Baron produces forced action mixers, portable conveyors and tools for landscapes gardeners and paving contractors – and of course the SmartMover. The company is based in Denmark, but their products are sold in more than 35 countries. Baron was established in 2006, and since then the company has shown impressive development with good annual growth. They take pride in keeping develop new products that their professional end users can benefit from, and they make sure that end users are always a part of stages of developments. When designing new products – or improving existing products, Baron always have ergonomics and safety in mind. They know that their end users work hard, and the company has set a goal to help reduce the impact on their physical condition for them to last longer in the business. Baron can do so by giving them the best equipment and tools the company can design and not just think about function but also health, safety and ergonomics. Interview with Carsten Filsø, CEO Baron A/S. Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company? Carsten Filsø: We develop products to bricklayers, roofers, landscape gardeners and paving contractors. Most of the products only have the items produced by a third party, and then we assemble them. But common to all of the products is that they are shipped from our warehouse in Denmark. And if they need repairment, they are either shipped to us or a service center that is chosen by us. We do not sell directly to the end users, but instead, we have a very good collaboration with our distributors. E.E: What’s the news for 2021 about new products? C.F: Actually, we have several new products to be launched in 2021. The mortar tub is already on the market. The mortar tub is an accessory for the SmartMover and helps bricklayers to work more efficient and ergonomic correct. Instead of using a wheelbarrow transporting mortar around the construction site, shovelling mortar in and out of the wheelbarrow, now they can place the mortar tub mounted to the SmartMover beneath their forced action mixer, fill the tub, transport it to the working place and simply disconnect it. It saves time and relieves the body. We have improved our laying dolly. The laying dolly is a fantastic piece of tool for the landscape gardeners helping them to make light work of laying heavy tiles. We have equipped the laying dolly with thicker oil in the cylinder and a new shock-absorbing spring for the laying dolly to work optimal. Our conveyors already have several unique features. But in 2021 we are launching a new feature that especially our rental companies can benefit from. Our bigger end users will find this project very interesting as well. I cannot go into details about it, but in general, it will prolong the lifetime of the conveyors and minimize downtime. The roofer module was launched in 2020. But in 2021 we are really going to market it. The roofer module is an accessory for the SmartMover and a tool for roofers to help them transport roofer felt, gas cylinders, isolation material or the like around on the roof. We have developed this module in close collaboration with the roofers’ society in Denmark to make sure that we meet the demands of the industry – and we think, we have. E.E: What are the ranges of products? C.F: We have four main categories of products: forced action mixers, portable conveyors, the SmartMover and tools for landscape gardeners and paving contractors. We want to stay within these categories. These products are our strength, so every time we develop a new product, the product must be an addition or improvement to one of these four. For instance, the undercarriage for the conveyor, the dust lid for the forced action mixer or the mortar tub for the SmartMover. E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active? C.F: Luckily, neither our distributors nor our end users have been affected by the Covid-19. So, neither have we, and we are grateful for that. It is our perception that the craftsman industry records increased demands. People are at home they cannot travel – so instead they use the money on their houses and gardens. This means that the bricklayers and landscape gardeners, among others, still have plenty of jobs and therefore still need equipment. We still await the full effect of Brexit and how it will affect our sales in the UK. But for now, we are very optimistic. E.E: What can you tell us about market trends? C.F: People want quality – they always have. But we see a trend towards people also wanting a more ergonomic solution. They are becoming more aware that their bodies can be worn down more quickly in this business than others. We are at the forefront of this because our products are ergonomic correct. We always give ergonomic a thought when designing new products or improving on existing ones. Even our forced action mixers are as ergonomic as possible with lifting brackets and transport wheels. Furthermore, there is an increased focus on efficiency. Not only when it comes to products and their performance, but also on how products can help the users become more efficient. Like our kerb alignment tool that improves the efficiency with up to 70 % for a team consisting of two people handling the kerbs. E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed? C.F: Our new project with portable conveyors is innovative. There is nothing like this on the current market. Of course, we sell products -and we will keep on selling products. But now we move on to selling operation economy as well. It is not enough that our rental companies and end users use a portable conveyor, and when it cannot operate any more, they either sent it in for service or buy a new one. This means a lot of downtime and lost money. We are developing a product that can help the rental companies and end users to foresee if the conveyor will need a spare part any time soon or if something else is not operating optimally. In this way, they can order a spare part or a new conveyor in good time, so they can save or minimize downtime. E.E: What estimations do you have for 2021? C.F: We want to continue the good growth we have experienced every year since the company was founded. The way to do this is to keep developing products that can improve the industry and market them to the distributors and end users. This is why we take pride in involving the end users when we develop a new product. We already have several products that are either on the market already or on the way. And we also have some products on the drawing board that we hope can be released this year.