Ahlsell AB

Continues to grow through integration and rating

Rating, integration with Soliditet, and a thorough approach to its work. By focusing on these three tenets, Ahlsell has managed to steer clear of unprofessional customers at the same time as daring to expand, while maintaining minimal credit losses. No other Nordic company sells as many technical devices as Ahlsell. However, since Ahlsell only deals with professionals, it is less well known than the other DIY heavyweights.

“This being the case, every craftsman in Sweden knows who we are,” explains Anders Kvarnmyr, Credit Director at Ahlsell’s head office in Stockholm. Anders was a speaker at the Soliditet Diamond Awards ceremony last autumn. He spoke about rating, which was no coincidence. To a large extent, Ahlsell’s credit work is based on Soliditet’s rating system, which Anders Kvarnmyr considers highly reliable.

Ahlsell’s credit losses are minimal. Something he ascribes to the company’s successful integration with Soliditet’s solutions. “We always have access to up-to-date information on every customer in our business system, information which is integrated into our credit policy through our template. And by quickly checking Business Monitor each morning we receive the latest news presented in an intuitive manner, and as a result, we are able to put measures in place in good time,” he explains. “Intuitive” is a word Anders Kvarnmyr often uses in reference to Soliditet. Not least, when he talks about its rating system. “Yep, the scale from AAA to C is so immediately comprehensible when compared to all the other figure-based points systems. Our sales team understand the system right away, and can instantly begin putting it into practice.”

Sometimes, Ahlsell grants smaller lines of credit even to companies with the C rating. This is possible largely due to the integration of its internal information network. The majority of calls made to Ahlsell’s six-strong credit unit come from the company’s sales representatives spread throughout the country. “We supplement the rating with information from our sales team, since they are the ones who have direct contact with our customers – of which we have close to 50,000. Sometimes, they know even more than Solsidan,” he adds, with a grin. By and large, Ahlsell’s credit policy is relatively strict. However, regrettably, in some of the industries in which Ahlsell’s customers are active, there are a number of unprofessional actors. Applying a thorough approach is an absolute must, and with this in mind, Ahlsell takes out close to 10,000 credit reports from Solsidan every year. “We scrutinise every new customer, as well as a number of the old ones. Among other things, we check out the identity of board members, which is a crucial factor if you want to feel confident about being paid,” continues Anders.

Fakta om Ahlsell

Ahlsell AB is the Nordic region’s leading retail trader within electrics, heating, ventilation, and sanitation, tools, machines, construction, refrigeration, and DIY products, with over 80 commercial retail outlets in Sweden (200 in total), and a central warehouse in Hallsberg. Ahlsell is also active in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway, and Russia.

Its predecessor, Bernström & Co, was established way back in 1872, in Stockholm. However, the company has begun expanding most rapidly over the last 25 years. Since 2005, Ahlsell has been under the ownership of the private investment firms, Cinven and Goldman Sachs.

Feel free to read more at www.ahlsell.se


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