The Swedish company, Dasa Control Systems AB, offers advanced solutions for control, information management and communication systems for heavy vehicles and equipment, along with computerized bucking systems for industrial forest har-vesting. The company has its own R&D department, along with own manufactur-ing in Växjö. In recent years, its offering has been expanded to include certain modules and components from selected partners, which are combined with Dasa’s own prod-ucts in effective system solutions for cus-tomers.“Dasa started out providing a computer- based control system (a bucking computer for a forestry vehicle), which was commis-sioned by an entrepreneur for use in single grip harvesters. Then, in the early 1990s, the control and measuring systems for single- grip harvesters were integrated,” explains Per-Olof Bergqvist, who was recruited to the position of Managing Director for the com-pany in 2015.
Smart solutions for heavy vehicles
“Since then, the company has grown, add-ing new customer segments and geo-graphic markets. Its annual sales are cur-rently around SEK 75 million and it has 30 employees. Our customers now also include manufacturers of construction equipment, trucks and buses. Furthermore, we offer a cloud-based communication solution whereby you can remotely monitor vehicles and machinery to see where they are, what they’re doing and their status/maintenance needs. Error codes are recorded and soft-ware service/updates can be done remotely. You can also gather information to ensure that service technicians who are sent out for maintenance always have the right tools with them,” says Per-Olof.
Close relationships with customers
Around 35 percent of the company’s sales are derived from exports and Dasa has cus-tomers all over the world, but primarily in North America, New Zealand and Finland.“We’re just a small player in the forestry machinery market, which is dominated by three multinational companies. Neverthe-less, we’re on the cutting edge when it comes to both expertise and innovation. We’re flexible and quick. We also have very close, strong relationships with our custom-ers. Because of that, we thoroughly under-stand them and can quickly adapt to each customer’s specific needs. It's how we turn our small size into a major strength and competitive advantage,” says Per-Olof. “Having a strong, long-term owner like Indutrade is definitely an advantage when it comes to customer relations. There’s no doubt that we’re a stable company with access to both expertise and financial resources. Having such a solid, visible owner is also an advantage when recruiting new employees,” says Per-Olof.
“As part of Indutrade, we benefit from being able to exchange knowledge and expertise with our fellow subsidiaries. Important net-working goes on at the annual conference for Managing Directors, all of whom are eager and enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge. Other companies in the Group can also serve as role models. Maybe they've faced and conquered similar challenges that we’re facing. We can benefit from their experiences and how they solved particular situations. It inspires us and helps us come up with creative solutions. It also helps us avoid making similar mistakes,” says Per-Olof. However, he thinks that the exchange of knowledge and expertise between Indutrade subsidiaries could be even better. “I know that there are many initiatives in place to facilitate even more networking within the Group, which is great! One way is by participating on each other’s Boards of Directors, which is something Indutrade has been doing for quite some time.”
Growth via acquisition
“Sure, Dasa could have grown without Indutrade, but certainly not at the same rate, nor with the same level of profitability. Indutrade is an industrial owner and devel-oper. As such, it can offer us the support we require. It can put demands on us, coach, and inspire. They understand our business and provide us with a clear direction, where the focus is on customers, growth and earn-ings. Yes, they push us. But there’s abso-lutely nothing wrong with that!” says Per-Olof. “The next step in our development is to grow via acquisition. Indutrade will support us in those efforts. We, however, will take the initiative and are responsible for identi-fying suitable acquisition candidates. Indutrade will assist us with processes, legal issues and financing. Acquiring companies is Indutrade’s core business, so their expertise is invaluable to us. My long-term vision is for Dasa to be known primarily as a firm of experts in creat-ing optimal solutions. Currently, around 15 percent of our sales is derived from software. I want to increase that share. Knowledge and expertise in application development and system integration is what makes us unique”, Per-Olof concludes.