“Future development in the conveyor belt industry will be driven by customer needs”

Habasit has a network of selected resellers and partners – Habasit partners - providing local service and deliveries of Habasit conveyor and power transmission belts. Bandtec is one of these forward-looking companies.

Dick Jonsson established Bandtec with his father at the start of the nineties. A lot has happened since then, but the company’s focus on knowledge, training and customer needs persists to this day. Asked to predict the future, Dick thinks that customers will get more of a say on the market and what is being produced.

Hello Dick. Bandtec supplies conveyor and power transmission belts. However, you also describe yourself as a customer-focused supplier. What does that mean?
It means that we offer the customer fast and reliable deliveries and a high level of service. We build our customer relationships for the long term, on the basis of stable cooperation. We offer advice, training, products and solutions. We can also provide tailored solutions and turnkey solutions from the initial concept to the finished installation on site. We have detailed knowledge of various materials and a wealth of experience. We have a large warehouse here in Kalmar, and we also offer technical support, sales and service.

You mentioned tailored solutions. Can you give us an example?
So for example we make special overpressure belts and feed belts for the timber industry. We developed our own unique product based on Habasit products that we adapted to meet customer requirements. We also make plates with special coatings for woodworking machines.

Outside the solid wood industry, what industries do your customers come from?
We have customers from many different sectors: sawmills, furniture, flooring, food and drink, packaging, machinery.

Bandtec was established in 1994 in Kalmar. How did it all start?
The company was set up by my father and me. My father had been running a business on his own, and I had a background in technical maintenance and service, having worked as a service technician in industry for almost ten years. I came across Habasit products from work I’d done in the past. So with our different but complementary experience in the sector, it felt right for us to join forces. We launched Bandtec in 1994.

What is it that makes Habasit such a good fit?
They have an extensive manufacturing program so they are able to offer a comprehensive range of products. We can then use this as a basis, adjusting our offering to meet customer needs. When customers approach us, they are looking for a specific solution or product. Habasit supplies us with conveyor belts, modular belts and CleanDRIVE®. These three product groups can all do the same job, but one of them will be a perfect fit for a particular customer.

How important is it to attend to customer needs?
It’s crucial. We work very closely with our customers, and they usually get in touch when they have a problem they want to solve. Because we are so close geographically, we can visit customers to ask them detailed questions and see for ourselves what is required, before returning to evaluate the options and propose a solution. It is important never to forget about customer value. It is our job to come up with the technical solution, but how, when and where it is implemented is up to the customer.

You also help with installation and service on the customer’s premises. How does that work?
Yes, for larger-size belts, we often send our service personnel. But some customers prefer to handle installation themselves. They don’t all have the expertise required so they may need training, which we can offer. Customization is important, too. The food and drink industry have certain requirements, but the environments and requirements in the manufacturing and timber industries are very different in terms of materials and training.

What kinds of training do you offer?
We offer practical as well as theoretical training, and regularly welcome visiting customers. These could be maintenance and repair personnel, or someone from the technical department or sales wanting to know more or find out what’s new. We provide training about new products, splicing techniques, joining methods, maintenance to extend service life and conveyor belt management. I think it’s important for customers to know all about the products they are buying. If we sell a conveyor belt to a customer wanting to install it in-house, and the installation is a success thanks to the training we gave them, then the customer will be satisfied with the solution as a whole. The more knowledge a customer has about our products, the easier it will be for them to use them and to feel happy with the result.

Quality and the environment are also important to you. What are your activities in this area?
We are FR2000, ISO9000 & ISO14000 certified. That means we handle issues around quality and the environment in a way that has been specially designed for a manufacturing company with up to around 30 employees. We examine processes in detail and safeguard them. As far as the environment is concerned, we do everything from coordinating deliveries to minimise the number of shipments, to creating a healthy work environment with personnel who know how to handle substances like adhesives for example. We also make sure we sort our waste and sell only materials that have been produced in an environmentally friendly way.

For you, what is the most important part of the relationship with a supplier?
Having a long-term view and a common agenda on how to work together. High quality and reliable deliveries are important to us. We can only meet our obligations to our customers in the local area if our suppliers meet their obligations too. Many of them offer high quality products and process for the short term, but it is important to ensure quality over the long term and to build relationships that last for years.

How do you think the partnership with Habasit has worked over the years?
We’ve been collaborating with Habasit since day one, and I think our partnership is working extremely well. We are convinced that Habasit is the right choice for us.

Looking forward, what do you think the conveyor belt sector will look like in ten years?
In my view, customers will have a greater say on what is produced in the future. We’re getting better at listening to customer needs, and the result is new, smart products that are easier for customers to use. I think that Habasit can be at the forefront.

What part will Bandtec play, do you think?
Because development will largely be based on customer needs, it will be our role to listen out for those needs. Customer-facing companies like us need to gather information, find out about requirements and wishes, and convert this into new products and services. I think that’s what the future will be.

You might have something there, Dick. Time will tell. Thanks for the chat!

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