Going With Your Gut


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Hey there!

Fredrik here from SKF Global Graduate Programme! I am an Automation and Mechatronics engineer from Chalmers University of Technology and joined SKF’s Gothenburg office in august 2019. Before this programme I spent most of my university years working and leading projects within the student union. I also spent a semester in the Netherlands writing my master thesis for a computer-chip company. There I built an algorithm that would be the foundation for a new supply chain management and planning system. My time in The Netherlands let me also meet so many different people from different cultures… It opened my eyes for the great benefits and excitement in a multi-cultural and global working environment.

A pic of Gothenburg I took a sunny day in January

Today I am part of SKF’s Group Quality, here I have been part of projects ranging from improved product designs to increased production capability.

SKF HQ in early Spring!

So how did I end up at SKF and why?
To be honest, it was all about following my gut-feeling. Early on in my last year of my master’s studies I had received a job offer from another company. It was a global consultancy firm that wanted me to come work with their data-analytics team. The job sounded very lucrative and I didn’t mind the Friday beer-tap! But during my last 6 months before graduating I felt things weren’t completely right with that choice.

I wanted to do something that mattered. A job that directly had an impact and improvement for everyone that would use the products of my company. To be able to be part of something from concept to product is both challenging and rewarding and has a certain appeal. Well, what is the appeal of this at a bearing company specifically?

A technician mounting a bearing at our customers site

I bet none of you ever think about bearings (unless you are an SKF employee). But it is an essential component of literally everything that moves. Bearings have been used by humans as tools for thousands of years. Yet we still push the boundary with new developments to this day of these seemingly forgotten mechanical component in our modern era. How can you improve something that has been improved for thousands of years? What is left to be improved? This challenge really peaks my interest.

Then there is the manufacturing. Taking one advice from this post, it’s that the simplest of products are often hiding enormous complexity. The rolling element inside a bearing, appears to be a piece of metal, pressed into a convex shape, seeming easily mass produced and inexpensive. Yet it is the most crucial component and carrier of large cost due to its uncompromising dependence to never fail – if a single rolling element fails, a whole machine will most likely fail. Due to this there are strenuous manufacturing processes with precision tools and countless engineering hours spent behind simply making this piece of metal spin flawlessly between two rings. If that doesn’t make an engineering mind-blow then I don’t know what will.

What have I been doing the past months during the pandemic?
Just like everyone else the developments around COVID-19 has minimized the possibility for international travel… At first, of course, this was a bummer. But just like always we adapt and find new ways of enjoying life that we previously had not considered. The plan was that I was going to work with supplier development in India but instead I got to stay in Gothenburg working with a digitalization project! Specifically, communication and sales – Things we engineers’ usually can improve upon. 😉

Luckily being stuck in Sweden had some benefits…

Outside of work I’ve spent more time in the Swedish nature with old friends. No fish this time but we brought back-up hotdogs – equally enjoyable!

It’s been a fun journey so far and I’m looking forward to the coming months of getting in contact with customers (maybe even visit them if that becomes OK again). Seeing their facilities, understanding their processes and challenges. Its important to come out and see the real world of the customer, or you’ll never produce products that someone actually needs. Exciting times await ahead…

Until next time!

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How is it like to be a Global Graduate?


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I´m Geannina, Costa Rican Global Graduate based in Gothenburg. I came to Sweden to pursue my Master´s Degree in Leadership and Management in International Context, in one of the most beautiful places: Kalmar. After finishing my degree, I stayed to have the experience of being a graduate at SKF and I am fully enjoying it!

What am I currently doing?

I am part of the Learning and Development department, working with the Leadership Academy. My goal is to create a global learning framework for our leaders in SKF, so they can have formal and digital guidance about which competencies and topics are needed to drive our 2025 strategy. Moreover, I work with side projects such as a non-biased recruitment process. With this, I hope to contribute to building an even more diverse and inclusive workplace, values that I believe in and live every day in my company.

However, not all is only about working 🙂 I also enjoy Gothenburg a lot, meet new friends, do weekend trips and learn about Swedish culture.

Where am I going next?

A lot of travelling and projects are coming this year! as my first rotation abroad, I will go to South-Africa and Kenya. My project is about e-commerce and sales and we are coordinating all the final details. After this travel, all the graduates are gathering in Gothenburg for two weeks and I am already looking forward to sharing with all of them again! We are from all around the world: China, Kazakhstan, France, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Poland, and Costa Rica. This guarantees to each of us a truly international network, not only for business but also for friendships!

My third rotation is in Pune, India. My project will be within HR but there are no specific details already set and I am open to listening to what do my Indian colleagues need my collaboration with!

So far, this experience has been one of the most enriching times of my life. Working and travelling at the same time gives you a unique perspective of the business. I feel that I have a place at SKF, where my colleagues are always open to listen to my opinion, to teach me and to support me to grow as a professional.

If you like challenges and personal and professional growth, I would definitely recommend you to be part of a Global Graduate Programme 🙂

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Sport as inclusion enabler


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Presentation

My name is Hossem. Recently involved at SKF as a Global Graduate, I am based in St Cyr factory in France! I have a mechanical engineering background from the University of Technology of Compiègne. During my studies, I spent 2 semesters abroad: in Dresden (Germany) and in Pohang (South Korea).

Before joining SKF, I was working in Morocco as a project manager to launch a new factory in the aerospace industry with french and german experts.

I developed a passion for international industrial projects thanks to 2 french professors I met during my engineering studies. Since, I am always looking for new challenges in international projects: That’s why I joined the Global Graduate Programme!

My first rotation – St Cyr France

I am doing my first rotation in the Deep Groove Ball Bearing (DGBB) factory in St Cyr, close to Tours in France. When I joined SKF, I directly asked my manager to be involved in a project close to the manufacturing operation, that’s what I got!

Some words about the project: Enhancing the competitiveness of a specific channel

To put it simple, factories have 2 big challenges:

  • The first challenge is the capacity to serve the market. In otherwords, being able to produce the right products for the right customers on time and with the quality expected.
  • The second challenge is to be able to control manufacturing costs.

Being able to control and manage this tandem-challenges is a key success factor for a factory.

The first challenge, basically having the capacity to serve the customers, is a never-ending process that every factory employee has to keep in mind. Customer satisfaction is our top priority and all the teams are fully involved to reach it.

My project is completely under the second challenge scope. I am leading a project of cost reduction in one of our DGBB factory channel. The idea is to investigate in the complete value chain to find new cost reduction levers. Design, material costs, channel organization are the big topics I am working on. With the St Cyr teams, we really did great work, and I am now implementing the activities that we have identified to reach our target!

Sport as inclusion enabler

My home town is quite from St Cyr, I am coming from Grande-Synthe near to Dunkirk in North of France. When I arrived, I had no friends and no family here. So I decided to be part of the SKF football team to meet new people and also to maintain my Zeus divine body”.

It was definitly a good idea. When you are practicing sport, there is no hierarchical or social position, the only objective is to play together and win the game! Then, it is easier for you to make friends!

As Plato advised us, it is also a way of having a balance between the body and the mind: “We should not exercise the body without the joint assistance of the mind; nor exercise the mind without the joint assistance of the body.”

So let’s exercise!

Hossem

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My Shot!


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Hey everyone, my name is Jakub, but everybody call me Kuba. It’s my first post here, and I wanted to give you my impression on the Graduate Program, some challenges I faced and a final thought for you.

I’m from Poznań, Poland. I have a background in Mechatronics and Engineering Management. Starting this year I’m part of SKF’s Global Graduate Program Wave 4.

Time to get serious for Challenges to come

My impression on the Graduate Program

Each Wave in the Global Graduate Program lasts for 1,5 years. During that time we are supposed to work in three different locations, with different people and on different projects.

My impression – diversity, different cultures working together

Why is it cool for the Company? We can get a great start in the company and get the immersion in different cultures and working environments. I honestly believe that experience gained in this Program will be beneficial to the site we will end up in, we can provide a great outside in perspective, and use the takeaways we got from our rotations.

Ok, but what is cool for us in it so far? We get an unique opportunity to get a head start in the company. During our first Gathering in Goteborg we got the chance to meet each other…but also every member from our Top Management. To say that they are inspiring is really an understatement. We got really a lot of positive energy and encouragement from them. Since the beginning we got to meet people from different countries, cultures and environments. And we didn’t start our rotations in foreign countries yet.

Don’t get me wrong there were also some challenges on the way.

Challenges

I’m a first Graduate coming from Poznań. Understanding of this Program, it’s purpose and deliverables wasn’t that high when I started my journey here. Getting to know the company and explaining the difference between a Graduate and a future employee in a specific department was challenging. How we handled it? I suggested to my Manager that I could go to different sites we have in Poland, to see different departments and how they work. That led to the discussion of the Program and the outside-in perspective.

What is more in my first Project I was put in a role of a Project Manager for improving the efficiency of one of our new production channels. Not having an actual team, getting to know the people, the process and the company, all from the position of a newcomer and being put in charge of the whole project was challenging. These were my challenges, but it was also My Shot to develop.

My Shot!

Even if you are not that much into musicals I still encourage you to listen to “My Shot” from Hamilton musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda. It’s one of my favorites, and I think it fits really well with the Graduate Program. The general idea is to come from the position of the Underdog and aim as high as possible, and then even higher. If there is a challenge face it and gain from it. If there is an opportunity size it.

In my opinion and from my experience so far, being a Graduate is an unique opportunity for self-development, gaining knowledge and new experiences. It’s a great head-start in your carrier and in your whole life, at least that how it was for me. Sometimes it’s challenging, sure, but it’s a lot of fun. I took My Shot, and I really hope you will take yours! If you need any support, have any questions or want to know more from me, feel free to reach out and contact, I’ll be happy to help in anyway I can.

Until next time,
Kuba

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Being a Global Trainee at Husqvarna Group


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Hi readers!

It is time to give you an update of my trainee journey so far. Let me tell you what has happened since my last post in February.

Doing E-Commerce in the UK

Straight after my time in the E-Commerce team at GARDENA in Germany, I went to the UK for my second assignment, working for the Flymo sales team. Besides our core brands Husqvarna & GARDENA, our Group also has strong additional brands as Flymo in its portfolio. Flymo, which is mainly active in the UK, has not only invented the first ever hover mower, it is also arguably UK’s best-known lawn care brand!

During my stay there, I mainly worked on the set-up & launch of a direct-to-consumer business for the UK market. I was involved in all relevant functions from Supply Chain & Logistics to Sales, Marketing and even Customer Service, which was overall a great opportunity. Besides working on the project, I supported the marketing team in some promo and trade show events and even helped out as a photo model! If you live in the UK & want to buy fantastic Flymo products just go to www.flymo.com .

In a nutshell, I had a great time in the UK. I was part of a fantastic team and together we successfully launched a new Consumer Website.

Top Management Meeting in Stockholm

This year in May I had, as one of us Global Trainees, the privilege to participate in this year’s Top Management Meeting in Stockholm, where the whole Group Management was gathering for some days.

Yes, you’ve read it right. Being as a Global Trainee on a Top Management Meeting. You can imagine, how inspiring that event was for me. I met all the Executives from the divisions, got to know our strategy for the upcoming years and even had fruitful conversations with our CEO. I am very grateful to have had that opportunity.

Testing Zero-Turns in the US

After my assignment abroad in the UK, all trainees gathered for a training week at our US offices in Charlotte, North Carolina. There we met the whole management team, got introduced to our US operations and visited also our factory in Orangeburg. We even made time for testing thoroughly the Zero-Turn lawnmowers, which is one of the most popular lawncare products in the US. All in all it was very interesting to see how different the US market is in some respects to the European.

Posing with a zero-turn lawnmower

After the training I went back to Germany, starting my third assignment in the Digital Marketing team of the GARDENA division. The team is leading globally our digital marketing initiatives and engages with our customers in the online environment. I’ll keep you updated on that!

If you are interested in the Global Trainee Program and consider joining Husqvarna Group, check out http://trainee.husqvarnagroup.socialmediabranding.se/. We are already looking for a new generation of pioneers, starting in September 2020!

All the best

Stefan

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What a starting!


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Bonjour de France,

My name is Cosmina and I am an SKF Global Graduate, wave 4!

I have a background in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Bologna. Although I mainly studied in Italy, I also spent one year studying in the lovely Gothenburg!

Looking professional at the HQs in Gothenburg

My journey in the Global Graduate Programme has started just 3 months ago, but since the very beginning it was exciting and I got the feeling this journey would be great!

During my first week in SKF, I started in Italy and travelled already to France and Sweden. What an incredible kick off!

For the introduction month all graduates from all over the world, from China to Kazakhstan, gathered in Gothenburg at the HQs to get an overview on the company.
We met the management team with whom we had very inspirational talks and we felt empowered to make the difference.

Wave 4 trying to look engaged in meaningful conversations while shooting some advertising pictures

We attended so many funny events during which we got to know each other and started to build our network in the company.

First approach of French gastronomy in Gothenburg

The programme is truly global. We get to work daily with people from different cultures and to be in at least three different countries throughout the rotations.

Even if normally the first rotation would be in your home country, in my case Italy, I started with my first rotation in France. Here, I am part of a project which aims to develop a new facility meant to centralize the realization of prototypes in the Aerospace organization. Although at the end of the program I will work in Sales, working on this project provides me with insights on Manufacturing and Quality.

While I am in France, I am also taking the chance to get to know better the culture, learn French, taste good wine and travel!

Hannah, me and Hossem visiting Paris!

I feel very lucky to be part of this programme. It’s a great way to kick start my career in a truly international environment and to develop friendships across the world! Can you imagine a better starting?

Please feel free to ask questions, I will be glad to answer to all of them!

Au revoir!

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The trainee program from a personal perspective


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Ni Hao!

Last time I wrote a post, I sat in my brick house in a small picturesque town in northern England. Today, I’m writing to you from a skyscraper in one of the world’s biggest cities, Shanghai. Contrasts!

Me at The Great Wall of China

I want to continue where I left you the last time, what the trainee program means to me, foremost, from a personal point of view. My home manager encouraged me to write down some key insights from my time at Husqvarna Group, and I would like to share two of them with you!

Cultural commonalities

It is very popular to talk about cultural differences. The importance to be able to adapt to different cultures. Maybe I’m naive and young, but from my perspective, I think it is more about what is common. I have had the privilege to work with people from all around the world. New Zeeland, Brazil, Spain, Morocco, the UK, China, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, Lithuania, Sweden, Germany, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, okay you get it… And I would say it’s not the differences that have caught my attention, but our commonalities! Of course, there are some differences in experiences and also different environments, but on an individual level, not too much of a difference. After all, we are all humans, and this insight I will carry with me for my whole life. 

Expanding my comfort zone

Another key insight is how important it is to constantly step outside of my comfort zone to develop. When I moved to the UK, I felt like I was really stepping outside of my comfort zone. Moving to a new country where I knew nobody… But, compared to moving to China, that was easy peasy… Here, the most simple things are an adventure in itself. For example ordering food in a local restaurant. First, you need to find a reasonable place while trying not to get hit by a scooter, they are EVERYWHERE… Phuu. When that is done, you need to explain, with your body language, that you want to have a look at the menu. When you have the menu in your hand, it is time for the translation app to work. Often, the app is working quite good, but you never really know what you have ordered. Then the last step; to pay. You just give them your credit card or some cash? Nope. Now you have to explain, with your body language, that you don’t use Ali pay or WeChat pay, but that you want to pay with cash. The first times, when I went out to get some food, I was actually a bit nervous, I stepped outside of my comfort zone for the smallest thing, to buy food. After a couple of times, you get used to it, and now it’s a part of my everyday life. You just have to put yourself out there. So China, bring on the next challenge.    

Shanghai Tower

What’s next?

The program is not over yet, I have roughly eight months left! Next on the agenda is a trip to our Japanese site just outside Tokyo, and then I will finish up my rotation here in China before Christmas. My last rotation will be in the robotic sales team in the US, fun! There, I will be working with commercial sales to customers like universities and golf courses. I’m moving away from sourcing to the other side of the business, I think that will be a really good experience.

…And don’t forget to apply for the brand new Pioneer Program, the Global Trainee Program 2.0! http://trainee.husqvarnagroup.socialmediabranding.se/

Regards,

Caroline

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Procurement strategy for Seeds & Nuts


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Hugo here to give you an update from Copenhagen, Unibake and the Procurement department. During the last three months I have supported the team with the analysis part of the procurement strategy for the Nuts & Seeds category, and it’s been a great experience!

As some of you might remember I already introduced this project briefly in my last post. However, as I’m now in the end of this project I will let you know some more about it and how I’ve experienced it. The background of the project is that Unibake procurement has an ongoing extensive change program, referred to as One Unibake Procurement (OUP). A key part of OUP is promoting a strategic long term approach to procurement at Unibake, and creating category strategies that secure maximum value from procurement. One of these is the category strategy for seeds, nuts and kernels.

So this is what it’s all been about (at least some of them). Do you know them all? (Correct answer would be, from left: Almonds, Hazelnuts, Pumpkin kernels, Sesame seeds, Sunflower seeds and Poppy seeds)

So in order to set up a strategy and how this category should be maintained going forward, a greater understanding of the current situation was needed. This is where I came in. I’ve deep dived into the spend data to understand where and how much we spend, researched online for market insights and reached out to suppliers to understand were our growers for the seeds & nuts are located, and much more… All this was then compiled into one report which was used during the Kick-off meeting to get all the stakeholders up to speed with what’s going on within this category, with the aim to set up a strategy for the category further down the road.

It was really great to see how the analysis was received during the kick-off meeting and how all the participants from different areas contributed with their knowledge and area of expertise. Because even if it is the procurement team driving this project, input from other areas such as quality, finance and of course the representatives from each country is key in order to find the best path forward.

I had high expectations for CPH, however, not did I expect to attend the opening of Denmark’s first ski slope (on top of a power plant!?). Crazy Danes!

As this is the final rotation and the end of the trainee program a short summary is at its place. I have now spent my four rotations in four different companies (Swecon, Cerealia, Agro Oy, Unibake) in three divisions (& three nordic capitals!) and it’s safe to say that I have gained a lot of valuable experience which will be highly useful moving on with my Lantmännen career. So what’s now? Next week I will once more go for unexplored terrain taking on a full time position in a fourth division. The exciting times continues!

Until next time,

Hugo

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Digging into Swecon


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Hej blog!

From my last post, I have shared with you that currently I am joning Swecon in Germany. For you who does not know, Swecon sells and rents out construction equipments/machines (one of the products is e.g. excavators -> you use this to dig holes) from Volvo and has shown a successful business within Lantmännen.

Since we are also offering service work for repair and maintenance of the machines, it is important for us that our customers are satisfied not only with our products but also with the result of our service work. Therefore, I have been working on customer satisfaction survey for the service department and also helping out leasing department in improving their survey. The project has been really fun and working out really well! I got to visit some local branches nearby and talked to people who are directly involved in the assessment loop, inside and outside Swecon. It has been a great experience and I think I have gathered useful information to be put into recommendations.

Proudly hijacking an excavator

Being a woman within a male-dominated industry is also another thing. Recently, I participated in a small workshop about women at Swecon, where I met other female colleagues from other branches and shared stories about working with Swecon from women point of view. Together we discussed ideas and develop a strategy to embrace women’s role within the company. Can’t wait on how the outcome would look like! 🙂

Time ticks fast and in no time, all trainees will finish our very last assignments within the program. I will not spoil much about our permanent positions yet, you need to stay tune for our next posts 😉

Will you do anything fun this weekend? For me, I am heading to Gothenburg in Sweden with other trainess and spend our time together before we start our final positions. Very excited! 🙂

Take care!

/Vanessa

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Husqvarna Group Around the World: My Latest Year in Review


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Hi again blog-readers!

It’s been a year since I last wrote a blog post and in Husqvarna Group’s Global Trainee Program, a lot can happen in 365 days.

Assignment 1: Finishing up in Stockholm

My first assignment working in Stockholm as the Global Social Media Coordinator culminated in me participating in the Husqvarna Forest & Garden division’s two biggest product launches of 2019 – a pair of 50cc chainsaws, and a game-changing robotic lawnmower. We showcased the new chainsaws in the wintery forests of Huskvarna, while the latter product was introduced at the Mobile World Congress in sunny Barcelona. My task was to document these events in photo and video and distributing the content to all my social media colleagues throughout the globe. As I’d worked with the social media communication plans for both of these campaigns, it was a perfect way to end the assignment.

At the MWC in Barcelona

Trainee week in Germany

Between assignments, the trainees meet up for a week for presentations, factory tours, trainings and more. Trainee week #2 took us to Ulm, Germany, where the headquarters of the Gardena-division is located, and where the brand was born. Fun fact about Ulm: despite being quite a small city, it is home to the tallest church in the world – the Ulmer Münster! Also, Einstein was born there. 

Ulmer Münster

Assignment 2: Digital marketing in Paris

Assignment number two brought me to Paris, where I would spend six months working with the regional marketing team, focusing on digital marketing for the French market. This included creating Facebook campaigns for several different products and optimizing the French website – optimizing content and continuously improving the user experience. The highlight of the assignment, was that I was given the task to create, plan and run my very own campaign! To formulate an idea of my own, plan it out, execute and then measure the outcome was a huge learning experience, and lots of fun!

The Eiffel Tower celebrates 130 years

Assignment 3: APAC Regional Marketing in Kuala Lumpur

Fast forward to today – I’ve now been in Kuala Lumpur for roughly three weeks, doing my best to understand the vastly diverse and different market that is Asia-Pacific. My core project here will be to plan the Husqvarna Forest & Garden Division’s participation as main sponsor of the Asia Pacific Tree Climbing Championships, where this region’s best tree-climbing arborists will compete. I’ll also be supporting different ongoing marketing activities within the APAC markets, such as India, Japan and China. At the time of writing, I’ve just returned from a week of meetings in India, where our sales company was started about three years ago. At 330 years old, Husqvarna Group is still new in some parts of the world. Exciting times lay ahead, for Husqvarna Group and for me!

The Petronas Towers

Thanks for reading

/Oscar

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