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Industry testimony - Aebi Schmidt relies on flexibility in crises

In light of the current times of crisis, the Swiss industrial group Aebi Schmidt has accelerated its decision-making processes.

Aebi Schmidt's Response to Current Crises

In light of the current times of crisis, the Swiss industrial group Aebi Schmidt has accelerated its decision-making processes. At the Coface Country Risk Conference, Aebi Schmidt manager Stefan Kaltenbach explained his crisis management strategy.

The vehicle manufacturer Aebi Schmidt, headquartered in Frauenfeld, is affected in many ways by the current crises. This was the view emphasized by Stefan Kaltenbach at this year's Country Risk Conference in Zurich, organized by Coface. Kaltenbach is Head Supply Chain Management & Procurement at the Aebi Schmidt Group, which has offices in 16 countries. The company is a global leader in intelligent solutions for customers who care for clean and safe infrastructure and cultivate challenging grounds, represented in more than 90 countries worldwide. Its focus is on solutions for clean and safe traffic zones and the management of challenging terrain, such as airports.


Challenges and Adaptations in Crisis Management

Missing parts make production more difficult, according to Kaltenbach. Due to the corona pandemic situation, among others, the supply of electronic components such as chips got out of control. Commodity prices, which have risen not least because of the war in Ukraine, are also a cause for concern. "For example, the jump in the price of nickel by around 150 per cent is the craziest thing I've ever experienced," said Kaltenbach. He also addressed the highly volatile freight prices. Other risks for the company arise from a tense situation in the skilled labor market and the increasing risk of insolvencies for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Kaltenbach explained that Aebi Schmidt has introduced faster decision-making processes to navigate through the times of crisis. "The company's executive team is meeting every Friday to exchange ideas and to react to new developments as quickly as possible," he said, adding that it is important that all decision-makers have the necessary information. For example, if the situation in a country becomes problematic, the options must immediately be carefully weighed up. Kaltenbach advocated always to be open about developments such as delivery bottlenecks, postponements or possible price changes.

Stefan Kaltenbach sees signs of a slow relaxation in various aspects, such as logistics disruptions or increases in raw material prices. He continues to be concerned by the shortage of skilled workers, the overall geopolitical situation and the impending recession.