Continual technological development at Husqvarna

Husqvarna is constantly working with innovation and development to create new products. In this situation, the choice of suppliers is extremely important, and concepts like quality and trust become key terms in the selection process.

“We strive to have long-term business relationships, so it’s also important that we can rely on each other,” explains Andreas Rangert, VP Product Management & Development, Husqvarna Division at Husqvarna Group.

In a world of continual technological development, it is very important when developing new products to be at the forefront of automation and digitalisation. At Husqvarna AB, development involves a lot of customer input, market surveys and competitive comparisons – regardless of whether a new or existing supplier is involved.

“It’s incredibly important to understand what the customer’s needs are and what the advantages of our products are,” Andreas says. “One important issue is how the quality is ensured. For us it is fundamental to choose components that are sustainable over time and whose suppliers keep up in terms of quality.

“That’s why we are working more and more to involve suppliers early on in the process and also with regard to innovation. We want to use our key suppliers more at an early stage and benefit from their expertise.”

One important aspect of Husqvarna’s product development is simulation – performing tests and getting the product as right as possible from the beginning before proceeding with the traditional development process. Quality is everything, as is openness so that both parties feel they win from the business partnership.  

“Of course, we use various processes to develop new products – which is something we’ve focused greatly on in recent years,” Andreas says. “Particularly for software development, it’s important to have an extremely agile process with fast loops. But it’s also very much a matter of just improving things. It’s important to keep a good balance between the two.”

A number of Husqvarna’s suppliers are already known in the market but the company is open to working with more partners. The aim is to find a broad and high-quality base on which to stand.

“Many new contacts come via our employees, especially those within our purchasing function, but also via things like networking events, seminars or consortia,” Andreas says. He goes on to describe Elmia Subcontractor as an “extremely interesting meeting place” from several aspects.

“Even though we have a very international supplier base, there are sometimes major advantages in having Swedish suppliers, and we meet many of them at this fair in an extremely compact format, so that is a big advantage. And it’s convenient for us because it is so close.”

As part of one of the stage programmes during the Elmia Subcontractor fair days, Andreas Rangert will describe how Husqvarna works together with its suppliers to develop the products of the future.

Elmia Subcontractor’s motto of “business unusual” refers to the changeable situation that the manufacturing industry is experiencing as technology is continually creating new possibilities.  

For four days in November about 1,200 knowledgeable and innovative suppliers will exhibit their abilities at Elmia Subcontractor in front of purchasers, product developers and decision makers within the manufacturing industry. Visitors will also encounter two major inspirational exhibitions in the form of InnoDex, which presents the latest in materials, innovation and construction designs, and IoT Arena, where the focus is on products’ connected properties.