Interview with Karin Falk, president Husqvarna Construction: ”Everything for the [...]Published 3/1 at 14:05
”Everything for the good of the customer”
Karin Falk, president of Husqvarna's Construction Division since September 2020 was interviewed by PDi's editor in chief Jan Hermansson in connection with the bauma show in October.
“Our goal is to create value for our customers and to be a trusted business partner who takes overall responsibility. We are not just a manufacturer that supplies machines and tools,” says Karin Falk, who has been president of Husqvarna's Construction Division since September 2020. PDi's editor in chief Jan Hermansson had a chat with Falk during the bauma fair in Munich.
In connection with the bauma tradeshow in Munich in October, PDi's editor in chief Jan Hermansson had the opportunity to interview Husqvarna Construction’s president Karin Falk, a position she has held since September 2020. A well as being president of the Construction Division, Falk is also part of the Husqvarna Group executive management team.
What started off as a side business in the 80’s is today a global division with what is probably the widest offering for professionals in the light construction industry. Husqvarna is a leading brand in the construction and natural stone processing industries, with innovative equipment, diamond tools and services to support its customers in almost every corner of the world, with its growth journey continuing to this day. In the last few years, several acquisitions have been completed that have raised eyebrows in the industry and amongst competitors. Some examples are the acquisitions of HTC and Pullman Ermator, done 5 years ago, and latterly Blastrac and Heger. “They have all brought us new colleagues with application know how, and strengthened our product offering and our go to market,” explains Katrin Falk.
But what drives Husqvarna Construction to continue growing organically and through acquisitions?
“We want to be a more complete business partner for all our customers. Our most important goal is to create value for customers, strengthen them in their business and empower them to explore new business opportunities by offering better solutions in additional application areas,” she adds when we meet at PDi's stand at bauma.
A broader offering from a solutions provider
“When we started working with methods, tools and machines for surface preparation, we broadened this product area by also including products and services that were not traditionally part of our portfolio. Then I think specifically of our series of compactors, rollers and concrete placing equipment. Today, we basically cover the most important parts that have to do with surface preparation.” One example of this strategy was the acquisition of Atlas Copco’s light series of compactors and vibratory plates as well as trowels from Wacker Neuson.
“For us, it is important to constantly be one step ahead and lead development in all our product areas, which of course is a challenge. We want to give our customers the best support for them to be able to develop their businesses and services. We don’t want to be only a supplier of equipment and tools. We want to be a partner to our customers and provide integrated value added solutions that help them improve their business. And we are continuously monitoring where the market is going, to envision what challenges there are, so that our customers can get more out of their investments, both short and long term,” added Karin.
Strong investment in electrification
Clear examples of this approach can be found among the latest product developments. Implementing battery operation among higher power professional machines is a good example of being a partner for today and tomorrow. Today, Husqvarna has two main battery platforms: the Husqvarna BLi 36v battery system, and the Husqvarna Pace 94v battery system. The new battery power cutter K 1 Pace was the first machine launched on the ‘Pace’ platform and it has achieved great success, providing ergonomics and performance equivalent to petrol power cutters but with all the operator convenience of a battery machine. Several other battery powered machines have recently been introduced, such as, the innovative and high performing handheld 36v core drill motor DM 540i. A stationary battery drill motor in the Pace system will soon be launched along with the new ‘H’ class battery powered dust extractors as well as the all new 18v rebar tier product ‘Knut’.
Infrastructure projects present opportunities
Husqvarna Construction is present in basically all markets around the world, but where it is strongest is in Europe, North America and Australia, and here it wants to continue to develop. Other important markets with great potential are the emerging markets. “We see strong investments in infrastructure and rebuilding activities in many countries due to urbanisation and economic development and here we actively participate and offer our systems of products with improved efficiency, ergonomics and safety. Within Husqvarna, we have created a broad product range with improved application efficiency and are well equipped and see good potential to grow further within products used in infrastructural projects. The investment in infrastructure also takes place within emerging markets, which is also a priority area for us.
“As we are all aware, we are living in unprecedented times with the global pandemic, war in Ukraine, energy prices skyrocketing, and continued supply chain disruptions. This has been a challenge for the whole industry, but when we face uncertain times, being a reliable partner is even more important. We look at what challenges the market outlook present to us and our customers, and what they expect and need from us,” concludes Karin Falk.