Lesjöfors AB

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Lesjöfors is a global manufacturer of springs, wire and flat strip components. Its range is comprehensive and includes both standard products and customized components. Lesjöfors is the largest spring company in the Nordic region and a leader in Europe. Its technical service and sales are strong competitive advantages, as are its low-cost manufacturing and worldwide delivery capacity. Its operations are divided into two business areas: Chassis Springs and Industry.

Lesjöfors manufactures customized springs for essentially the entire industrial sector. When it comes to meeting various customer requirements, the company’s problem-solving ability and expertise in everything from design and material selection to design solutions and cost-efficient manufacturing are key competitive advantages.

Customer requirements – the technical sales organization identifies the customer’s need for springs, including how much pressure and movement the spring can handle, where it is to be positioned and what the surrounding environment looks like, such as working temperature, whether it is a corrosive environment in which the spring could rust or if there is something else that could affect performance.

Design proposal – using a calculation program, an initial design proposal is prepared, in which basic design issues are presented, including how the spring is to be dimensioned and the material it is to be made of.

Prototype/testing – when the design has been approved, prototypes are developed and tested. The goal is to test the function of the spring and, for example, ensure that its movements match the requirements. It is the customer who tests the function, while Lesjöfors often helps by estimating its lifetime.

Serial delivery/Manufacturing – once the prototype has passed the testing requirements, a complete design is prepared for serial delivery/manufacturing. This design contains information on tolerances and other technical properties, any surface treatment and labeling, requirements in terms of cleanliness and other documentation relevant for production preparation and the operators who are subsequently responsible for production.

Five questions to Kjell-Arne Lindbäck, President of Lesjöfors, about the past year.

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How would you summarize 2018?

There is no doubt that we have been positively impacted by the Industryal economy and increased sales in many of our product areas. The areas that performed well in the past performed even better in 2018. Germany displayed a weaker trend toward the end of the year, but this was offset by our growth in essentially all areas in markets such as the Nordic region, the UK and Asia.

You want to carry out more acquisitions – tell us about these ambitions.

We want to broaden our presence in Central and Eastern Europe. North America is also of interest. We want to be a niche player in the region and are therefore interested in adding new acquisitions. We are looking for companies with an adequate customer spread and effective leadership that takes care of its employees and supports a positive climate of cooperation. During the year, we began to market ourselves more actively toward acquisition candidates, for example, by providing more information about Lesjöfors and the corporate culture we represent.

Increasing cross-selling and technology transfer is important – why?

This will determine our direction for a long time to come. We must become better at solving customer problems by making use of the know-how that can be found throughout Lesjöfors. The question is, “What else can we do for the customer?” This must be part of the DNA of our sales organization, technicians and other employees. We’ve come a long way – for example, by changing the organization – but more can be done to increase synergies.

How important is low-price manufacturing to you?

It creates opportunities and enables us to make use of customer contacts in Europe and the US to establish new business with them on-site in Asia. It is important for Lesjöfors that the customer regards us as a local partner in each market. The fact that we have built up an infrastructure in Asia is particularly satisfying since this is where we secured the most new business in 2018.

What will the focus be for 2019?

We will largely continue on the same path. We will continue to develop the service in Chassis Springs, but also adapt and build our capacity to meet demand in this area. In Industryal Springs, the focus will be on achieving synergies in sales and technology transfer. The aim is quite simply to get more out of what we do together. In 2019, we would also like to carry out an acquisition in the US.