DANIEL Sjödin, managing director and owner of Quality Construction Equipment Ltd (QCE) has spent his life in the construction industry.
A former machine operator, Daniel has worked in business development, set up a sales service organisation and been involved in tiltrotator manufacturing in Australia.
He has his own construction company in his home country of Sweden. And now, he is focusing on supplying customers with top quality heavy machinery equipment including tiltrotators, quick couplers and excavator buckets. Daniel explained, “QCE is a company that specialise in finding the right equipment because we know what suppliers to trust, where the quality is and where you get the most out of your money. For a young entrepreneur, or a contractor, he needs a tiltrotator, he needs a cable plough, or needs a special sort of bucket. You start doing your research on the Internet and you spend time making phone calls, asking prices, asking your network, your colleagues, what is the best product? We actually specialise in finding those products for the contractors and the rental firms.
“We work closely with SMP in Scandinavia. We are the main importer of SMP products into the UK and The Republic of Ireland.”
When asked why SMP products form the core of the QCE range, Daniel, who set up QCE with colleague Caroline Sigge, said, “First of all, the quality is there. It’s a very robust unit with very high quality. I find them the most robust and well-built unit, and they offer a two-year warranty on the tiltrotator.
“We’re looking at the product range and are launching new models and new control systems. We will be more precise toward the market and make sure that we meet the demand our customers have. What they want, that’s what we’re going to sell.
“So, it’s a company that is stepping up the game, definitely.”
Daniel described the transition from being a contractor to focusing on selling equipment as “extremely interesting”, before going on to highlight the differences between the UK market and the typical Scandinavian setup,.
“A typical contractor in Sweden is smaller than the average contractor in the UK. The rental market is nowhere near what it is like here, you would hardly find any non-operated plants in Scandinavia. I would say 90% is operated; you bring in a machine and an operator.
“So, what we have been struggling with, and this is still a big challenge for us, is to implement our technology with the big rental fleets because it’s a completely different game if you do your own job or you’re just sending out a machine.
“But, at the same time, I think that’s why we have been more successful in Scotland than we’ve been in other parts of the UK. You have more plant owners that are active in the business, they are behind the joysticks every now and then, and smaller firms do their own jobs, which is good.”
Speaking on the company’s presence in Scotland, Daniel said, “I’ve spent some time in the Central Belt; if we go back to when we were starting to sell the tiltrotator concept, we were very successful in Scotland. I’ve met with a potential service partner that will look after the customers in the area with spare parts, service and installations, etc.
“It’s important that you get someone that’s neutral and can work together with all contractors, so you have to have quite the wide spectrum of knowledge.”
Daniel is passionate about his business, and this comes across strongly when he is asked about his personal highlights in the industry. “One of the most important things, and the thing that drives me, is customer satisfaction,” he said. “When I see a customer that’s happy with whatever I sold them, and they say ‘It took you two years to convince me, but when you finally did, I wish you’d done it before!’
“There have been a number of customers that actually said to me ‘you should have been here five years ago!’
“Sometimes, it takes a lot of effort and time to change the mindset because a tiltrotator makes the machine so much more versatile and you don’t realise that until it’s there. It has its initial cost but the return of the investment is there within two or three years.”
Looking ahead, Daniel has plans to expand QCE in the UK. “We will spend more time here, we will put some people on the road here in the UK but this will be in conjunction with finding a partner to work together with. So, it could be a fitter that is also allowed to do sales, or someone that understands the technicalities in it because for me, that’s important.
“That’s why I sell a product that I’m confortable with. There are just too many companies out there selling a product just to get someone to sign the cheque”, he explained.
“We are passionate about the product, we know that it works, we know its quality and we have the right price level. I just want people to keep their eyes open because we’re going to launch some really interesting attachments and systems.
“15 years ago, there weren’t a lot of phone calls and not a lot of orders, but now, people are asking all the right questions.”