The world of logistics is undergoing constant revolution, with a torrent of new demands for safety and efficiency, for automation and profitability. Whether they are carrying bulk commodities or high-end shopping, the lines must keep moving faster and faster.
Speed is one thing, but those lines must also enable people of all shapes and sizes, and all levels of ability, to interact with them safely and productively. Adaptable machinery and equipment is key.
Swedish company Bloms AB has been keeping manufacturing and logistics safe and streamlined for over 70 years. In that time the company has gained huge experience and expertise in working platform and workstation development. However, what Bloms does is only part of the story. How they do it is just as important.
Shifting From Product To Solution
Torbjörn Friberg, Sales Manager at Bloms, explains that the “how” is a vital contributor to the company’s success: “The key for us is to maintain a strong focus on our customers, in particular by shifting the emphasis from products to customer solutions. Our approach integrates us closely with both suppliers and customers.”
It is clear to Bloms that customers want to reduce the number of suppliers and centralize them to cut costs. “We fit that scenario very well,” says Torbjörn. “As we market more standard products and complete purpose-designed customer solutions, we get more opportunities to be a first-choice supplier. At the same time, we take on the responsibility for making sure our suppliers really understand what we need to meet our customers’ needs. And that means selecting partners with the utmost care.”
“VPG Understand Our Business…”
Bloms has worked with Marco and the VPG group for many years. “VPG understands our business, and can provide the expertise and equipment we need to make our customer solutions a success,” Torbjörn says. “We get quick answers and engineering support, backed by their outstanding knowledge of hydraulic lift tables.”
“We work together closely in a mutually trustful relationship that creates value for everyone – Bloms, VPG, and our customers. VPG have earned our wholehearted recommendation as partners,” says Torbjörn.
“…And We Understand Hama’s Accessories Business”
One Bloms customer is Hama, the major German accessories business. Their logistics center in Monheim, Bavaria, is one of the largest and most modern of its kind in its sector in Europe. Hama’s recipe for success is very short delivery times and the best possible warehousing, with optimally interconnected processes. The statistics are impressive: a constantly changing inventory of 18,000 products in a 100,000 m2 center. An intake of 2000 pallets a day, and half a million items per day shipped out across 65,000 order lines.
“For Hama, as with all our customers, our crucial first step is to understand them,” says Torbjörn. “Understand, analyze, and solve. That is how we progress and make ourselves the customer’s preferred choice. Our solutions reflect our experience from the huge number of different applications out in the market. We have valuable insights into the hazards and the risks, which means we often already have the solution.”
Growing With Customers
Once the solution is in place, the relationship with the customer continues. “We maintain regular contact with our customers, like Hama, to check performance, review safety, and to see that the different functions work as expected,” says Torbjörn. “This is one of the keys to our success and our ability to grow with our customers, and has enabled us to expand all over Europe. It creates positive feedback loops and synergies because we can transfer knowledge across our business and create even better solutions.”
“Complete Mutual Trust”
Bloms worked closely with VPG on a project for the Swedish State Railways. VPG’s Joakim Paulsson highlights the positives of the Bloms approach: “Instead of taking our usual separate roles, we went into full partnership. With complete mutual trust – and a lot of hard development effort in our joint workshop – we were able to create an ideal solution with the required levels of efficiency and safety. Our customer was delighted by how we blended our competences openly and honestly to deliver the result they wanted.”
Looking to the future, Torbjörn sees the sense and safety of continuing to work closely with VPG. “More and more attention is being paid to how the new ISO directive is changing the lifting market. Marco and VPG helped develop the directive, which makes them a natural partner for us going forward,” he concludes.See Hama’s logistics center in action (YouTube, 5 min) Bloms Introduction to working platforms Ergolab: experience working platforms in Blom´s ergolab