Two 5.5-metre-tall Compact Twins help ÅJ Distribution provide world-class logistics.
ÅJ Distributions invests in world-class logistics
ÅJ Distribution ships store campaigns on a daily basis to over 77 countries. The company is also outstanding in event logistics and a natural 3PL partner. We got a chat with Fredrik Ringström to find out how their working methods determine their choice of supplier.
Fredrik Ringström is partner and CEO of ÅJ Distribution. In his spare time, he likes to be with his family and to discover the world through travel. He’d like to say he’s a golfer, but it’s three years since he last held a golfclub… Still, he says his dream is nonetheless to play golf with good friends. Until then, he makes do with football, which he’s very keen on.
Fredrik, can you tell us how your journey at ÅJ Distribution started and how it has developed since?
”I’ve been fortunate enough to work in many different positions at ÅJ over the years, and since 2010, I’ve been a partner, together with my colleague, Peter Hollner. My journey at ÅJ started 27 years ago, when I was a teenager and needed money. ÅJ offered me evening and weekend work.
After I finished my sales and marketing studies, I was offered a position whereby I would be in charge of our largest customer’s storage hotel. This task resulted in a Key Account management and responsibility for the customers’ sales and development. Which I have to this day.”
What’s the best thing about your job?
” The best thing about my job is overcoming the challenges we face from our own business, the industry and from our customers. We often hear how fantastic we are when we brilliantly overcome our customers’ challenges! I love that of course. But it’s even more fun to hear how our customers receive praise internally for something we’ve been involved in. As a logistics firm, that means we’ve succeeded!”
I’m sure you have a lot of wonderful stories in your memory bank. Would you like to share any?
”One experience that I’ll always remember fondly was when a customer gave us the task of optimising and coordinating the marketing material for the summer campaign to go out to their network of stores. There are usually three rounds, which rely on publishing times in other media, but we were tasked with optimising everything in one round, to all stores in over 60 countries.
“We managed it all – which would usually take 10 weeks – in 3 weeks, and we packed over 72,000 packages, each unique to a store. We saved the customer a six-figure amount and learned a great deal, which has led to several investments today.”
Experiences like this one are part of our culture, and we’re passionate about constantly developing both ourselves and our customers. It’s really satisfying to be able to optimise and find smarter ways to manage our customers’ materials, that result in both financial savings and a reduced climate impact.”
What a nice story. So if you’re looking for smarter ways to manage materials, what matters to you in your choice of supplier?
”Our customers value effective solutions that are highly precise. So for us it’s important that our suppliers are proactive and can help us develop. This in turn helps us to achieve our goals, both in terms of streamlining and sustainable thinking.”
While we’re on the subject of suppliers, how did you find Weland Solutions?
”We found Weland Solutions via NYCE, a supplier of the WMS (Warehouse Management System) that we use. Prior to that, we had seen Weland Solutions’ products at trade fairs and industry meets. When we were evaluating potential proactive partners, who also shared our streamlining goals, we chose to contact Weland Solutions.”
Can you tell us more about the partnership? How has Weland Solutions helped you?
”Weland Solutions’ task was to develop an integrated solution for our WMS. We wanted them to propose a solution and then to install the equipment and assist in the integration, together with NYCE. We were also able to benefit from their expertise, and receive training for our staff to allow for the best possible outcome.
The investment in two Compact Twins streamlined our logistics, helping us to meet the requirements on us in this respect. The solution cuts lead times, helps us remain competitive and makes the workplace more ergonomic for our staff.
Our focus is on customer satisfaction, quality and sustainability. In my view, the vertical storage lifts from Weland Solutions fulfil all of these focus areas.
What are the qualities of Weland Solutions that you value most?
”Their professional organisation – from advising and tender, to installation.
They help make us the obvious choice for companies that need a competent partner with a high level of service and IT systems that can seamlessly integrate with all of the business systems and online order systems on the market.”
If we were to ask you to do some trendspotting – which of your services do you expect we’ll see more of in the future?
”I think that more customers will make use of our solutions for sustainable campaigns and dispatches. Integrations where information flows seamlessly between different systems and where circular packaging solutions are employed.
I think the demands on B2B will resemble those we see today from consumers on ecommerce. We need to address those demands with efficiency and a well-developed IT infrastructure.”
Thank you, Fredrik, and good luck in your business. And with the golf.
Fact sheet: ÅJ Distribution
Number of employees: 56
Turnover: SEK 63.7m (12-2019)
Headquarters: Sundby, Spånga
Business concept: The company runs a distribution service and packaging of advertising materials.
Largest campaign: 75,233 consignments
Number of parcels per year: 500,000
Vertical storage lifts from Weland Solutions: 2 Compact Twin 3050s. 5.5 metres tall with total storage capacity of 230 m2 (34.5 cubic metres)