My fourth trainee placement: Sales Trucks Europe


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I spent my last trainee placement at the department Sales Trucks Europe from August until November last year at the Scania HQ in Södertälje. Within Sales and Marketing, the Trucks Sales Team Europe has the responsibility for sales volumes and profitability in the European markets. The department works in close collaboration with the European Scania distributors, optimizing sales volumes and profitability in accordance with Scania’s long term strategies.

There are currently six Area Managers working at this department and three Commercial Analysts. The Area Managers are responsible for a defined market area (for instance, one Area Manager was responsible for Germany, Austria, Poland, and the Baltics) and their main task is to strengthen Scania’s position in the markets they are accountable for. In addition, they support the Scania distributors in their daily work. Each Commercial Analyst supports two Area Managers in commercial, administrative, and operative issues and is the first point of contact for the markets on commercial issues concerning truck sales. He or she often also has operating responsibility for sales in smaller markets.

The Area Managers and Commercial Analysts are in frequent contact with the Sales and Pre-sales teams from their assigned markets, analysing the implications of commercial opportunities and implementing decided actions. In addition to the interaction with the markets they also play an important part in complying Business Intelligence as well as enabling industrial and financial planning through forecasting sales in terms of revenue and profit levels.

During my trainee placement at Sales Trucks Europe, I had mainly two projects. In the first project, I assisted the department’s Business Developer with the financial targets for 2017 with regard to volume, revenue, and profit. In this project, I even got a deeper insight into the other Sales Trucks departments: Africa and Asia-Pacific, Eurasia and Middle East, and New and Strategic Project Markets.

My second project was to analyse and propose a new method of how to assess a market’s financial performance by creating a Country Score Card for Poland. In this project, I had frequent contact with other areas within Sales & Marketing, such as Parts & Service and Connected Services & Solutions, and worked closely together with the business unit in Poland. I also accompanied the Area Manager and Commercial Analyst for Poland on two business trips to Scania Poland in Warsaw and attended the yearly Round Table Agreement, a meeting in which coordinated activities for the coming year are discussed and agreed on between the business unit and the HQ.

During my three-month placement at Sales Trucks Europe, I got a great overview over the Commercial Analysts’ and Area Managers’ daily work tasks as well as a deeper insight into the Polish market. Moreover, through the daily conversations that I had with my colleagues and the Business Developer, I got a better understanding of the different markets’ current situation, future development, and upcoming activities. Since I enjoy working in an international business environment, like to work with numbers, and love to travel, the department seems like a perfect fit for me and I am definitely interested in working at one of Scania’s Sales departments again in the future.

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International Stand Manager at the IAA


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In September this year, I got the unique opportunity to work as Scania’s International Stand Manager at the 66th IAA for Commercial Vehicles, which was held in Hanover, Germany.

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In short, a stand manager is responsible for the stand operation throughout the exhibition. He or she has to initiate or arrange any support needed to make sure things run smoothly and has the authority to take decisions, for instance regarding staffing.

As the international stand manager, I was responsible for approximately 40 international staff members each day, that came from Sweden, Brazil and Russia and manned the stand. Every morning and evening, when the exhibition closed, I sat down with the German stand manager and discussed which issues we would bring up at the next morning meeting. We, first, held a morning meeting for the German and the international staff members together. The German stand manager held the meeting in German, while I summarized his speech in English. This also meant that I sometimes had to translate “on the spot” or that I quickly had to summarize speeches of the German management team. During these meetings, I always presented three experts from my international team to the German staff members in order to enhance the cooperation between the German and the international team.

I, then, held a separate morning meeting for my international staff, in which I checked attendance and informed the staff members about expected visitors and VIP guests on that day. Additionally, I told them, if we were expecting bigger customer groups and colleagues from Scania’s distributors to visit our stand. As the main contact person for the international staff, I was responsible for giving my staff the support they needed in order to perform their work tasks. This implied, for example, to ensure that every staff member had a work outfit, nametag, pin, locker, etc. but also making sure that the staff members felt comfortable and took enough breaks to eat and drink.

After the international morning meeting, I stopped by Scania’s information desk, to inform the hostesses about which international staff members were manning the stand that day. Besides being responsible for the international staff, I was in charge of our international conference rooms. Hence, I met with the catering manager every morning to discuss the conference room bookings. Furthermore, I checked regularly that the Scania stand was in a representative condition, which means that I ensured that the stand was tidy, that we never ran out of marketing material, and that all the technical equipment functioned properly.

The Scania stand was comprised, among others, of a VIP Lounge and a Driver’s Bar. As the stand manager, I had the authority to decide who was allowed to enter the VIP lounge and I had to watch out that the VIP lounge was never overcrowded. Scania distributors from all over the world travelled to the IAA. Many of them came with bigger customer groups. For some of these groups, I had to make special arrangements on the stand. I closed off a section of the Driver’s Bar, for instance, and checked that security staff was in place and that the catering was informed about the visit of bigger customer groups.

I spent most of the remaining time behind the reception desk, where I welcomed Scania employees from all over the world that visited the exhibition and assisted them, for example, with storing their luggage in our luggage room or finding a place to work. Furthermore, I accompanied guests to the conference rooms, when they had meetings with Scania employees and ensured that guests that had a meeting with the management team were taken care of. Moreover, I was the main contact person for all international and German customers and suppliers that were looking for Scania representatives from certain markets or that wanted to get in touch with our technical experts when they had specific questions concerning our products. I also gathered all contact requests from different suppliers and forwarded their brochures and business cards to the Purchasing department in Södertälje. Another work task was to take care of VIP guests at our stand and to arrange private guided tours of our stand with my staff members.

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The work load at the IAA was very high, and I worked approximately 11 to 12 hours a day. The first three days were especially tough until everything fell into place. During these days, my phone rang constantly while three people around me wanted my attention simultaneously. It is difficult to prepare for the role as the stand manager, since the main task is simply to “function”, to be extremely flexible, highly service-minded, and to find the best solution possible under time pressure, so that our guests have the best experience at the Scania stand and receive the support they need. Luckily, I was supported by two coordinators, who assisted me at the reception desk and helped me in all staff-related issues.

Since we had just launched a completely new truck generation, our stand was very popular and totally overcrowded during the weekend.

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We were all very proud to present our new truck range at the IAA and an absolute highlight was that Scania won the International Truck of the Year award, which was handed out during the press day of the IAA.

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Another personal highlight for me as a true Scania fan was that I spotted the legendary Svempa at our stand, who designs and builds unique Scania concept trucks, among others the Red Pearl and the Chimera, which I saw at the International ADAC Truck-Grand-Prix at the Nürburgring during my third trainee placement at Scania Deutschland GmbH. Of course, I did not miss the chance to ask him if I could take a picture with him.

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After having worked five days in the row, the new international stand manager from Sweden arrived, who took over for the remaining five exhibition days. Due to the long working hours and the fact that I was standing or running around most of the time, I was quite exhausted and glad when the new stand manager arrived. However, working as the international stand manager was definitely a great opportunity and learning experience. It was fun to get to know so many Scania employees and to have close contact with our customers and suppliers. I enjoyed the collaboration with Scania Germany at our stand and I can definitely imagine myself working as Scania’s international stand manager again at the next IAA.

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Life as a Graduate Trainee


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In my last three blog posts, I focused very much on describing my work tasks and experiences during my first three trainee placements. The trainee program ended a few weeks ago and although I was very excited and eager to start my first “real” job at Scania, I was definitely a little nervous and also sad that the exciting, fun, and challenging time as a trainee was coming to an end. I am definitely going to miss all the adventures that we trainees experienced together.

In January this year, a few trainee colleagues and I had the chance to attend the “Transportforum” in Linköping. “Transportforum” is Scandinavia’s largest annual conference for people working in the transport sector. It is a platform used by researchers and actors within the transport sector to establish contacts and to share knowledge. It was very interesting to learn more about future transport solutions and to get to know the other actors operating within the transport sector.

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In April, we trainees hired a few Scania trucks and drove to Malmö to visit one of our trainee colleagues who spent her second trainee placement at the Scania dealer there. Since I spent the second trainee placement at the Scania dealer in Gothenburg, it was interesting to observe differences and similarities between the two dealers. In the evening, we went out for dinner at a very nice Italian restaurant, located directly at the water in the newly built residential area “Västra hamnen”.

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In one of my blog entries, I mentioned that we always have a seminar week between the trainee placements. We trainees are responsible for organizing these seminar weeks and for planning the lectures, seminars, and study visits. During the second seminar week, we went to Oskarshamn, where the production facilities for Scania’s truck cabs is located. There are five different workshops: the press shop, the bodyworks workshop, the base-painting workshop, the paint shop, and the assembly workshop. Scania has recently completed its largest single industrial investment in two decades in Oskarshamn and built the world’s most modern cab factory, which is manned by 283 new, high-tech robots. Having worked at Scania’s assembly lines in Södertälje, seeing this futuristic cab production almost felt surreal, like a scene from a Science Fiction movie.

One week before the start of our placement abroad, we got the opportunity to attend an one-week EF language course in Cambridge. Since I love to travel but have never been in England before, I spent the weekend before the start of the language course in London for some sightseeing.

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During the week in Cambridge, we stayed at host families and had private and group lectures during the day. The language school also organized fun activities, such as a sightseeing tour in Cambridge, a punting tour on the river Cam, or a trip to London to see a musical.

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In October, the “Traineedagen” took place at the Stockholm Waterfront Congress Centre. Many large companies, that offer a trainee program in Sweden, took part in this exhibition and students had the opportunity to find out more about the different trainee programs. One of my trainee colleagues and I manned the Scania stand together with trainees from the past years, our trainee coordinators and recruiters. It was very nice to meet the students and easy for me to relate to their situation, since I have been in their shoes two years ago. I had some very interesting conversations with the students and I am very much looking forward to maybe welcoming some of them as our new trainees at Scania next year.

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My third trainee placement in Germany


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I moved to Koblenz, Germany, in the end of April 2016 for my third trainee placement, which I spent at the department “Strategy, Communication & Marketing” at Scania Deutschland GmbH.

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Germany is my home country, but I have never worked in Germany before. Thus, I was very excited to see what working for Scania would be like in Germany. Scania has an extremely Swedish organizational culture (for more information see my second blog entry: How to choose the right company) and although the organizational culture at Scania Germany is “Scania-like”, the differences between the two business cultures is still noticeable. My trainee placement in Germany was very structured and organized. Everything – from chair to computer – was ready to use upon my arrival. Furthermore, Scania Germany has very clear hierarchies and the language in meetings is more direct than in Sweden. The work tasks were quite varied reaching from administrative tasks to demanding projects, hence, I always had something to work on.

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I spent a lot of time on proof-reading all kinds of marketing material, such as brochures and press releases and even got to write the press release for the International ADAC Truck-Grand-Prix – a huge trucker festival taking place at famous Nürburgring – on my own. I also assisted the team “Business Intelligence & Sales Processes” with evaluating and summarizing the results of a questionnaire filled in by the Scania dealers in Germany.

However, the most interesting and valuable experience for me was being involved in the IAA project. The IAA is the world’s largest exhibition for commercial vehicles in Hanover, Germany, and takes place every second year. I assisted the project manager in planning the set-up of the marketing material as well as proof reading it. In addition, I coordinated a video shoot for a customer testimonial for the IAA. Being involved in the IAA project was a great preparation for my role as a stand manager at the IAA this year. Besides, the department “Strategy, Communication & Marketing” closely cooperates with my home department, “Marketing Communications” in Sweden. Hence, it was very interesting for me to work with my home department from a distributor perspective.

My third trainee placement also involved some travelling: I attended an IAA meeting in Sweden and visited the IFAT in Munich, which is the world’s leading trade fair for water, sewage, waste and raw materials management.

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I travelled to Frankfurt, to take part in the VDA International Press Workshop, where I met the top managers of the automotive industry, among others Andreas Renschler (Volkswagen AG, Volkswagen Truck & Bus GmbH) and Henrik Henriksson, the CEO of Scania. Moreover, I attended an award ceremony in Stuttgart, which was held by ETM, a publisher house, where Scania won a prize in the tipper category.

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A very interesting event to attend was the International ADAC Truck-Grand-Prix, which takes place at the Nürburgring in Germany every year.

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All in all, my trainee placement in Germany has been very valuable and I have learned a lot at Scania Germany in general and at the department “Strategy, Communication & Marketing” in particular. From day one, I felt like being part of the team and I can definitely imagine myself going back to Scania Germany for some time in the future.

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My second trainee placement: Scania-Bilar Sverige AB


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From January 2016 until end of April 2016, I spent my second trainee placement at Scania-Bilar Sverige AB / Region Väst, which is a Scania dealer in West Sweden with the main office located in Gothenburg. The main office as well as the offices in Borås and Himle, which belong to Region West, are comprised of a sales office and a workshop. There is also an additional workshop without a sales office in Gothenburg.

Working at a dealer is often referred to as “working in the real world”. It is very different from working at the headquarters in Södertälje. When you work at the HQ, you can easily forget that the work is not done when the chassis rolls out of the production hall. A long process follows until the vehicle is finally delivered to the end customer. The hand-over to the end customer takes place at Scania dealers worldwide, thus, it is at the Scania dealers where Scania actually makes its money. Hence, it is of utmost importance, that every sales strategy and every marketing campaign, which is developed at the HQ in Södertälje, is being communicated all the way from the HQ to the respective distributor (Scania Sweden in this case) and from there to the dealers. So that even the workshop personal knows and understands our sales and marketing activities. It is at the workshops and sales offices that the end customers meet Scania. Thus, the way the customers are treated by the salesmen or met and assisted by the workshop personal has a huge impact on customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. In summary, what happens at a Scania dealer is decisive for Scania’s overall performance.

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During my placement at the dealer, I worked on mainly three projects. The first project was an analysis of the delivery process. When an order is placed at a Scania dealer, it often takes three to six months until the new vehicle is handed over to the end customer. First, the chassis is produced in Södertälje. Then, it is often delivered to a bodybuilder, where for, instance, a crane is built on the chassis. Afterwards, the chassis comes to the Scania workshop and it is delivered to the end customer. My task was to identify the individual steps and the responsible employees throughout this process and to find issues and methods of improvement. This project enabled me to meet everybody who is involved in the delivery chain. I met with salesmen, the delivery coordinator, bodybuilders, and the employees at the customer reception desk and in the workshops. Two highlights during this project were my study visits at the bodybuilders JOAB and SKAB.

The second project was an analysis of the used vehicle process. When a customer buys a new Scania, he or she can simultaneously trade in his or her used truck. Scania-Bilar Region West has a used truck center in Himle. One of the problems is that the value of a used truck is assessed when the customer orders his or her new truck. However, the new truck is delivered several months later. And when the used truck is finally traded in for the new truck, the used one is often in a worse condition than it was when its value was assessed. Thus, my task was to find a solution for this problem, since this has an impact on the financial performance of the used truck business at Region West.

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Finally, I got to work on the third project together with the trainee in Sales &Marketing, who spent her second trainee placement at Scania-Bilar Sverige AB / Region Syd (Region South Sweden). The dealer in this region had recently undergone a reorganization, whereas Region West continued to maintain the former organizational structure. Our task was to compare the two organizational structures and to analyze which one of the organizational models we would recommend to apply in the future.

To summarize, working at a Scania dealer was a very instructive and broadening experience. It helped me understand the daily struggles at a Scania dealer and the processes and routines that follow after the chassis leave the production hall in Södertälje. Therefore, I recommend all future trainees to take the opportunity and work at or at least visit a Scania dealer during the trainee program. It is definitely worth getting an insight into “the real world”.

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My first trainee placement: Marketing Communications


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I spent my first three-month trainee placement at my home department: Marketing Communications. The main responsibility of this department is to develop global marketing communication strategies for trucks, buses, engines, services, and parts. The strategies are, then, transformed into tactical marketing activities and tools, such as web campaign sites, brochures, advertisements, direct marketing material, videos, promotional items and graphical guidelines for marketing communication material. A typical activity is the preparation for international trade fairs, such as the IAA in Hanover, the IFAT in Munich, the Dubai International Boat Show or Busworld in Kortrijk. Another main task at Marketing Communications is to continuously update the brochures of our products and services.

However, my very first marketing project was a little bit different: I was responsible for coordinating the production of the Scania 125 year campaign book. This year, Scania celebrates its 125th anniversary and many activities are planned throughout the year 2016 in order to celebrate this special occasion. The campaign book summarizes the background, marketing strategy, core message, and target groups for the Scania 125 year project. Furthermore, it provides an overview over the marketing material that is being produced for the anniversary, such as posters, roll-ups, videos, promotional items etc..

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I realized very quickly, that the daily work at Scania is very cross-functional. This was no different with my project. In order to coordinate the project, I had to meet with various departments at Scania to collect all information necessary for the campaign book. Hence, I met with colleagues from the department of Corporate Relations, Event & Exhibition, Employer Branding, Parts & Services (Vehicle Accessories and Branding Products) and Business Support (Image Desk). We decided to develop a Scania 125 year logotype in different variations, which was then printed on different promotional items, such as flags, T-shirts, umbrellas, key rings, mouse pads, pins, pens, mugs, balloons, and chocolate. Furthermore, we designed posters, roll ups, wall banners, and produced a video together with an external advertising agency. Once the campaign book was written, it was published internally to all Scania distributors in the world. The distributors could, then, decide by themselves which marketing material they want to use locally in order to celebrate Scania’s 125th anniversary.

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All of us trainees have spent a period abroad at a Scania distributor this year. I always got very excited when my trainee colleagues sent me pictures of Scania 125 year marketing material that is used at a Scania distributor, for instance, in Brazil or Holland. It is great to see that the marketing material, which I helped to design, is used all over the world to celebrate Scania’s 125th anniversary!

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Getting my heavy truck driver’s licence


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Each year, Scania offers its trainees to take the heavy truck licence (C-licence). With the C-licence, you are authorized to drive any kind of truck, regardless of its weight. Since I got my driver’s licence for passenger cars in Germany, I had to exchange my German driver’s licence into a Swedish “B-licence” at the Swedish transport agency, first.

During the introduction weeks of the Scania Graduate Trainee Program last summer, we spent two days at “Grönlunds”, which is a driving school for heavy trucks and buses. We attended theory lessons, in which we repeated basic traffic rules and learned more about truck-related regulations, such as restrictions concerning “driving and rest periods”. We also learned the use of a digital tachograph. In addition, we were given a heavy folder and several smaller brochures, which we had to study for the theoretical exam. It was quite a challenge to read and memorize all the material in Swedish in the evening, after having stood at Scania’s assembly lines all day long.

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On the day of the theoretical exam, I was very nervous. The exam is a computer-based test and is comprised of 60 questions, which have to be answered within 40 minutes. Five of the 60 questions are so-called “test questions”, which means that it does not matter if these questions are answered correctly. However, you do not know if the question you are trying to answer is a “real question” or a “test question”. Hence, 44 out of the 55 “real questions” have to be answered correctly in order to pass the theoretical exam. After 40 minutes, a note on the computer screen showed me that I had just passed the theoretical exam for my heavy truck licence. I was extremely relieved and proud, when I saw that message.

A few weeks later, I completed the practical exam with a 18t Scania truck. First, I had to perform a security check on the truck. Furthermore, I had to answer a few questions and calculate how much payload I could have on different roads, depending on the road classification (BK1, BK2, BK3). Afterwards, I had to prove my driving skills on the highway, as well as in rural and urban areas. Besides, I had to reverse the truck around a corner, and I also had to park the truck backwards against a loading bay, so that 10cm of the tailgate were placed on the loading bay, when opening the tailgate. After 45 minutes, the examiner told me that I had passed the practical exam and congratulated me on my heavy truck licence.

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The workshop practice


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The three-week workshop practice, which is part of the six-week introductory program at Scania, was one of the activities that I had been looking forward to the most since I signed my working contract with Scania. It takes place in August and September each year and is part of the introduction program for the newly recruited trainees.

There are three production facilities in Södertälje: bus and truck chassis, axels and gearboxes, and engines. The aim of the workshop practice is to obtain first-hand experience of how Scania’s products are assembled and to get an insight into the daily work flow at the production lines.

Due to safety reasons, the regulations concerning what clothes or shoes to wear when working at the assembly lines are very strict. Therefore, each trainee was given a pair of safety shoes on our first day at Scania. Furthermore, we all received a workshop outfit, consisting of work trousers, T-shirts and a sweater.

I still remember the moment, when I entered the chassis production facility for the first time. There was so much happening simultaneously that I did not know where to look first. The factory was surprisingly clean and light, all components were perfectly organized on the shelves, and every single step along the assembly line was precisely structured and planned in great detail. When walking through the production hall, you had to make sure to stay within the yellow lines, which are drawn on the floor, since there are so many small trucks, such as forklift trucks, driving around in order to supply the different workshop stations with new material. Thus, one of the first rules we learned was that these trucks were always allowed to go first.

Wearing the Scania outfit that we were given earlier, we trainees were dressed in the exact same way as all the other assemblers at the production line. Even the workshop managers all the way up to the plant manager wore at least the beige Scania T-shirt. This is, again, a typical example, that shows Scania’s unique organizational culture, where everybody – from the assembler to the top manager – feels like being part of one big family.

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When I was at the chassis assembly line, I worked with the team that put the engines into the bus chassis. I was surprised by the fact that a lot of work is still performed manually, for example, pushing the chassis from one work station to the next at the end of each tact time. The tools that are used in the chassis production are very heavy and not so easy to handle and it was exhausting to stand up during the entire day. Thus, my feet and shoulders hurt quite a bit when I got home from work.

During my second week of workshop practice, I was at the rear axle assembly line. The tact time, which is the time spent on each unit, is a lot shorter compared to the bus chassis production. Furthermore, since the rotation of an axle from one work station to the next is completely automated, every movement is prescribed in detail and has to be followed strictly. In addition, taking a break for drinking a sip of water, eating a snack or going to the restroom is steered by the tact time.

However, the workshop practice has been a very valuable experience for me. From day one, I felt like being part of the team and the assemblers were very patient and thorough when they taught me their tasks. The production facilities are really “the heart of Scania” and I have even more respect for the Scania assemblers, who are standing at the production lines every single day, now, after I have worked there myself. The assemblers’ dedication and commitment to Scania is truly exceptional and is definitely one of the reasons why Scania can retain such a high level of quality in its products.

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The introduction weeks


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The trainee program at Scania started in August with a six-week introductory program. Three of the six weeks were filled with lectures, seminars, and various other activities.

On one of the first days at Scania, we visited the Scania DemoCentre in Södertälje. The DemoCentre is Scania’s showroom where you can test drive different Scania products. More than fourteen thousand visitors from around the world come to the DemoCentre each year. Among them are representatives of major customers such as local councils, fire services, and the military, as well as international politicians. A wide range of vehicles can be tested on the test track – from distribution trucks to 25.25-metre rigs to hybrid Scania buses. The trucks are fully loaded and most of them are available in truck and trailer combinations. There is a Demodriver for each truck and bus who provides technical information and driving advice.

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Having never driven a truck before, I was very excited when I climbed into the driver’s cabin of one of the Scania trucks for the first time. It was an amazing feeling sitting high up in such a heavy and robust vehicle and experiencing the power of the V8 engine, when the truck easily mastered a steep hill on the test track. I also test drove a hybrid Scania bus, which was quite a unique experience, too.

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Another highlight of the introduction weeks was that we got to meet all executive board members including the CEO.

One of the seminars that we attended during the introduction weeks, was an intercultural training, where we learned more about the differences between the Swedish and German business cultures. German companies, for instance, tend to be more hierarchical, whereas consensus decision-making is very important for Swedish companies. Being aware of such cultural differences is crucial for successful German-Swedish business relations. Since the collaboration between Scania and MAN has intensified after Scania became part of the Volkswagen Group, understanding the German corporate culture has become essential for Scania.

It is very important for Scania that its employees have an appropriate work-life balance. Therefore, Scania motivates its employees to take a break from work once in a while in order to attend one of the gym classes that are offered at the Scania Health Center or to work out at the Scania gym. Hence, we trainees got the opportunity to test a Kettlebells class at the health center, which was a lot of fun.

On one of the weekends during the introduction weeks, we travelled to Barnens Ö together with the trainees from the year 2014/15. Barnens Ö is an island north of Stockholm and we stayed in a Swedish cottage directly at the water, where we celebrated a typical Swedish “kräftskiva” (crayfish party). It was also a great opportunity to get to know the former trainees and to ask them questions about their journey at Scania.

The activities mentioned above are only some of the highlights of the introduction weeks. Another highlight was definitely the three weeks that we spent at the Scania assembly lines, which I will write more about in my next blog entry.

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My first day as a Graduate Trainee


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In the morning of my very first work day in August 2015, I drove to the Scania headquarters, nervous and excited to meet the other trainees. The only information that I had gotten was what place and time I should be there and that I should take sports clothes with me for an outdoor activity. The meeting point was the Scania museum, where the trainees of 2015 gathered to start the day with a Fika.

In 2015, Scania hired 26 trainees (10 female and 16 male trainees), all of them recent university graduates with a maximum of one year’s working experience. The trainees had been recruited by different functional departments; hence we are nine Production trainees, six within R&D, two in Sales & Marketing, two in Commercial Operations, two in Purchasing, two in Business Control, two in Finance, and one in IT. Besides me, there is one other trainee, who is originally from Germany, as well as one trainee from Estonia, while the rest of the trainees are Swedes.

On that first day at Scania, it was very easy to start a conversation with the other trainees. It seemed like we were on the same wavelength, since we all have similar backgrounds and are rather outgoing people who like to socialize. After the Fika, we were welcomed by the trainee coordinators, who gave us more information on the structure of the introductory program and the trainee program as a whole.

In the afternoon, we went to Scania’s own health and fitness club, which is just a few minutes’ drive away from Scania’s headquarters. We were asked to change to our sportswear and to put on a blue work overall and helmet. Putting on the helmet, we became a little anxious what Scania had in store for us. What followed was an outside teambuilding activity, during which we had to execute different tasks and solve problems in smaller teams. The weather was beautiful and it was a lot of fun and definitely helped us trainees to get to know each other better as well as bond as a team.

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In the evening, I was exhausted from all the new impressions that I had gained on that first day, but I was also very happy to be part of such a nice group of trainees and excited to go back to work the next day in order to continue the trainee journey together with the other trainees.

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