New warehouse and office in America
AC Hydraulic has been exploring the American market for several years and the conclusion is clear: The time has come to move the products to where the customers are.
Almost 4 years ago, we hired our first Business development manager in the US. The goal was simple: show Americans the value of high-quality, Danish-made lifting equipment. Slowly but surely, a well-established customer base has been created and the interest in our company's products was also evident at this year's SEMA show in Las Vegas - one of the world's largest industry trade shows.
The last 4 years have thus served as the perfect warm-up for what has now become an obvious decision: Move the products to where the customers are, specifically in the city of Charlotte, North Carolina. Here, a 500 square metre warehouse will be the roof over the well-known blue products from AC Hydraulic.
"At AC Hydraulic, we are known for our high quality, fast service and high availability. As a customer, you are never more than an email or a phone call away from personal and competent service, and this helps to support the quality of our products. If we are to convince Americans to choose products from AC Hydraulic, that service and availability must follow. This will happen in 2024, and it will be crucial for us to fulfil our growth targets over there," says CEO Frederik Anker Christensen.
Coming to America
A familiar face in the Scandinavian market, Simon Munch Laursen, has been chosen to conquer the Land of Opportunity. Although the inventory will not be ready until Q2 2024, the initial exercises will begin as early as 1st of January. This will be done in close co-operation with colleague Patrick Dubois, who has been the sole man in the position for the past 4 years. "It's a fantastic opportunity for me to take on such an exciting challenge, and I'm really looking forward to it. It will require a lot of effort to make AC known, just as we are in Europe, but we are convinced that the opportunities are there, and we have a fantastic set-up in Denmark to support us," says Export Manager Simon Munch Laursen.
Why North Carolina was chosen as location
In practical terms, the time difference is not as great as in other parts of the US. This makes it easier to maintain close contact between the US and Denmark, so you can act quickly when a potential customer knocks on your door.
But if you ask Frederik Anker Christensen, there are other important factors behind the decision to establish a warehouse in Charlotte, North Carolina: "The decision to establish a warehouse in the US is first and foremost about getting our products closer to the end user. We are simply not attractive to American retailers if the products first have to be produced and then shipped across the Atlantic - their end users can't wait that long. In addition, the Charlotte area is rich in skilled labour, and there are many potential industry partners in the region that can help us on the road to success in the US."
Changes in the organisation
When Simon Munch Laursen moves to the US, it leaves a vacancy in the Scandinavian market, and to take over that position, AC Hydraulic has chosen an old acquaintance, Lars Storgaard.
Sales Manager from AC Hydraulic, Kenny Andersen, explains the natural choice: "When you have a young guy with a drive like Simon, it's obvious to send him on an adventure. We trust his competences 100% and have no doubt that he is the right man for the job.
At the same time, we have a responsibility to our Scandinavian customers, who are now losing a close relationship. Fortunately, we have Lars Storgaard on hand, who with his experience and well-known face in the industry will ensure that our customers experience a smooth transition."