner Industrial Physics.

Will said: “I’m incredibly proud of the Quality By Vision journey that took us to the point of joining Industrial Physics, but becoming part of the Industrial Physics family has been such a highlight for the trajectory of this brand. Combining with a group that offers such a wealth of packaging solutions from specialist testing brands like CMC-KUHNKE, Eagle Vision, Systech Illinois, and so on, just made sense – it allowed us to offer our customers full end-to-end solutions that can satisfy their needs and allow them to select the most appropriate solutions that fit their needs. And as a customer-focused leader, this is exceptionally satisfying.”

A new challenge

These days Will’s remit covers the whole of the EMEA region and all of the specialist testing brands in the IP family. It’s come with a huge set of challenges that he’s enjoyed solving. Today, will leads his 22-strong sales team and makes sure they remain customer focused at all times and exemplify Industrial Physics’ core values of “Doing the right thing” and Being “better together”.

“I’m a hands-on manager but not a micromanager,” he said. “The company is so diverse and lots of our people have been with the core brands for a long time. With 14 brands and 1000s of products I’ve accepted that I can never again be a technical expert for every single product. Instead, it’s my job to lead by example and help my team optimize their unique skills sets.; It’s also extremely important to me that my people know they’re valued, empowered, and recognize that they’re bringing real benefits to people’s lives while helping to protect the integrity of our customer’s brand and products.”

A family-focused nature lover

Any spare time he gets, Will likes to spend with his wife and his children aged twelve and nine. They’re a great-outdoors loving family who enjoy volunteering in the community and spending time backpacking in the mountainous regions of northern Israel.

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