Creativity spawns in the wake of the pandemic

PART 2 OF 2

After almost a year in the wake of the pandemic, most sectors are observing rising raw material prices and runaway transport costs. How is Swede-Wheel’s business impacted by the world situation? 
In a two-part interview series, Sales and Export Manager Andreas Stillman talks about this and much more.

As you can read in Part 1, Swede-Wheel has certainly not sat back and done nothing 2020. Full steam ahead seems to have been the motto. Inspiring! 

Andreas continues, there is really no indication that we will slow down with investments going into 2021 either. Of course we need to be humble, but despite the challenging situation in the world we believe in the power of development and are looking forward to continue working in some incredibly exciting and challenging projects going forward.

 

Okay, but, if you have to predict future trends. What can we expect when everything returns to "normal"?

- We shouldn’t underestimate the physical meeting, which will continue to be an important part of our business going forward. But it will also be exciting to see how digital behaviour is going to change the way we do business in the future, and what digital tools are developed to help us, as salespeople, in the future.

- Increasing e-commerce is nothing new, but it has completely exploded in 2020, which is of course easy to explain. But the trend started long before 2020, and we see that this consumer behaviour is here to stay and can only develop further. This is something we look forward to and that goes hand in hand with our ever increasing efforts in material handling, where we are constantly improving and extending our range of offers for these type of products and customers. As a result of this, we’re also seeing that there is increased need and development of AGVs, which will entail further demand for trollies and therefore wheels, something that we are of course also ready for.

- In addition to the new, or perhaps rather shifted need for wheels on the market as a result of increased e-commerce, we are constantly trying to feeling the pulse, monitor and follow the effects that come with the increasing digital maturity of consumers. We are adapting and are working with an agile mindset when preparing for the possible effects this development can have on the traditional B2B buying journey. Something we look at with excitement and hope to be prepared for every step of the way.

- If we take a look at something more specific, that we see as a hot-selling product, and especially when it comes to our institutional wheels, it’s lacquer-coated brackets, – for the most part completely black, which have won over many people, and which are always easy to work with in terms of design. 

I would like to end by mentioning another trend that we’re also involved in, i.e. backsourcing from Asia to Europe. We are developing/expanding production in Sweden all the time and are aiming more for our subsidiary in Ningbo, China, to become a market leader in the Asian market, rather than to be a supplier of Swede-Wheel AB.

I hope and want to believe that both new and existing customers in Europe will remain happy with us as a partner and that the locally-produced manufacturing we offer will continue to help towards customers being offered sustainable and intelligent wheel solutions.

Our motto is, as you know - Makes it easier.

Get to know Andreas Stillman, Sales and Export Manager

How long have you worked at Swede-Wheel?

23 years.
 

Why have you stayed for so long? You must really like it there?

I’m very happy! At Swede-Wheel, it’s very open, the work environment is superb and I have extremely good colleagues. My work tasks have also changed over the years. I’ve worked in all the company’s departments, ranging from assembly and storage to planning and purchasing, and then everything in our sales department, and most recently as sales manager.

 

What does a normal workday look like?

I have about 70–80 ongoing projects at any one time, so there are a lot of emails to deal with and answer. But generally speaking, a workday usually involves evaluating new products, sales support, customer conversations, strategic planning, meetings with colleagues and project reviews.

 

What do you like most about your job?

Supporting colleagues and helping customers. I am driven by helping customers to solve problems. That’s usually what a deal looks like. It’s seldom a question of simply buying. Usually the customer has a problem that they need help to solve.

 

When you’re not working, what do you do?

I have a family with a wife and two daughters that I really enjoy spending my free time with. We live in Kungälv, to the north of Gothenburg. Otherwise, I spend my free time pottering around the garden and house, riding my mountain bike, taking a break with the caravan and discovering new places, but the best thing of all is going out to sea in a small boat and catching crabs on a fine spring or summer day.