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Already 16 years ago, when Sven-Erik had his first meeting with Axelent, speed was well established in the company. The job interview was done on Monday and already on Wednesday morning Svalle, as he is called, stepped inside the warehouse doors.
Through a job advertisement in the local newspaper, the former hockey player Svalle got in contact with Axelent. He came from a career as a salesman at a wholesale company in the profile product industry.
- During this time, much changed in this industry. Before that, wholesalers bought licenses to be able to make tracksuits. But around the years 2002-2003, the borders to Asia were opened and it was easier for consumers to buy directly from the producer.
Then it was difficult for us working within sales to feel motivated because we were not able to compete with them regarding prices.
Today when he sits here at Hillerstorp headquarters it has been 16 years since that moment. Svalle changed work title a couple of times over the years and also got to follow Axelent's journey from a small family business to being a global market leader.
You are what we call a good ambassador for our “Grow with us”. What has your career journey been like at Axelent?
- I started as a warehouse worker and picked orders for about 6 months. Then Axelent needed to hire someone who should be responsible for purchasing the products held in stock. I applied for the job and got it. A job I really enjoyed! Having daily contact with our local suppliers, planning materials so that the customer got them at the right time and the internal contact with both customer support and warehouse staff suited me perfectly. So for about six years I was in that position.
In 2009, Axelent expanded their product portfolio with safety components purchased from Germany. The company decided they needed a salesperson would should be responsible for ensuring that these products were marketed in the Swedish market and an internal recruitment was initiated.
The management had a meeting and Svalle’s name came up because he had great knowledge about Axelent's own manufactured products and how to add the new products with the existing ones. He was a very promising candidate and was asked.
- I'm never late to take a challenge and accepted, says Svalle with a smile. The job was initially only focused on the new products, which today goes under the brand X-Tra, but was quickly developed to include all Axelent's products. At that time we were two salespersons for Sweden, Norway and Finland. Today we are five who works with the Scandinavian customers, where I am responsible for the east part of Sweden.
How does Axelent stand out as a workplace? What has made you stay so long?
- If you have found a workplace and an employer that is both pushing forward, makes you feel safe and stable, you are happy to stay. I like the family feeling and that there are short decision paths. The management has always believed in own responsibility and to learn through the mistakes you make and that makes you grow as an employee.
How would you describe an ordinary day at work?
- Oh, that’s not easy. No days are the same. I think it is quite common here and most people would describe their jobs at Axelent like this. You never know what the working day will bring, so it is just to sit behind the wheel and press the accelerator pedal, he says and laughs. Planning meetings, preparing presentations, negotiating agreements, reviewing products and looking at different customer cases is a daily occurrence for me.
What do you like most about your job?
- When a customer contacts us for a safety analysis. The physical contact with the customer and to carefully go through what needs or problems the company may have or problems that may arise. Together with the customer, we then set up a plan for what needs to be done and what stages the project should be planned for. It is then my job to give customer support, which has not been at site, a clear picture of the project and the need from the customer so that the process is as smooth as possible. Being close to the customer has always been important to me and that we quickly submit a quotation and a planned delivery date.
What is most challenging for you in your job?
- Since most business today is done on relations, I would say that it is to build customer relationships. Many people do not stay as long at a company as they did before and it can be difficult to find the right contact as our target group of Swedish companies has gone from small to large companies.
What characterizes a typical Axelentare?
- Then you are flexible and driven. You are excessive and show that you want to learn and develop. You are proud of your company and are happy to be an ambassador for the brand and its values. It’s a winning concept for all of us!
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