“Everything For the Good of the Customer”
Published: 30/12, 2022
“Our goal is to create value for our customers and to be a trusted business partner who takes overall responsibility. We are not just a manufacturer that supplies machines and tools,”
So says Karin Falk who has led Husqvarna’s Construction Division since September 2020. Falk following the retirement of Anders Ströby. Falk is also part of the Husqvarna Group Management Team. At the Bauma tradeshow in Munich in October, Falk sat down with PDa’s editor-in-chief Jan Hermansson to share some thoughts about the company and the unprecedented nature of today’s construction industry.
What started off as a side business in the 80’s is today a global division with what is probably the widest offering for professionals in the light construction industry. Husqvarna is a leading brand in construction and natural stone processing, with innovative equipment, diamond tools and services to support its customers in almost every corner of the world, with its growth journey continuing to this day. In the last few years, several acquisitions have been completed that have raised eyebrows in the industry and amongst competitors. Some examples are the 2018 acquisitions of HTC and Pullman Ermator, and more recently, Blastrac and Heger.
“They have all brought us new colleagues with application know how, and strengthened our product offering and our go to market,” Falk said
But what drives Husqvarna Construction to continue growing organically and through acquisitions?
“We want to be a more complete business partner for all our customers,” Falk added. “Our most important goal is to create value for customers, strengthen them in their business and empower them to explore new business opportunities by offering better solutions in additional application areas.”
A broader offering from a solutions provider
Falk explained that when Husqvarna started working with methods, tools, and machines for surface preparation, the company broadened this product area by also including products and services that were not traditionally part of it portfolio, such as compactors, rollers, and concrete placing equipment.
“Today, we basically cover the most important parts that have to do with surface preparation,” Falk said citing the acquisition of Atlas Copco’s light series of compactors and vibratory plates as well as trowels from Wacker Neuson.
“For us, it is important to constantly be one step ahead and lead development in all our product areas, which of course is a challenge,” she said. “We want to give our customers the best support for them to be able to develop their businesses and services. We don’t want to be only a supplier of equipment and tools. We want to be a partner to our customers and provide integrated value-added solutions that help them improve their business. And we are continuously monitoring where the market is going, to envision what challenges there are, so that our customers can get more out of their investments, both short and long term.”
Strong investment in electrification
Clear examples of this approach can be found among the latest product developments. Implementing battery operation among higher power professional machines is a good example of being a partner for today and tomorrow. Today, Husqvarna has two main battery platforms: the BLi 36v battery system, and the Pace 94v battery system. The new K 1 battery power cutter was the first machine launched on the Pace platform and it has achieved great success, providing ergonomics and performance equivalent to gasoline-powered cutters but with all the operator convenience of a battery machine. Several other battery-powered machines have recently been introduced, such as, the innovative and high performing handheld 36v DM 540i core drill motor. A stationary battery drill motor in the Pace system will soon be launched along with the new H-class battery-powered dust extractors, and the all new 18v Knut rebar tyer.
Infrastructure projects present opportunities
Husqvarna Construction is present in all global markets, but is particularly focused on where it is currently the strongest—Europe, North America, and Australia. Other important markets with great potential are the emerging markets. Falk says many countries’ strong government investments in infrastructure and rebuilding, due to urbanization and economic development, are well suited to the company’s products, which offer improved efficiency, ergonomics and safety.
“Within Husqvarna, we have created a broad product range with improved application efficiency and are well equipped and see good potential to grow further within products used in infrastructural projects,” she said. “The investment in infrastructure also takes place within emerging markets, which is also a priority area for us.”
Falk acknowledged that concerns remain with the ongoing pandemic, the war in Ukraine, high energy prices and continued supply chain disruptions. Falk says while this has been a challenge for the whole industry, but the greatest value Husqvarna can offer in such uncertain times is to be a reliable partner to its customers.
“We look at what challenges the market outlook present to us and our customers,” she said, “and what they expect and need from us.”