A Look At… Swedish warewashing company, Wexiödisk

22/12/2017 - 08:35
As the largest dishwasher supplier in Scandinavia, Swedish company Wexiödisk dominates with a 50% market share – increasing to 65% in its native country – which has seen the company supply over 6,500 machines over the past 12 months, and generate a turnover of €36.4 million (£32.2m) for the year ending August 2017, as told by Katie Imms .

Since it was founded in 1972, the company has undergone many a transformation - starting out with “an ambition to offer a really good range of quality machines,” which it succeeded in. It was subsequently acquired by the Ali Group in 2004 as part of its ambitious growth plan.

Despite this, Wexiödisk has fought to maintain its own identity and strong ethos throughout, which is built on its company tag line: ‘Swedish Brilliance.’

Reflecting the Scandinavian mentality of ‘the simpler, the better,’ managing director Magnus Titusson explains: “Wexiödisk machines aren’t complicated – they’re simple and easy to use but work incredibly well.”

To prove it, I was invited to Wexiödisk’s hometown, Växjö (South Sweden) to visit the company’s 11,000 sq m factory and see some of the machinery in use. With the entire production handcrafted by its 170-strong workforce, the company prides itself on quality and technicality, and draws attention to the fact that it is a ‘relatively small company’ holding its own against global conglomerates such as Winterhalter and Hobart.

Counting Ikea, Växjö Hospital and the Michelin-starred restaurant and hotel group, PM & Vänner as clients, Wexiödisk supplies its complete dishwashing solutions to a cross section of industries across Europe and the world, with its customer base ‘varying from country to country’ according to sales and marketing manager, Henrik Florentzson. Although the majority of orders do come from Sweden, there is global demand for Wexiödisk products in restaurants, hotels and bars; hospitals, schools and company staff kitchens, as well as military plants and flight kitchens – TFK Corporation, Narita airport (Tokyo) being one of its biggest clients.

Although ‘result and reliability’ - defined by Titusson as ‘the promise to sell safety and wash dishes properly’ - will always be key, Wexiödisk is keen to expand globally and within the market, but is cautious about its approach. Not wanting to ‘promise something it can’t deliver,’ Titusson asks: “How do we (Wexiödisk) use our status to develop and build gradually while continuing to fulfil new business promises and current supply?”

One answer it’s toying with is better marketing – specifically for its patented Pre-Rinse Machine (PRM). The ‘biggest launch for the company to-date,’ the machine uses recycled water from the dishwasher to rinse dishes and replace the manual overhead sprayer – ‘significantly reducing the total running cost,’ time, water and chemical consumption as well as preventing wet floors and the chance of repetitive strain injuries. Having hit the UK market in 2004, the company understands that this is not a new development but, with no ‘real’ competition and sure of its capabilities, it ‘wants to focus on better marketing PRM as it’s a massive USP.’

Vida Arena, home to Växjö Lakers ice hockey team, is just one company to use a PRM. Added to its rack conveyor dishwasher - the only warewashing system on-site - it needs just one kitchen porter to load and unload the wash, which ensures a smooth operation even though caterers are serving up to 5,700 fans in the stadium.

Växjö hospital, on the other hand, relies on its estimated €350,00 installation to wash ware for the 2,000 dishes it serves each day. Installed in 2005/6, the system comprises a rack belt, trolley washer and flight-type (which it uses the most) to clean each course’s dishes in just one hour, operating daily from 7am-7pm.

With a life expectancy of up to 25 years, the equipment is a testament to the attention to detail that goes into each machine – from the preliminary market research to the craftsmanship and final testing carried out on each and every product before it leaves the factory. While the company admits ‘Wexiödisk may not be the cheapest tin on the shelf,’ it is ‘proud to say that it is one of the top for quality and performance,’ which will no doubt help its attempt at cracking the global warewashing market.

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