With customers from over 80 countries, from French Polynesia to China, and an annual revenue of over 4 million Euros, the ASTI InSystems online store is a small success story. Since its foundation, the three-man team has been able to help many customers by delivering spare parts at short notice and sometimes unconventionally. This year the online store celebrates its tenth anniversary.
10 year online shop: Customers from 80 conutries
The success story of the online store began 10 years ago. Back then, Torsten Gast and Henry Stubert, both CEOs of the former InSystems Automation, now ASTI InSystems, founded the store as a small, separate business, because many components were left over from their automation projects and the warehouse became increasingly full. With the online store, they were able to resell the components and at the same time implement a sensible stocking of components and spare parts for their own mechanical engineering projects.
The business idea worked. Over the years, the online store has built up a broad base of customers who don’t come from Berlin, but are ordering instead from Spain, England and even French Polynesia and China. “The revenue in 2019 was 4 million euros and we have customers from over 80 countries,” says Hans-Joachim Buchholz, who has been part of the team since the founding phase. On a map on the wall, the colleagues have marked all countries in which they have already supplied store customers. The store team with Janet and Hans-Joachim is supported by Rico, our trainee e-commerce clerk.
A shop full of stories
„Often we get calls in emergency situations“ says Hans-Joachim Buchholz. Once he received a call from Poland on a Friday afternoon. The customer was urgently looking for a fieldbus coupler, since the machines in his factory suddenly had stopped working because of this faulty component. A fieldbus coupler is used to transfer important information between sensors and the control unit of a machine. Since the component was in stock in the store, the Polish entrepreneur immediately started his 600 km journey from Krakow to Berlin. It was that urgent, that he could not wait after the weekend. Hans-Joachim Buchholz drove in his direction to meet him at a fuel station on the highway and hand over the important replacement part.
A similar situation happened to the start-up Frozen Kukki in 2017. The young company produces cocktails that are sold in bottles at Goerzwerk in Berlin. One morning, the machines stopped working. They desperately needed a frequency converter to get them running again. So they called the online store, which could help quickly. As a thank you, Kukki sent later a free delivery of fresh cocktails.
In other cases, private customers have become project customers over the years, such as the company Steinke Elektronik in Adlershof. At the beginning, managing director Benjamin Steinke came often to the online store during his breaks to pick up his orders. Later, he put a larger automation project in order at InSystems.
Big range of products from manufacturers of control devices and spare parts
The customers of the online shop are company managers, representatives of universities and technical schools as well as private persons. The range of products includes over 3,000 components of the most common control technology manufacturers and spare parts, which are also used in ASTI InSystems’ projects. There is practically nothing that cannot be ordered.
For example, customers who have purchased an Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) from ASTI InSystems can buy components or spare parts for their machines online at good conditions. There is neither a minimum order value nor a minimum quantity surcharge. The goods are shipped worldwide and can also be picked up on site after previous agreement. In addition, customers benefit from the partnership of ASTI InSystems with SIEMENS and WAGO. As a Solution Partner such, the company offers up-to-date know-how and expertise.
In more than 10 years, the online shop grew to be a reliable partner for its customers. ASTI InSystems wants to continue this successful story.