Hardox Wearparts network growing fast
Hardox Wearparts aims to develop into a one-stop shop for wear parts and services – serving customers in the aftermarket in, for example, industries and sectors like mining, quarrying, infrastructure, construction and recycling. Hardox Wearparts is an excellent example of SSAB’s Taking the Lead! -strategy, where leading value-added services represent an important area of long-term development.
SSAB has an ambitious goal to develop an after-market sales of branded high-strength steels from the mills through a network of 500 HWP centers. In 2016, the network grew by 90 companies and currently consists of over 265 companies across some 70 countries.
A new business arm for SSAB
“SSAB has excellent products, but we want to offer more and also help our customers to grow. We are developing a new business arm for SSAB with leading value-added services. We want to build and develop aftermarket businesses to reach the end-user markets for repair, maintenance and wear-parts components. Hardox Wearparts is an important tool to make this happen,” explains Erik Sundström, who is responsible for the development of the network at SSAB Services.
“The aftermarket business is very fragmented and localized. We consider it very important to create partnerships with local companies around the world. Local companies know the local business. We want to guarantee to our end-customers that we have good certified services near the customer. This kind of network is a way to provide them with top quality and reliability,” continues Sundström.
The Hardox Wearparts network is growing basically all over the globe, but primarily in within prioritized industries and segments, such as mining, recycling and concrete. At the moment, SSAB already has a high presence in mining. Geographically it goes according to where the end-users are located, so, for example, in Germany recycling is more in focus and in Australia it is mining.
Pump up the volume
“How do can we generate a volume-pull by expanding the network? I think we can achieve this by listening to customers and by being close to them. We also want to visit customers whose equipment is exposed to wear in order to be better able to tell them about the value we can bring them. If we succeed in increasing awareness, we will be able to succeed in end-user pull for our wear products. This is a win-win situation for the whole chain,” explains Sundström.
Another lever to increase the attractiveness of the Hardox Wearparts network and in turn drive volume growth is to broaden our product and service offering. Today, our primary core competence lies in our material and processing knowledge of high-strength steels. Our long-term vision is to further develop SSAB’s wear product portfolio and also to develop a service portfolio that complements our products.
As an example, we launched an overlay product, Duroxite, in 2016. There has long been a demand from our centers to support them with overlay products and now we have a high-performing product that we offer to all our Hardox Wearparts centers. Looking ahead, we seek to add additional wear products and solutions to our standard offering and we will offer application competence around those materials and the combination of them. (Hardox Wearparts can also measure and identify abrasion on existing equipment, analyze utilization conditions and needs and calculate advantages using new and improved tools such as 3D scanning or the WearCalc calculation tool.)
“On average, we have about three to six months of discussions and an additional 12-month period before giving a partner Hardox Wearparts status. There are certain things that we expect according to our policies and then there is the technical training, product training, quality assurance, as well as brand and marketing related issues,” tells Sundström.
Partners gain access to SSAB brands, our products and product catalogs of standardized wear components, as well as access to our IT support tools, technical training, marketing and webshop. SSAB Wear Service Managers are out on the field with their market knowledge to support the network in identifying potential end-users and advice on what type of service we can provide to them.
Through the Hardox Wearparts network, SSAB offers rapid and global access to wear parts, its technical onsite support and installation. One advantage of SSAB’s extensive knowledge of materials is our ability to provide even small partners and companies with our special knowledge. In turn, the network collects feedback of how the materials act in practice. Feedback from customers is extremely important.
In the long run, SSAB aims to be the leading manufacturer and supplier of wear parts and wear services globally - and this helps also our customers to grow.
Hardox Wearparts is an international network of companies for the production of wear parts made of Hardox wear plate and other SSAB branded high-strength steels, and provision of services. The network provides spare parts and advice to the local aftermarket in, for example, the mining, quarrying, infrastructure, construction and recycling sectors.
Videos: testimonials from network