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Sourcing in China helps Hardface prepare for business expansion

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Engineering firm Hardface AB provides a wide range of heavy-duty resilient materials, consultancy and training for Swedish industries such as mining, cement and mineral for applications where high demands are placed on durability. With the help of Business Sweden, Hardface managed to expand its network of suppliers in China.

In one week Hardface managed to meet 9 companies across 4 differents provinces.

“We are very happy with the results of this project. We would not have been able to navigate and select qualified suppliers by ourselves given the large number of manufacturers in China”, as commented by the client after the visiting program.

Hardface AB is specialized in abrasion materials in cooperation with SSAB Hardox Wearparts Network. Hardface provides consultancy, training, solutions and a wide portfolio of abrasion resistant materials to improve maintenance and reduce all types of mechanical wear. Together with the customer, Hardface develops solutions that reduce costs in production processes by increasing the life of abrasive resistant surfaces and reducing cost of maintenance. In this way, Hardface contributes to increased profitability and competitiveness of the Swedish industry.

Hardface provides a wide range of products, and is thus reliant on a versatile supply of different goods. While Chinese suppliers are competitive in price, they may not be able to deliver consistent high quality nor the necessary diversity of supplies. In addition, the culture and language barrier was also a challenge. Foreseeing a growth trend for its business in China, it became crucial for Hardface to establish a network of suppliers promptly.

“An order from China normally takes several months and sometimes the manufacturer may already be occupied and have to postpone our order. We need to find more suppliers to ensure timely delivery. We trust Business Sweden as you have the local knowledge and the proven framework to systematically evaluate and rank suppliers.”

Six months after the project was finished Hardface has tested sample orders with several suppliers. “We are very happy with the results and we think we have made the right choice to ask help from Business Sweden. It would be nearly impossible for ourselves to find the suppliers within such a short time frame”, says Mats Björkgren, co-founder of Hardface AB.