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Picking, packaging and delivering straight to you

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Being an integral member of the Atlas Copco family means that the firm believes in and strives to maintain its parent company’s values and ways of doing business. This means staying ‘First in Mind - First in Choice’ with employees, customers and stakeholders.

“We constantly work towards delivering sustainable, profitable growth in a way that is economically, environmentally and socially responsible,” says Anders Nilsson, General Manager. This strategy helps Power Tools Distribution stay competitive and innovative, two things that its customer base can and does appreciate about the firm. In terms of products, the business offers a selection of new assembly tools, construction machines, and related power tools. “Most of our clients are in the automotive and construction industries,” adds Mr. Nilsson.

The company has customer centers all over the world and it completes the order picking, packaging and dispatching, and manages transportation to the client. Since the business is centrally located in Belgium, its transport options are numerous, being able to serve customers by land, sea or air depending on how quickly the buyer needs the products.

When it comes to order picking, Power Tools Distribution uses something called voice picking. Each employee that works as a picker wears a headset and is given instructions on what product or part to pick for any given order.

“We deliberately chose a manual concept so that we can always pick and deliver on a very individualized basis,” explains Mr. Nilsson. Automated systems are prone to more failures and have more down periods for maintenence and other issues.

By using a manual system, the firm is able to avoid these issues and get orders to customers as quickly as possible. This is important, because many clients are uptime-sensitive. Furthermore, products and spare parts are delivered to the company from various production units in the Atlas Copco Group.

The main product manufacturers are located mainly in Europe. Suppliers for spare parts are spread out over many more countries. Having all of these different moving parts within this larger machine makes the lack of downtime in the voice picking method essential to conducting daily business. Voice is mainly used to improve quality, about four times better compared to traditional label picking.

To keep itself cost effective and maintain its sterling service record, the company tries to keep the demand for products and spare parts as stable as possible, which eliminates fluctuations that cost time and money.

“To regulate the flow, we have monthly meetings with Atlas Copco to help make sure every step in the supply chain remains as attuned to the next step as it can be,” notes Mr. Nilsson. The business also has a pool of temporary workers that help lend support during peak times, which keeps everything moving no matter how many orders are being processed.

At times, the firm also offers additional services to clients, such as giving advice on how to manage their stocks or completely taking over said management for them. Power Tools Distribution not only helps keep clients productive and efficient, it also helps its customers feel good about their choice to work with the firm, because it is always mindful of its effect on the environment.

“We operate with the SHE (safety, health, environment) acronym always in mind,” says Mr. Nilsson. “Environmental awareness is high on our agenda and safety is included within that.”

To show how important safety is, the business starts every daily meeting with safety reports. In terms of environmental awareness, the company closely monitors all of its CO2 emissions, watches its use of energy and water and looks into more sustainable transport options as much as possible. This is all consolidated at group level, which makes the entire network more responsible and ready to take on the challenges of present day work.

Future plans for the business center on maintaining continuous growth, about 3 to 5% in volume. “In order to do this, we would like to further expand our facilities,” says Mr. Nilsson. Other areas of focus for Power Tools Distribution are an increase in logistic solutions, more consultancy for logistics issues and a further decrease in the time between order and delivery, especially to its far-flung clientele. The aim is to be THE logistic center of competence within the Atlas Copco Group.

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