Digital investment became the savior in the crisis
“Seeing their business model fall in the pandemic, to completely switch and run digitally,
was not an easy journey for Alesco. There were many lessons to be learned along the way”
THE ENTIRE ALESCO CONCEPT AND STRUCTURE was completely overturned as the world shut down in the corona pandemic. No trade fairs, no travel and the distributors around the world, which Alesco has relied on for current sales, have not been able to visit its customers and thus have not been able to sell.
– At first you get a little paralyzed, it was a bit gloomy when you sat and thought about what to do now, says Camilla Hellohf, Marketing and Sales Manager at Alesco. We have previously chosen not to focus on end customer sales in favor of being able to use distributors and we noticed quite immediately that we had to do something, because the market was completely stagnant.
ALESCO HAS DEVELOPED AND SOLD INDUCTION HEATERS FOR OVER 20 YEARS, in that time they have, together with their distributors, been physically present and active in their markets. This through trade fair participation and customer visits around the world. This is what Alesco has lived and based its operations on, with a total of about 300 travel days a year in total distributed among the employees. In addition, a majority of sales have been for export. The customers are mainly car workshops, but there are also some slightly heavier workshops for trucks and buses as well as industry.
THE CONCLUSION was to switch from physical presence to digital. Alesco has built an online shop in English aimed at end customers, which will soon also be launched in Swedish, German and French. They have also built a photo and film studio where they can do live demonstrations digitally. These are easily booked via the website. Last but not least, they have developed not just one, but two completely new additions to their product park of induction heaters and external cooling systems. Alesco is simply about to “take back” its market, but in a digital way.
– Induction heaters are not products that are sold from a catalog; you can´t go out to a customer and point and say: “This will be great for you,” Camilla Hellohf explains. We have to demonstrate our machines and when you can´t do it in the physical proximity of the customer, it is extremely easy to just connect on a link and show the customer what it wants to see.
RIGHT NOW Alesco is in the starting blocks and the goal they have is really just to get the digital demonstrations started. UPDATE: The first live demonstration via link where held in Mars!
– We were perhaps a little naive in the beginning when we started this, that it is “just” to set up a website, it is “just” to build a studio. But we have learned along the way that it takes an enormous amount of work behind to get everything to play, laughs Camilla Hellohf.
NOW WHEN THE STUDIO IS IN PLACE and cameras, lights and microphones are installed, several new challenges arise including how to conduct a demonstration digitally and which angles work. For example, Camilla Hellohf herself has had to book practice meetings with her colleague who is in the studio to see what works and what does not. They have also supplemented the studio with a car lift, to be able to be flexible and show the parts that the customer requests. For example, when the pandemic ends, it does not mean that Alesco’s digital journey will end.
On the contrary, this is a great way for them to complement existing customer avenues and it will be a whole new concept to offer customers.