The Business

We have become broader – and more specialized

Text: Peter Willestrand
Foto: Samuel Uneus
August 22, 2023

Knowledgeable and responsive employees. Those are the two most important tools to really help other companies work . “Meeting the customer is always the core of our business, ” says Håkan Wanselius, Head of Assortment and Procurement at Alligo.

“Our mission is very simple: we make companies work.” Håkan Wanselius’ job is to fulfil this promise in an increasingly complex world. A world where the demands on Alligo are increasing, both as a company and as a subcontractor. In recent years, it has also been possible to follow the growth of a new Alligo: bigger and stronger, with more branches and competences than ever before.

“We ourselves, our customer base and our offers have become much broader. At the same time, we can also be more specialized when required. On our warehouse shelves today, you can find everything from work gloves for the neighborhood handyman to ball bearing for the Norwegian oil industry.”

All signs indicate that these developments will continue in the same direction, towards a company that has the market’s best offers. But regardless of the product or the end customer, Håkan Wanselius stresses that there is one thing that is common to all of Alligo’s businesses: the importance of personal interaction with committed and knowledgeable employees.

“When you meet one of our employees, you should also meet someone who always makes sure to optimize your business, so that you choose the right product at the right price.”

But it doesn’t stop there. The same employee must also be able to guide customers onto other services and added value, even when this requires external specialist skills.

“For instance, when you buy work shoes, we not only make sure that you get the right type of soles to suit your business, we also work with orthopedists who, after testing in store, can mold the soles just for your needs, for example, if you have back problems or work on hard concrete floors.”

 

FURTHERMORE, Alligo offers literally tailor-made solutions via its tailoring department.

“It could be adding new functions to your work clothes, such as an extra pocket in a jacket that is adapted for a particular tool.” Similar offers are also available when it comes to tools. “There, for example, we can produce certified lifting chains, whose length is directly adapted to your needs.”

In parallel with these developments, a great deal of work is underway to create new digital services. These are usually directed towards larger companies that demand simplified and formalized collaborations, with possibilities for different types of adaptations.

“For example, it could involve each of the customer’s individual employees receiving an annual allocation to use on work clothes. We oversee the allocation, but the employee themselves decides on what they want to purchase. This reduces the customer’s administration, while at the same time it provides a form of cost control that enables purchases to be made more efficiently.”

 

A STEP IN the same direction is what Alligo calls Smart Services. This concerns digital storage depots, which Alligo installs at customer sites that use large quanties of consumables, such as protective gloves. Håkan Wanselius likens them “candy vending machines”.

“In practice, employees can pick up products around the clock. We replenish the stock, and everything is recorded digitally. Employees also receive various status updates, such as the availability of products and which products are most suitable for their intented use.”

Håkan emphasizes that much of the work carried out takes place in close cooperation with Alligo’s suppliers.

“This is important, not least in order for us to meet our sustainability goals. Our customers place increasingly high demands on sustainability. Changes can happen very quickly, so we must have the supplier base with us.”

 

RIGHT NOW, with gloomy economic reports, dark clouds are forming. Håkan Wanselius is aware that the task of helping “companies to work” will be put to the forefront in the next few years.

“For our own part, it is about making even more assessments of our product range. To further sharpen our offer. We simply can’t skimp on details. We must constantly think about what is most sustainable and cost-effective for the customer.”

We ourselves, our customer base and our offers have become much broader. At the same time, we can also be more specialized when required.