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Through Global Uncertainty, Aritco Blazes its own Path

Checking in with Aritco CEO Martin Idbrant

Checking in with CEO Martin Idbrant

Aritco CEO Martin Idbrant looks towards a future with record demands for the company’s residential lifts. This after a tough pandemic year where the scope at times has been aimed no further than the next month. In a series of interviews, Martin talks about how Aritco handles its biggest challenge to date, keys to success, being ahead of the competition, aspects of the operation which cannot be solved digitally, and why coffee machine chats are necessary to build a culture.

The Swedish company sells platforms lifts to 40 different countries, with the UK, China, and the Middle East accounting for the largest sales volumes. The journey started in a living room in Kungsängen outside of Stockholm where the first elevator was built by hand, and today continues in the shape of a global corporation that has gone from being mainly focused on the industrial and utilitarian aspects to considering design as one of its top priorities. In a series of blog posts, we will be checking in with CEO Martin Idbrant after a peculiar year of global pandemic.

Level of Digital Advancement Paves the Way Forward

Aritco management were quick to see that the virus from China named Covid-19 would present a serious situation. The Swedish company namely has offices in both Shanghai and Qingdao. Despite the early warnings, the complex challenges were far from easy to resolve.

“We had no idea how the pandemic would affect various parts of the world and how this in turn would affect business. From March to September of 2020, we barely knew what the next day would bring” Martin says and explains that these conditions were similar for everyone in the industry. “Everyone was fighting the same challenges, but we had an advantage with Aritco’s high level of digital advancement.”

In a global industry that relies heavily on sales via retailers, in-person meetings are normally an essential element. The pandemic made such meetings impossible.

“We are at the top of our industry when it comes to digital advancement and have a plethora of tools available to us which help ensure that our local partners have all the information and support they need to conduct local sales, installation and service. It is harder for a competitor that does not have the digital knowledge or resources, but instead has a highly skilled salesperson who now cannot meet with partners. Here we can exhibit that we are a few steps ahead of the competition. We have been able to provide the same service as before, just digitally.”

Braking and Accelerating Simultaneously

Investments and improvements are usually the cornerstones of Aritco’s operations, Martin explains. With the planning horizon being reduced to no more than a few months, however, focus had to be narrowed down and priorities needed to be shifted. Long-term investments had to be postponed, but not brought to a complete halt.

“Instead of preferably pushing long-term initiatives and projects, we had to adjust our priorities. But you cannot just brake. You need to hit the gas as well. Our focus became finding the balance between long- and short-term initiatives to move the business forward in the long run while maintaining short-term survival.”

Where Digital Solutions Fall Short

Digital advancement has been a key to success for Aritco. Martin points out that the company’s long experience from global cooperation with both partners and colleagues has provided it with good intuitions when it comes to digital cooperation. Nevertheless, there are business aspects which are hard to resolve digitally.

“The biggest issue with not being able to travel is the difficulty of finding new or more partners where we are in need of such. Creating new relationships and building trust requires face-to-face interaction rather than meeting through screens.”

Trends on the Rise

Closed borders and restricted public spaces have caused a drop in demand for Aritco’s public and commercial lift portfolio. However, the residential elevators segment has experienced a big lift.

“People are spending more time in their homes and investing in pools, terraces and other developments. The question is if this trend is temporary. We should also be careful not to ascribe too much to the pandemic. This trend has been ongoing for a while and now just received a push.”

Martin reveals that home lift purchases are at a higher level than ever before. He also believes that there will be a delayed demand for public elevators once societies begin opening up again.

”For public spaces, there are also regulations in many parts of the world which require accessibility adjustments. That’s where Aritco comes in” Martin concludes.

Next Interview: Nurturing a Corporate Culture

Business was made more complicated by Covid-19, but also employee relations. In part two of the interview series, Martin Idbrant shares his philosophy on creating a corporate culture.

Interview series with CEO Martin Idbrant
Read the following two interviews with Martin, click the buttons below

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CN

ARITCO CHINA, SHANGHAI

02-b A102-b Wending Living Style Plaza
No.258 Wending Road
Xuhui District, Shanghai
China

Phone: +86 53266736895
Email: info.china@aritco.com

CN

ARITCO CHINA, QINGDAO

504, No.32 Building, Tian’an Cyber Park
No.88 Chunyang Rd. Qingdao
China

Phone: +86 53266736895
Email: info.china@aritco.com

DE

ARITCO GERMANY

Aritco Deutschland GmbH
Stuttgarter Str.19
725 55 Metzingen
Germany

Phone: +49 7123 9597272
Email: info.germany@aritco.com

SE

ARITCO SWEDEN

Aritco Lift AB
Elektronikhöjden 14
175 43 Järfälla
Sweden

Phone: +46 8 120 401 00
Email: info@aritco.com

UK

ARITCO UK

Prince’s Cottage
8 Cheyne Walk
Northampton
NN1 5PT, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 1604 808809
Email: info.uk@aritco.com

SEA

ARITCO SOUTHEAST ASIA

35/5-7 Comet office building,
Krung Thonburi road, Khlong Ton Sai
Khlong San, Bangkok 10600
Thailand

Phone: +662 291 3245
Email: info.thailand@aritco.com

ESP

ARITCO SPAIN

Avenida de la Constitución 24, nave 10
28821, Coslada
Madrid
Spain

Phone: (+34) 918 622 552
Email: info.spain@aritco.com