Last year, ALLU opened its new Chinese manufacturing and operating facility in Kunshan, near Shanghai in eastern China, giving the company a firm platform to grow its commercial offer in the world’s biggest off-highway equipment and building materials market.
ALLU’s big trading push in the US is being made from its base in New Brunswick, New Jersey state. The company will have a strong presence at CONEXPO/CON-AGG 2023 in Las Vegas (14-18 March), including the launch of a new screener bucket well suited to quarrying applications.
A busy 2023 exhibition showcase schedule will also see ALLU making its steinexpo debut during the 11th staging of the major construction materials industry exhibition in Homberg/Nieder-Ofleiden, Germany (23-26 August). The company will also showcase its product range at SIM 2023 in Bordeaux, France (4-6 October).
Offering a diverse range of hydraulic screener crusher and crusher bucket attachments for 1-200-tonne excavators, ALLU has long been renowned among quarrying, mining, construction and recycling customers for its Transformer hydraulic screener crusher bucket attachment range. This includes the now fourth-generation Transformer D Series, well suited to small- to medium-sized quarrying, construction and recycling applications, and the Transformer M Series for 50+ tonne excavators, popular among large quarry and mining customers. At its new Kunshan facility, ALLU recently started production of Transformer DC Series hydraulic screener crusher bucket attachments for Chinese customers. Meanwhile, ALLU’s Crusher hydraulic bucket attachment, suited to various applications in industries including quarrying and construction, also continues to sell well.
After a November 2022 tour of ALLU’s state-of-the-art product assembly and testing centre at the company’s HQ site near Lahti, led by factory manager Tero Saarikangas and head of ALLU projects, Frederick Dromberg, Aggregates Business heard how ALLU is investing heavily in a 2022-launched global dealer management programme. The programme is being significantly ramped up in 2023 as a key part of the company’s global growth plan.
Jeroen Hinnen, ALLU’s global vice president of sales since January 2018, says that while ALLU sees its biggest sales growth coming from the US and China, Europe remains a vital market for the company, accounting for over half of its sales (including 5% direct sales to Finnish customers). The US currently represents around 20% of ALLU sales, with China and the rest of the world generating the remaining 20%.
ALLU has dealer sales teams in Finland, Sweden, France, Germany, China, the US, Indonesia, and Australia, who all report to Hinnen. While he notes that 80% of ALLU’s Germany sales in 2022 were secured by major national equipment dealerships, Hinnen says dealers generally account for two-thirds of ALLU’s annual product sales. He stresses that ALLU tends to directly supply key account customers.
Stepping up ALLU’s global dealer management programme this year will, says Hinnen, lead to an even better understanding of frontline customer and dealer needs, further increase sales, and, effectively, “shut the door to the competition” in their attempts to partner with the best dealers.
“Every geographical area has its high runners on sales, so we need to be able to adapt to that,” explains Hinnen. “In Germany, we sell many more of our medium-sized bucket attachments. In the US, it was mainly large, and now it’s also more small and medium buckets because of the change in the project pipeline business. The Transformer DC Series buckets for China are Transformer D Series models adapted to the Chinese market. They have been very well received. We have hired two new China salespeople to further cover the vast part of the country. Understanding the differentiation in the various geographical locations in a market is key. Our Kunshan facility handles final bucket attachment assembly as we do in Finland, with the buckets for Chinese customers all manufactured in China.”
Focusing on ALLU’s approach to product research and development, Hinnen says: “We have a strategy that says we need to come up with new features or new products every year. It has been like that for years and is part of our ethos of being ‘One Step Ahead’. We achieved that in 2022 and will do it again in 2023.”
Hinnen says ALLU has seen big growth over the last two to three years in its sales linked to material recycling applications, with material recycling-based business expected to grow “much more” in the coming years. ALLU remains a family-run company whose owners are, says Hinnen, very sustainability-minded. ALLU’s building management system is regularly updated to accommodate new green goals, and the bulk of the firm’s product-linked suppliers are also within near range of the company’s HQ, lowering ALLU’s production carbon footprint.
Before Aggregates Business left ALLU, we spoke to Ilpo Ellonen, the company’s longtime Finland areas sales manager, to get the lowdown on home market trends. Ellonen says ALLU has seen growth in its Finnish rental market business, with screnner crusher and crusher buckets suiting 20-30-tonne excavators proving the most popular among customers involved in quarrying and gravel screening work.
“We have sold more than 1,500 buckets to Finnish customers since the company started [in 1985],” says Ellonen. “We have many old and new customers, and our products are used in many big roadbuilding and maintenance works in Finland. The unit rental market here is also increasing rapidly.”