Those of us running Alflow have always been entrepreneurial and as part of Indutrade, we still can be.

Jens Martin Andersen

MD Alflow

Alflow – a technical trading company that adds value

Danish company Alflow specialises in optimising the flow processes of its customers. Alongside its flow products, Alflow is a technical trading company that always seeks to add value to what it delivers – via problem-solving, support, and advice that gives its customers that little extra.

Helping customers optimise their process flows and technical applications – meaning higher yields from a process or fewer standstills in production – is the core of Alflow’s operation. The company’s flow equipment – everything from pumps and valves to hoses and tank equipment – are used in the pharma, biotech, and food industries. Pharma is the primary segment, and customers are mainly in Denmark as well as the other Nordic countries.

“We want to be a distributor that can always add some extra value to the products we deliver. By that, I mean we dare to think differently and go further than our competitors in supporting our customers. Helping with problem-solving, for example, or advice, or another type of support that lets them feel they are in safe hands,” says Jens Martin Andersen, MD of Alflow.

In an industry like the pharma industry, the requirements for documentation and quality control regarding equipment and components are extensive. For one of its customers – a major Danish company – Alflow also manages much of this work. It’s a step that simplifies the customer’s own administration, and thus adds extra value to the partnership.

more efficient customer processes

Even in its routine work with flow processes, Alflow seeks to advance its position and make improvements for its customers. One such example concerns the heat treatment of food, where a few years ago a new and more efficient process for heating cheese was developed. With Alflow’s support, the customer’s production time could be shortened while the energy consumption of the process decreased. This treatment can be applied to several types of food products.

“Together with our flow equipment suppliers, we are also expanding our offering within pharmaceutical manufacturing through investments in our own clean room. A clean room is an area with extreme hygiene requirements where we assemble applications and produce prototypes for this industry.”

Another area of investment is the ongoing expansion of the facility in Jutland, where the company is preparing office space to accommodate another 20 colleagues. The increased demand, from the pharma and food industry, paved the way for this expansion.

attractive business model

Jens Martin stresses that in the initiatives being carried out, being a part of Indutrade means being secure. Alflow joined the Group in 2021. Jens Martin and the other owners had a clear strategic vision that Alflow should be developed to become an attractive acquisition candidate for potential buyers.

“Selling to Indutrade was a natural step, especially since none of us had family members who could take over Alflow in the long term.”

Alflow was courted by several buyers, but the choice fell to Indutrade. A key reason for this is Indutrade’s business model.

“Those of us running Alflow have always been entrepreneurial and as part of Indutrade, we still can be,” explains Jens Martin Andersen, MD of Alflow.

“It’s business as usual, in other words. The difference is, that we have access to more expertise and financial resources than we did before.”

Much of the knowledge sharing and support comes during the cluster meetings held for the Flow Technology business area, which Alflow is a part of. Short, quick decision paths is another thing that Jens Martin likes about Indutrade. As a MD, he is involved in a way that enables him to grow and develop.

“I like that those of us working in the companies are recognised in a good way. Indutrade listens to us and they are skilled at capturing good ideas in the dialogue between us.”

sustainable process optimisation

As part of the expansion in pharma and biotech, Alflow is also growing in the area of single -use products. Like the operation as a whole, it is an issue of optimising processes, but here the solu ­ tions build on products that are used only once. The customers are companies where the require ­ ments for hygiene and safety are extremely stringent.

“The fact is that our single-use products can reduce the burden on the environment,” Jens Martin says.

“For the customer, the alternative to single-use products is cleaning and sterilising equipment and products on a regular basis. Not only would powerful chemicals be used, but the cleaning and sterilisation processes are also energy intensive. That is why our production method is not less sustainable.”

Alflow is also engaged in reducing its own environmental footprint. Heat pumps were recently installed at the company’s facility, enabling the old gas heating system to be dismantled. At the same time, efforts are under way to reduce carbon emissions under Scope 3, which are emissions that Alflow cannot itself control but are part of the company’s value chain.

“We can get help from Indutrade on these issues as well, since many companies in the Group are working on similar challenges in sustainability,” Jens Martin says.

His most immediate goal is ensuring continued growth for Alflow. The trend so far has been positive, and organic sales grew just over 20% between 2021 and 2022.

“Naturally we want to continue to grow, especially through the robust demand we are encountering from the pharma industry. Another goal is finding more employees and scaling up operations,” Jens Martin Andersen says.

“Over the long term, we also want to further develop our service operation, which at present is relatively small. We can then offer on-site service for customers regarding the solutions that Alflow delivers.”

Jens Martin Andersen

MD Alflow

Hear it from our entrepreneurs

To get the best understanding of how we work and what it means to be a part of Indutrade, you can read these stories of some of the entrepreneurs who have sold their companies to us. What did the acquisition mean for them and how do they perceive Indutrade as an owner?