kroftools

KROFtools: 35 Years of Excellence in the Automotive and Garage Sector

Having established itself as a benchmark in the automotive and garage sector, KROFtools was founded 35 years ago with the aim of achieving more and better results.

In 1992, José Bárbara, CEO of KROFtools, who had grown up absorbing a passion for the automotive field and an indisputable will to win, joined the company, which had been founded by his father, Crofil.

In 2003, Anabela Bárbara, KROFtools’s CFO, joined the company’s management team, further reinforcing the company’s commitment to continuous improvement.

“Over the last 35 years, we have overcome several challenges, but we believe that the toughest has, without a doubt, been gaining the trust of customers and the acceptance of our own brand, KROFtools – Professional Tools”, states José Bárbara.

Though we operate in a very competitive market, “gaining a foothold with our customers has been tough but very rewarding”, adds the CEO of KROFtools.

 

The Changes in Strategy that Have Ensured the Company’s Growth

To grow the company, strategies needed to be implemented that would allow KROFtools to stand out from what was already available on the market.

“Our operating strategy was initially based on a slightly different concept, as we made direct sales to final consumers, our range of products was also more restricted”, shares José Bárbara.

In addition to the company’s continuous analysis and improvement, 2005 saw KROFtools initiating exclusive sales to distributors of car parts and garage equipment, both within Portugal and abroad. Direct sales to final consumers took a back seat.

These changes were important because they allowed for significant company growth. In addition, the company’s presence in national and international fairs allowed for an expansion of the range of customers.

“To kick off, we started attending fairs both in Portugal and abroad. We started with EMAF in 2012 in Portugal, and our first international fair followed in 2013 with Motortec. The presence of our south zone salesperson at the time was particularly important for our expansion,” reinforces the CEO of KROFtools.

 

 

Interview with José Bárbara and Anabela Bárbara

Read the interview below with the company’s CEO and CFO, conducted to celebrate 35 years of KROFtools excellence.

 

How important are family and roots to KROFtools’ Culture and Mission?

KROFtools is a family business with strong foundations that continually develops in line with its mission: to bring to market the most appropriate products for the needs of our clients with short turnaround times.

When doing so, we seek to perpetuate the values we have always cultivated. However, it is not always easy, as what we envision doesn’t always align with reality.

Our tight-knit team makes all the difference in this regard, as they are always willing to develop and help each other, just like a family.

 

How does KROFtools Stand Out in the Automotive Garage Tools and Solutions Sector?

Aware that the automotive industry is demanding and constantly changing, a needs analysis is essential to determining and adapting the specialisation of any garage. We try to help our distributors by providing the best information to their customers, that is, garage owners.

Where KROFtools is concerned, we have ensured the meticulous manufacture of tools and equipment over the years for which we have operated, always carrying out constant product analyses and maintaining control over manufacturing processes.

This meticulous attention to detail has made us a benchmark company in our sector.

 

What Have Been the Key Milestones and Successes Throughout the Company’s 35-Year History?

The last 35 years have been very challenging.

Launching our own brand and establishing a solid market position was undoubtedly the biggest milestone achieved.

Breaking into new markets and establishing partnerships is not always easy, but we’ve done it with the tireless support of every team member.

From shipments to follow-ups by our brand salespeople and technicians with distributors, processing product and market analyses carried out by the purchasing and marketing departments – there have been no exceptions.

The various award nominations we’ve had within our field must also be mentioned here, as well as the accolades received. These provide the high levels of recognition we consider to be the fruit of our labour.

 

How has the Company Maintained the Quality and Innovation of its Products and Services Over the Years?

Given the market analyses we carry out at KROFtools, we believe a sale is only thorough if it includes an After-Sales Service. As such, we provide an after-sales service for all our products.

In addition, we meticulously manufacture every tool and piece of equipment we sell.

To meet our customers’ needs, we have a specialised technical team in Northern Portugal and another in the South, ensuring we can resolve any issues that arise almost immediately.

We try to ensure that every product sent to our technical department receives a timely response. We believe that a good after-sales service results in customer satisfaction, which is our primary concern.

 

How Does the Company Adapt to Changes in the Automotive Sector Over Time?

The automotive sector has proven to be increasingly demanding and committed to following market trends, leading to particularly high-speed development.

This is, in part, due to the changes that have taken place in the automotive environment, such as the development of electric and hybrid cars, leading to the equipment market having to keep up with these developments.

In this sense, KROFtools has been following the evolution closely, creating valuable tools for the market.

 

What are the Main Challenges that KROFtools Currently Faces, and How Do You Intend to Overcome Them?

The world, markets, and everything in general, is constantly developing, and the automotive sector is no exception.

We have to adapt to new realities, often within short periods – to new models that will emerge. We believe that is the biggest difficulty we will face. However, we will embrace every challenge and overcome them with the unwavering commitment we have shown over the last 35 years.

We do not neglect our responsibility to continue to provide a good service and strengthen the partnerships we have developed over the years. As such, we try to keep up with market diversification and the demands of our partners, enabling us to meet the needs of those who seek us out.

 

What can Customers Expect from KROFtools in Terms of the Expansion and Development of New Products/Services?

You can expect the same commitment we have demonstrated over the last 35 years.

In terms of future plans, we intend to open new partnerships and monitor our progress in the market.

In terms of product launches, our brand launches new products on a regular basis, several times throughout the year. We also improve on existing models, making them assets that aid us in reaching new markets.

Our catalogue currently contains over 3000 items, which led to us implementing a catalogue supplement in 2023, allowing customers to view our new products easily.

 

What do You Envision for KROFtools’ Future?

“That we stay on this good path – keep developing, increasing the range of products, maintaining high quality. Follow-ups with our partners through our after-sales service, the good feedback we have had over the years from our partners and the friendships that have been created with many of them – all of it proves that we have done a good job”, says Anabela Bárbara, CFO of KROFtools.

José Bárbara chimes in, praising the team that allows the company to achieve the aims it strives towards.

“Over the years, we have faced a daunting challenge. We want to praise the work team at KROFtools because, without them, we would not be where we are.”

 

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