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Strong progress for KUKA Nordic - growing both in terms of revenue and market share

KUKA Nordic is doing well. The company's sales have increased for several years and this year we are again setting new records. - We see strong demand and are winning market shares in the Nordic and Baltic countries, says CEO Joacim Lorentsson.

8 June 2022

Take home production from low-wage countries

The German robot manufacturer KUKA - which is well-known and well-established both domestically and internationally - has long been seen as an underdog here in the Nordics. But in the middle of the 2010s, a trend break occurred.
- Among other things, it's about ourselves. Our management changed and we have since invested extra heavily in skills development. This in turn has meant that we have become better at giving customers guidance, says Joacim Lorentsson, CEO of the Group's Nordic sales company, KUKA Nordic. Trends such as increasing automation of the general industry have contributed to this. Plus an increasingly strong movement to take home production from low-wage countries - a trend that has received extra impetus during the pandemic, when the weakness with excessively long supply chains became apparent.

Software an important success factor

KUKA has also been skilled in developing software for important processes in industry 4.0 and the internet of things, as well as when it comes to working with digital twins and simulation. KUKA´s software KUKA.Sim makes it very quick and easy for a system integrator to build and demonstrate entire production lines in a standard laptop.
- Our various software has been an important success factor for us. According to Joacim Lorentsson, it is mainly in general industry that KUKA Nordic is increasing. He mentions, among other things, the food industry. There, the company's investment in adapted robots, with hygienic oils and surface materials that are easy to clean, has turned out well.
Upward trend for KUKA Nordic, Joacim Lorentsson CEO
KUKA Nordic's market share is also gaining ground in the automotive industry, where they have had a decisive advantage. - When Tesla built its first factory in the US, KUKA was involved from the start. Now that this development has come to Europe in earnest, we have already had time to develop well-proven products. We are very strong in electrification, he says. The Group has also invested in developing a number of different processes and turnkey concepts that the automotive industry needs, for example for friction welding and riveting. - Another trend we are seeing now is that several of our customers have chosen our robots as standard. Gradually, they have begun to form a critical mass, which has benefited continued sales.
KUKA is strong whitin e-mobiltíty

Building system partnerships

For KUKA Nordic's part, their so-called channel management, with a focus on building system partnerships with customers, has been successful. The strategy is about working close to your partners, growing with them and contributing knowledge. Among other things, KUKA Nordic has invested in recurring webinars about the products - in both Swedish and English. There, they go directly into how robots, software, etc. are used, instead of getting caught up in overly detailed technical facts. The webinars are also posted on Youtube and have had a good impact.

3 Questions

How do you manage sales success?
- We have already done that, among other things by hiring a salesman on site in Vilnius. We will also recruit another salesperson in Sweden to strengthen that offer to customers.
What do you see as challenges ahead?
- Decisive factors are to continue to train employees and help to develop customers' skills. Anyone who manages it also succeeds with the sale.
But isn't everything with programming and operation becoming more and more user-friendly anyway?
- Yes, but even if some things get easier, you still have to fully understand how to work with the equipment. It is important to be able to give your customers good support, and that is something we have really invested in.

- In recent years, both sales and market share have increased for KUKA Nordic. - It's gratifying. Several factors speak in our favor in the Nordic market and in the Baltics