Doing business with the heart. Yes, what does that really mean? Read the interview with CEO Jonatan Liljedahl. The common denominator for all companies in the Axelent Group is that the driving force should always be that every customer and supplier is seen and heard. With us, no part of the business is left to chance. It is just as important for the customer to be successful as it is for us to be successful.
What does it mean for you to do business with your heart? How would you explain that concept?
I associate doing business with the heart with a long-term approach. If you don’t do that, but are just looking to do quick business and don’t value building relationships, it might work once or twice, but not more. When we think about the customers we work with and do business with, I think we do it on the basis that you should be able to stand for everything in that contact. It’s about building up trust between them. This helps to ensure that you don’t have to get bogged down in so many details because you’ve already built up trust, so it solves many issues automatically. It’s basically about security – that we can trust each other.
What is important to the customer in terms of relationships?
Two important factors for the customer are stability and predictability. The customer should know that when they do business with us, we know what products they need, that they are of high quality, and that there is clarity about when and how the customer will receive their products. Service is also an important aspect, to be confident that we are always there. For us at Axelent Wire Tray, with our smaller size, we can really offer a personal contact and a high level of service, unlike our competitors.
How do we get away from the cliché of “doing business with the heart” because that’s what everyone wants to convey, but how do we realize that we actually do business with the heart?
The most concrete thing we can do is to let the customer have their say. We have several fine customer cases in the Axelent Group that show long-term relationships that have lasted 10-15 years. I think this says something about what customer relationships mean, and that we have delivered on trust. I think it can also be about sometimes doing that little extra for the customer and offering something unusual in our level of service.
In what ways does Wire Tray work to convey that message?
We put a lot of emphasis on flexibility and personal contact. By sticking to wire trays, we can have a greater breadth in our portfolio unlike competitors who have many more product categories and therefore also narrow their range. Instead, we can keep some more “odd products” where we have the customer completely in focus, so that they know that they can turn to us to get access to the more unusual products as well.
How does the Axelent Group work as a relationship builder?
We often refer to the Axelent group in customer dialogues. The Axelent brand is strong and well established. Depending on the customer’s previous experience with us, they may recognize one of the companies in the group. At fairs, for example, we highlight the “Axelent” brand, so our connection to the group is used a lot. We get a broader exposure to customers and they also understand what we are part of. Then we can break it down to what we offer. If the customer needs something else that is available within the group, we are more than happy to help the customer find the right thing internally. If we can have that breadth, it is also easier to offer our niche of wire ladders. So the relationship building we have within the Axelent group not only benefits us but also simplifies things for the customer.
How do you see the local responsibility we have as a company?
Axelent has a great responsibility and there are great advantages in getting involved locally. From a branding point of view, for example in terms of employer branding, we have a major advantage when it comes to recruiting. Many people already know what our brand stands for locally, and that it applies to the entire Axelent group. Then when it comes to the connection with the customer and really doing business with the heart, it is brand-building to get involved locally. If we look at sponsorship, for example for a non-profit organization, sports club or other activities, we are involved in supporting our local community. When we sponsor, it also means that we are contributing to society as a whole. This brings the heart into how we communicate our brand – to have as a starting point to look at how we get as many people as possible to benefit and enjoy it. Many people are supported locally through associations, and this has always been important to Axelent.