Söderberg & Haak
About Söderberg & Haak Maskin AB
Söderberg & Haak’s business concept is based on importing and selling construction and agricultural machinery and offering technical expertise, service and spare parts. With one foot in each business area, the company operates in both the mature agricultural market and the more expansive construction market. As an intermediary between suppliers and dealers, Söderberg & Haak creates value by offering technical expertise, nationwide service, efficient logistics for spare parts, cost-effective solutions and a long-term relationship with its customers, both big and small.
Net Sales 2022
: SEK 735 m
: Sven Knutsson
CEO, Söderberg & Haak (former CEO Jonas Jaenecke)
Söderberg & Haak has established partnerships with a variety of customer categories in the Swedish market, both large and small. Through these relationships and the relationships with suppliers in Japan, Germany, the UK and Denmark, they have felt the impact of many of the world-changing events that characterized 2022, according to CEO Jonas Jaenecke.
“It’s been a very special year,” he says. “We’ve followed the market closely and accelerated and decelerated where possible to adapt to the external environment. We had recently changed our financial direction and wanted to start moving forward, but the outbreak of the war in Ukraine created a lot of uncertainty in the market and among our customers. The inputs and components for both agriculture and construction activities became more expensive and more difficult to obtain, which has been and continues to be tough for us and many of our customers.”
Despite market uncertainty, sales of construction machinery exceeded the company’s forecasts. The market has remained strong with many ongoing projects, but the future is still uncertain. Ongoing projects in the housing market will be completed, but not many new ones are in the pipeline. This may be offset by a greater need for infrastructure and other projects, particularly in northern Sweden. Sales of agricultural machinery are likely to remain stable. Depending on what they grow and produce, some farmers are more affected by the global situation than others.
“Our agricultural customers have been affected by higher input prices, and livestock farmers in particular have found it difficult to compensate for this, while grain farmers had a good year in 2022,” says Jonas Jaenecke. “Overall, we believe that our customers will be slightly cautious when it comes to making investments in agricultural machinery in 2023.”
SHARPER FOCUS ON CUSTOMER RELATIONS
In order to tackle the uncertainties in the market in 2022, Söderberg & Haak chose to focus even more sharply on customer relations. Post-pandemic there are now opportunities to meet customers at trade fairs again, which is important in the industry. In addition the company is able to spend more time at the customer’s premises to understand their day-to-day work, difficulties and needs, and adapt its work accordingly. There are also plans to develop the aftermarket offering in terms of service, technical support and spare parts.
“We want to maintain our good reputation in the market, compensate for the uncertainty that exists and be the obvious choice for the customer,” says Jonas Jaenecke. “We do this mainly by providing effective and accessible service. Our sales personnel are the ones who initiate the relationship and subsequently develop it along with our aftermarket organization, ensuring that we keep the customer and that they’re satisfied. We’ve come a long way in this work, but there’s always scope to improve and refine it further.”
In order to increase customer satisfaction, more investments are being made in sales and aftermarket resources in different geographical areas of the country. The company is also hiring additional specialists to improve its positioning in relation to the market, customers and retailers.
INTRODUCTION OF MORE SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION MACHINERY
The construction and agricultural machinery industry is lagging behind the automotive industry in terms of electrification and sustainable products, but customer interest is growing. Manufacturers started presenting electric machines at trade fairs in 2022, and some manufacturers have launched a few models on the market.
“There’s great interest among our larger customers when it comes to electrified products, but we’re also seeing smaller construction customers start to look at electrified options now that diesel prices are so high,” says Jonas Jaenecke. “Developments will be determined by availability, pricing and the charging infrastructure being in place.”
Within the field of sustainability, Söderberg & Haak tries to influence what it can as an intermediary and importer. This includes reviewing transport efficiency and evaluating a project that involves installing solar panels at the facilities. Internally, they conduct environmental and health inspections to ensure a safe working environment and are developing a digital employee survey to measure staff well-being on a regular basis.
“I think we have fantastic employees who, under challenging circumstances, demonstrate a wonderful fighting spirit that helps create the pleasant atmosphere we have at Söderberg & Haak,” says Jonas Jaenecke. “Mellby Gård continues to be a secure long-term owner that provides us with support and assistance in various processes – and we’re very grateful for that!”
This interview was conducted in December 2022 with Jonas Jaenecke, who was CEO at the time. Gustaf Thuresson has been CEO of Söderberg & Haak since May 2023.
Significant events 2022
Increased sales in the construction machinery business area.
Higher costs, lack of components and uncertain deliveries affect the 2022 financial results.
Greater investment in sales and aftermarket resources in different geographical areas of the country.