The customer base is large and fragmented. In many cases, even relatively large customers handle their purchases in a decentralised way. Most customers tend to purchase from several product categories, often in small quantities, which makes the distributor's role particularly important. Our value proposition is suitable for both large and small customers. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) account for approximately 45% of our net sales, and our ten largest customers represent approximately 6% of the total amount. The rest of the volume is generated by major customers within installation, industry, facility management and construction, and services-related activities.
For SME customers, rapid delivery, quality of the offering and service, a social purchasing environment, and prices are key drivers of the purchase decision. Meeting these criteria requires a broad and deep range, a local presence, and professional and experienced personnel. SME customers typically place 60-70% of their purchases with their main distributor, and only one in five customers has changed their main distributor during the last five years, which confirms customers’ loyalty.
Installation – includes installers within plumbing, electrical and ventilation. They mainly purchase products in the HVAC & Plumbing and Electrical product segments. Customers range from small local companies to multinational installers and are usually multi-segment buyers.
Industry – are customers active in a number of different sectors that include, but are not limited to, manufacturing. In terms of customer size, the segment ranges from small local companies to multinational corporations. For major industrial customers, Ahlsell's deliveries normally constitute only a small proportion of the total purchase, but the consolidation of a number of products in small quantities to fewer orders is valued. The customers are usually multi-segment buyers, even though their purchases are mainly in the Tools & Supplies product segment.
Construction – comprises both major construction companies and small building firms. Major customers often work with subcontractors at the installation stage. Customers mainly purchase products from the Tools & Supplies segment, but are also multi-segment purchasers.
Infrastructure – comprises state, municipal and private customers involved in major projects, such as “Förbifart Stockholm” (the new Stockholm bypass), renovation of the electricity grid equipment and fibre cable installations. These customers mainly purchase products within sewerage and electrical, but are also multi-segment purchasers.
Other – examples are facility management, cleaning companies and agribusiness.
Expansion to new customer segments and sub-segments, both organically and through acquisitions, is an important driver of further growth.