Ola Tengroth, President of Lesjöfors:
Expanded collaboration results in increased add-on sales
A strong year despite the pandemic, driven by Lesjöfors’s decentralized way of working and delivery capacity. President Ola Tengroth discusses the company’s focus on sales growth and increased digitization as well as environmental investments that will help to reduce CO2 emissions.
What will your focus be for 2021?
We are reviewing our strategy and looking at new growth areas. One such area is medical technology, where we are scaling up our investments. Another example is springs for heavy industry, which we also plan to explore further.
When it comes to organic growth, we are focusing on encouraging our companies to sell more of each other’s products, partly using the new sales platforms we are currently developing. We are appointing people to assume responsibility for this area and developing tools that will make it easier for each company to link the products of their sister companies to their own sales. This area offers enormous potential and will provide the entire range with traction in all markets.
Sustainability will also be a focus area. We are refining our processes for setting and following up on targets, but we also plan to invest more in solar panels and biogas in order to reduce our CO2 emissions. Digitization is another area we are investing in. At present, we are reviewing our operations to determine the areas where digital tool will be most beneficial. For example, new web solutions for sales or artificial intelligence and machine learning in our processes and production. We are also prioritizing acquisitions.
During the lockdowns last year, it was difficult to carry out acquisitions, but we plan to change this in 2021.
What strengths and areas for improvement have you taken with you from the pandemic in 2020?
We managed well, and our earnings were on a par with 2019. One of our strengths is Lesjöfors’s decentralized way of working. This allows us to make decisions “on the ground,” close to our customers, employees and operations. Although our units were impacted by the pandemic, we handled the situation well, which I believe was a result of our ability to quickly make local adjustments.
At the same time, we have devoted a lot of effort to ensuring our delivery capacity. This cost a little extra in the form of inventory management, customer support, etc. but is worth it. Our delivery precision rate is normally over 99 percent. We managed to maintain this rate without any major problems, largely thanks to the robust supply chains Lesjöfors has established over the years.