SSAB Services – our link with the customer’s business
January 16, 2017 11:30 CET 6 min read
In May 2016, SSAB established a new business unit, SSAB Services, to increase our focus on services and solutions for both aftermarket and equipment manufacturers. SSAB Services is responsible for SSAB’s extended global service offering and includes the Hardox Wearparts and SSAB Shape concepts.
“One of SSAB’s goals at the group level is to increase sales of premium steels. We can do this by developing unique customer applications and services. One of our strengths is our ability to work with customers to innovate and create new business models,” says Gregoire Parenty, head of SSAB Services since February 2016.
Development of the service offering is aimed at driving profitable growth for the group and also reducing the impacts of cyclicality in the steel business. New ways of engaging with customers also result in brand value.
The combination between SSAB and Rautaruukki in 2014 gave rise to new assets that could be optimized and better managed in the new company.
The Oborniki unit in Poland is one example of new assets that the former Ruukki brought to the new combined company. As part of SSAB Shape, this unit can be better utilized both from the profitability and customer perspective benefiting from a more wide market exposure.
Close to end-users
SSAB’s strength lays also in the way we work in close proximity to end-users. The Hardox Wearparts network gives SSAB further reach and the ability to support, for example, even the smallest quarry, locally.
“We already had well-run programs like the Hardox Wearparts network, but we wanted to give this network a new boost. We decided to both considerably expand the network in the market and to further support existing network members,” continues Gregoire Parenty.
In the long run, SSAB Services serves SSAB’s clear vision to develop an even more service-oriented company. “We do this by meeting our customers regularly and providing them with all the potential services, plus something more, something that they don’t even expect,” summarizes Parenty.
Hardox Wearparts network growing
The Hardox Wearparts network gives customers the best wear solution by providing advice and by supplying more alternatives to choose from. The idea is to provide customers with everything they need by creating a “one-stop-shop” at each member’s location.
Experience and data gained from our Hardox Wearparts network are being used to further develop the offerings, including developing solutions for customers’ aftermarket needs.
“We have a very clear target to grow our Hardox Wearparts network to include at least 500 companies by the end of 2018. We are well on track to achieve this target – in 2016 the network grew by approximately 90 companies“, says Gregoire Parenty.
To serve customers in the aftermarket, SSAB’s wear offering portfolio has been broadened to include overlay and other complementary products. As part our package, we can even 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.
Creating solutions for OEMs with SSAB Shape
The other “business arm” is SSAB Shape, which combines premium steel products with engineering and processing services.
“Our competitors are closely following us and, constantly, strive to do similar things. So competition is tough. This was also one of the reasons for creating SSAB Services, since there is a clear trend to provide customers with “just-in-time” solutions that they are looking for. Our aim is to propose unique processes, innovative solutions and advance advice. This means getting close to customers or almost integrating into the customer’s supply chain. I use the term “solutionize”, explains Gregoire Parenty.
We need to find new permanent ways to help our customers by, for example, asking them about high-strength steel processing, welding, designing, etc. SSAB has a unique capability to engage this cooperation also with small- and middle-sized customers. This is one of our differentiators,” explains Gregoire Parenty.
“We are also on track to reach the target of doubling SSAB Shape’s sales by 2020. We are constantly creating team-up projects - proposing solutions to customers, for example, design support, tooling and new parts.
We can support our customers to the next level by asking ”why don’t you make this part using a more a efficient and cheaper process, and why not using a different and higher-performing steel instead of the one you use today?” – this is definitely not selling from stock, which of course is valuable business also, but not in this context,” explains Parenty.
Hardox Wearparts is an international network of companies providing wear services and parts to support industries exposed to extensive equipment wear to secure their uptime. The network is represented across 72 countries and currently consists of more than 265 companies, 16 of which SSAB has an ownership interest in. Hardox Wearparts provides spare parts and advice to the local aftermarket in, for example, the mining, quarrying, infrastructure, construction and recycling sectors.
SSAB Shape combines premium steel products with engineering and processing services offered through our own Shape Centers and a worldwide network of processing partners.
- Customized product development and engineering
- Extensive design support and prefabrication services
- Reliable, tailor-made logistics and stock services