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July 2019 Automation Hero: Stefan Marklund Häger of AMAB Hydraul

Automation Hero: Stefan Marklund Häger
Title: IT Manager
Company: AMAB Hydraul

Congratulations on the award, Stefan! Could you please tell me a little about AMAB Hydraul and the work you do?
I started as IT Manager at AMAB Hydraul in 2015. It’s a family-owned company, and we’ve experienced rapid growth in the 4 years I’ve been there. AMAB Hydraul is based in Sweden and distribute hydraulic components.

What was the “red flag” that made you realize it was time for a change?
Our company has been growing, but we also were carrying far too much stock and it was cutting into our profits. Our stock value was far too high and 30% of our inventory was obsolete products. So not only did we have capital tied up in purchasing the items, but we were also having to store them without a way of selling these obsolete items. I started pulling these reports showing how much money we had tied up in obsolete stock; I finally decided to address it myself.

I started asking around my network about how others are handling this kind of inventory struggle and one of my contacts recommended EazyStock. It was perfect since we use Jeeves ERP and they are partners with EazyStock.

How has work at AMAB Hydraul changed since you added EazyStock?
I’m spending much less time pulling reports and answering questions about our stock value. It’s freed up quite a bit of my time. Plus it has greatly helped our Purchaser. Instead of spending the whole day combing through lists and trying to determine what to order, now he spends 20 minutes in the morning putting in all the orders for suppliers. Then he has the rest of the day to focus on our prices and contacting suppliers to check order status – basically, now he gets to perform more value-adding tasks for the supply chain.

How has automation with EazyStock helped AMAB Hydraul?
We started ‘soft-testing’ EazyStock in late 2018 and went fully live in January of 2019. We’ve managed to reduce our inventory levels, including the amount of obsolete stock we were carrying. Our success has caused other companies and branches to reach out and ask “How did you do it?”

Do you use any other automation at AMAB Hydraul?
We use a custom-built PDF order reader that scans purchase orders directly into our system. We also have an eCommerce platform in place. And automated vertical storage lift modules, which streamline our picking process with plans for more.

So you have automation throughout your supply chain process?
Yes! Sweden especially risks the danger of having customers source from cheaper parts of Europe so we need to remain competitive. One of the best ways for that to happen is to ensure high customer service levels and speedy delivery with automation. We have to be more efficient, we have to be better. Embracing machines and machine learning is a necessity to remain relevant in coming years.

Thank you for your insight, Stefan!

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