In the mid-1960s, egg producers Kristen and Kjeld Skov found that the air quality in their stables was unsatisfactory. They were unable to find a ventilation system to ensure the indoor climate in stables of a magnitude such as theirs. So there was nothing for it but for them to roll up their sleeves and manufacture the systems themselves.
This became the start of SKOV in Glyngøre, Denmark, which is currently a world leader in its field, supplying ventilation systems and complete farm management systems capable of centralised management of several stables.
”A lot has happened since the 1960s. We have developed new systems and products and are currently among the world’s leading suppliers of farm management systems. We can supply complete digital solutions that help our customers improve their animal welfare and productivity, and we can be involved in the whole process from development and tests to production and user training,” explains Jørgen Yde Jensen, CEO at SKOV.
One of the things SKOV does better than its competitors is to think in systems and offer complete solutions consisting of mechanical components and advanced control systems.
”A farmer can connect all his stable systems online and subsequently control the climate in all his stables from his desk. Moreover, our solutions are among the most energy efficient in the market and therefore cheaper to operate.”
Financing as the key to sales
SKOV’s solutions are so popular that they are currently being exported to more than 80 countries. The company in Glyngøre has subsidiaries in Thailand and China, and more countries are on the drawing board, including the USA and Russia. In 2018, sales increased by 22 per cent to DKK 835 million, and there is hope for continued growth in the years to come.
”We envisage a positive future, because the food industry is experiencing constant growth. The world’s population is growing and getting richer, thus increasing demand for food products and for livestock production in particular. As a result, our market is large,” says Jørgen Yde Jensen.
But in large markets, competition often equals the potential, and this is where EKF enters into the picture. When competition is strong, a financing solution from EKF may determine whether a foreign customer chooses to place its order with the Danish company.
”I actually believe we are among the companies working most proactively with financing from EKF. We have specific material about EKF and train our sales staff in offering financing from EKF whenever needed. We do not offer financing as the first step, but if called for during the sales process, everyone must be properly trained, so they can offer such financing.”
On several occasions, SKOV’s sales staff have experienced that financing was the deciding factor. Particularly in exotic markets, where financing costs are high, EKF’s competitive financing provides an edge.
”While making a sale to a customer in Peru at one time, our salesperson found out that one of our American competitors had offered the customer a year of financing. Our Peruvian customer was brandishing our competitor’s offer, asking why they should choose SKOV. At this point, our salesperson was able to offer 18 months’ financing from EKF, and that clinched the deal,” says Jørgen Yde Jensen.