European Business: Elfa Distrelec’s experience as an electronics supplier spans more than 70 years. How has your product portfolio changed over the last decades and what were the biggest changes and challenges to your business?
Leif Wartacz: Since 1945, Elfa Distrelec has grown from delivering primarily electronics and electrical components, to offering an extensive line of test and measurement tools, to now having the capacity to provide industry knowledge, application advice and expertise in the robotics and automation industry. With the business now six times its original size, the supply chain has had significant changes in order to sustain the rapidly growing product line and shipping demands across Europe. The product range has now shifted from the former focus of pure electronics, to a much broader range of electromechanical components, tools and automation equipment.
European Business: You are part of the Swiss Datwyler Group, a global industry supplier. How does Elfa Distrelec benefit from being part of a major, multinational group?
Leif Wartacz: The resources that became available have allowed for locally based, highly knowledgeable sales managers, guiding their teams in localised offices to deliver personalised customer support, as well as access to an industry leading digital platform, available in over 17 languages.
European Business: Elfa Distrelec promises to deliver within 24 hours of receiving an order to most of Europe. What are the most important factors in building up a logistics system that makes this possible?
Leif Wartacz: Due to solid relationships with strategic courier partners, we are able to offer next day delivery to 90 to 95% of industrial areas across Europe. Elfa Distrelec benefits from a cohesive network of systems where sales, warehouse management and courier transport management processes are all aligned. Through significant investment in internal infrastructure, inclusive of our warehouse management system, Elfa Distrelec has the capacity to pick and pack certain articles from the warehouse within two hours of the order being placed.
European Business: Your mission is ‘We are satisfied only when we know you are!’ How are you achieving this goal today and what are your plans to maintain this high level of customer service in the future?
Leif Wartacz: Through commitment to supporting our customers and their business at each stage of their procurement, understanding their bespoke requirements and treating them as partners, we can deliver a more personalised response to their needs. Key to this is providing customer support in the local language, with highly trained staff who can share local market knowledge to better understand project requirements. For us at Elfa Distrelec, it is not enough to offer the basics, our customers demand a more personalised experience, and it is our mission to provide that.
European Business: The responsible treatment of resources is part of your company’s identity, you regard yourself as a pioneer. What are your ways of protecting our planet now and in the future?
Leif Wartacz: As an importer of large amounts of electrical equipment, such as batteries and accumulators, Elfa Distrelec is a member of waste management compliance schemes in each country it operates in. Each year, the business provides detailed sales information to the compliance schemes and, based on these reports, pays fees to ensure that in the next year, quantities of similar products are removed from the market and recycled appropriately. Elfa Distrelec also implements a supplier screening process, requiring written declarations and in some cases evidence of chemical testing to ensure the products sold do not contain any restricted substances.