Soft-centred steel men like Paydex and Rating

Jönköping based outfit Stålgross i Sverige AB has moved over to Soliditet, benefiting from a more straightforward, streamlined credit structure, with Rating and Paydex playing major roles.

When you visit a steel wholesaler, you expect to find large piles of steel stacked up this way and that. But at Stålgross, lying on the shore of Lake Vättern, there is nothing to reveal what the company does. Its business idea is to pair up supply and demand, ensuring steel is delivered to where it is needed.

“But we also have a stockpile, in Mariestad,” reveals Johan Helge, who calls himself a company all-rounder, but devotes most of his time to finance and accounting at the Stålgross office, where the company employs seven staff. Stålgross mostly stockpiles hot-rolled sheets and heavy gauge plate from its Nordic neighbours. Swedish steel producers can be a little conservative, and prefer to sell in accordance with more established patterns. In addition to selling its own stock, Stålgross also ensures steel stocked in Denmark, for example, reaches customers based elsewhere. Stålgross helps engineering companies function more effectively, although high-volume steel trade is associated with considerable credit risks.

In May 2010, Stålgross began using credit and business information solutions provided by Soliditet. “However, we still don’t dare completely cancel our credit insurances,” says Johan, who adds that the company’s credit work has become easier, and more streamlined since the change of supplier.

“Soliditet’s services are smart, reliable, and easy to use,” he raves. Among other things, he is a fan of the Paydex payment index. “If we see that a company has begun delaying payment to its other suppliers, we know it’s high time to amend our terms.” However, deteriorations in rating provide the most crucial warning when monitoring 80% of customers. Johan considers the rating highly reliable, and operates a tough policy.

"For the majority of companies with a B or C rating, we request advance payment, or bank guarantees, although exceptions can always be made.”

Thanks to Stålgross’s efforts to foster close partnerships with its customers, and apply flexible, collaborative values such as service and responsiveness, the company has succeeded in expanding in a highly competitive industry. With help from Nordic Business Key, Johan is currently on the lookout for more customers, although companies with an A rating, or lower, are never popular choices.

“I scrutinise all our new customers using Solsidan. But I try not to get caught up in financial ratios – for me, the overall picture is the most interesting thing,” he argues.

Facts about Stålgross

The majority of Stålgross’s customers are engineering companies of various types, and 80% of its sales are made in Sweden. Primarily, Stålgross purchases stock from its Nordic neighbours and other nations overseas.

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