More than just a sales-supplier-relationship
20 years have gone by since the first STARCO wheel was mounted on an Aebi vehicle. The relationship has gone from a standard sales-supply relationship to a partnership characterised by joint development of products and continuous improvement of an integrated supply chain. Recently an Aebi delegation visited STARCO’s steel wheel factory in Croatia to develop the relation further – this is one of the many events bringing the two parties closer together.
STARCO, the former Gebr. Schaad, have been a supplier for the Swiss special maintenance machine manufacturer Aebi for decades. Last year STARCO were appointed sole supplier for all basic complete wheels and double wheels for all Aebi’s vehicles.
Recently Mr. Collenberg, Purchasing Director, and Mr. Ahmad, Strategic Purchaser, from Aebi visited STARCO’s steel wheel factory in Croatia for a three day visit. The purpose was to give insight in the production processes, facility and manufacturing approach.
“Our customers only see a complete wheel ready to be mounted on their machines. It’s a pleasure to show them the journey from a flat rectangular piece of steel to a special highly corrosion resistant wheel, ready for the Swiss Alps. It is also great to share the latest news and technical developments with each other and strengthen the
relationship further”, says Stephan Schaer, Managing Director in STARCO Switzerland.
Aebi were founded in 1883 and is today part of The ASH Group, the world’s leading provider of intelligent product systems and services for cleaning and outdoor maintenance. Aebi develop and manufacture various machines for demanding terrain – from hangers to multi-purpose vehicles.
“The visit was important to understand the company, the production possibilities and it was great to get to know a lot of the STARCO team too. I got a clear understanding of the production capabilities, and strengths, which in the end is important on a day to day level in my interactions with STARCO”, says Rafi Ahmad, Strategic Purchaser at Aebi.
Back in November both commercial and technical STARCOnians joined a workshop at Aebi’s Swiss factory manufacturing machines for maintenance of green spaces in demanding terrain. Eighty percent of the time was spent on the shop floor where Aebi proudly provided insight and hands-on experience with various Aebi applications to both technical and commercial specialists from STARCO.
“We learned about special features of each vehicle and gained insight in various process steps from design to shipment and quality. When we understand this, we understand Aebi’s requirements for future developments much better. This helps us hit the bull’s eye much faster”, explains Sven Holmes, Segment Director for Specialised Vehicles and National Distributors at STARCO.
STARCO have supplied all dual wheels and the patented mounting system for many years, and since January 2016 they have been sole supplier on all wheels and tyres for Aebi with daily, just-in-time deliveries directly into the assembly sites. Before entering 2017 the two parties signed a long term contract.
“We had a rocky start, however looking at the present situation I can say that we are in a position where STARCO is really looking proactively at what we do, and being an effective supplier of wheels and tyres”, states Ahmad and continues:
“The key to this is a few factors such as a good supply organisation, wheel and tyre expertise, and the people that make sure our demand is covered as well as possible. As a 100% supplier Aebi is totally reliant on the service of STARCO for a key item for our vehicles. As such there is automatically the need for close cooperation, and trust in ensuring timely supply”.
In 2015, STARCO moved its specialised wheel manufacturing from a small factory in Switzerland, to its ISO 9001-certified Croatian manufacturing centre in Beli Manastir. This is to generate more capacity and benefit from a larger manufacturing site. STARCO excel in low volume production and fast changeovers in the production lines. Which fits Aebi’s needs well.
“The tender Aebi did when we became sole supplier, proved that they really see the value of working with the manufacturer instead of a supplier for rims and one for tyres”, explains Sven Holmes and continues: “I do not see any competitor offering the same solutions and supply setup as we do and we really enjoy working with Aebi, because we have a very constructive dialogue helping us improve together”.
STARCO experience a growing demand from manufacturers of specialised vehicles, because the company is extremely specialised and unique when it comes to clever wheel and tyre solutions in this niche.
Founded in 1883, AEBI develops machines for maintenance of green spaces in demanding terrain – from hangers to multi-purpose vehicles. They manufacture with Swiss precision and the products are perfectly adapted to the requirements of every slope.
AEBI is a part of The ASH Group which is the world’s leading provider of intelligent product systems and services for the cleaning and clearing of traffic surfaces as well as the maintenance of green spaces in demanding terrain.
Sarah Møller Lundberg
Group Communications Manager
Senior Sales Manager, Utility & Ground Care Vehicles
+33 787 081 418
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