Counting steps in retrospect

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As I’m drafting this post, I’m on the train to Huskvarna to prepare Husqvarna’s latest IoT (Internet of Things) initiative, the Husqvarna Battery Box, for an upcoming Innovation Expo happening in the next week. Hence, I decided to contemplate about my journey in a setting that aptly depicts my overall experience as a Husqvarna Global Trainee so far: always on-the-go, dynamic and continuously learning while adapting to changing landscapes along the way.

The Husqvarna Battery Box

They say time passes the quickest when you’re having fun and I can’t refute that! I’ve reached half-time in my trainee journey after working in Husqvarna Group for a year. I’m also in the midst of my third assignment now, with Group Technology Office in Stockholm.

If there was one word to sum up my experience so far, it’s growth. This is where I’ve gained first-hand experience in being part of a business’ digital transformation. It’s no surprise that in our modern world, every business is a digital business – organizations need to either adapt or die, disrupt or be disrupted.

Now here’s a brief reflection into my current assignment’s experience:

As a company with more than 325 years of heritage, what does digital transformation mean for Husqvarna Group? How should we evolve to thrive in the digital space? How could we leverage technological capabilities to deliver substantial value for Husqvarna Group and our customers? How might we leverage upcoming technological trends to achieve our business goals and vision? What are the changes that we, as an organization, have to anticipate, accept, and prepare for? How should we then prioritize and manage these changes to succeed in digital transformation? What is our strategy towards innovation? Surely these questions beget a whole spectrum of underlying questions, so how should we best find answers we need? So…that’s merely a glimpse and guess what, I’ve barely begun.

I’ve been introduced to the realm of design thinking and working with “wicked problems” in an applied way. Being a digital marketer venturing into different yet related fields, I’m compelled to adopt an entirely different perspective and new thinking paradigms (which makes it exciting!).

The amazing Brand & Marketing Team (Gardena and Husqvarna Group)!

In retrospect, I’m glad I’ve made the decision to undertake this challenge and step out from my comfort zone in Singapore. I’ve been taken to places, allowing me to gain so much more through the valuable exposure and relationships I’ve built across the organization in my various assignments. I’m thankful for this ride…!

“Nästa station, Huskvarna”, an announcement reverberates through the train, it’s time to check out! Vi ses!

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Ready when you are!

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Ciao Ragazzi, my name is Giuseppe and I graduated within International Logistics and Supply Management in Sweden (MSc, in Jönköping). After finishing my studies I started my exciting journey as a Global Trainee for the Husqvarna Group.

Since then I got to know amazing people while working within international project groups and along different departments. Allow me to quickly recap the last 10 months:

I started my international rotation in Ulm (Germany), where I was working for the Logistics department. While working in Ulm I was responsible to reduce the logistics costs by improving the stock levels and establishing a new delivery concept together with a card board supplier. In addition to that, I also got the opportunity to undertake a pre-study for an automated warehouse solution for our spare parts logistics warehouse in Laichingen. Both tasks were characterized by the fact that I could not really apply theories and knowledge I acquired throughout my studies. Thus, it made the tasks extremely interesting since I had to think outside the box and move out of my comfort zone.

Meanwhile, I have already past 4 months of my second rotation. I am now based in Aycliffe, UK, where I am working within Supply Chain Management and Sales. My learning curve throughout the last couple of months was amazing. I got assigned with the role as a Project Manager and I am currently setting up a new customer, thereby coordinating logistical, sales, financial & IT related topics. I actually never expected to get a similar amount of responsibility assigned, before I started this program. Hence, I am really happy that I got this chance to prove myself in an competitive global environment.

Aside from the work, one of the best things about being a Global Trainee for Husqvarna Group, is the opportunity to meet new people from different cultures. I have made many new friends in the past couple of months, and have also had the pleasure of exploring the variety of nature that the cities of the UK have to offer.

Can’t wait to tell you more about my stay in Sweden as well as our next training modules in the USA and China.

In diesem Sinne, see you soon & arrivederci!

Giuseppe Anello

Global Trainee Logistics & Operations

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Travelling the customer journey

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Have you ever perceived how you make decisions every day? We all constantly record and evaluate information, both consciously and unconsciously, and try to figure out the best choice for reaching short- and longtime goals. This applies to your leisure time activities, your choice of food, what tasks you concentrate on in work, and also what you buy. What has this to do with my work as a global marketing trainee in one of the biggest forest- and garden companies in the world? Let me take you on my customer journey.

David Vogl,
here on a non-customer related journey


The customer journey

For us as a manufacturer, it is crucial that we can reach the customer during their decision process. Very often, it’s not only about the product itself, but a lot of times you have many more factors like brand reputation, emotion or former experience with a brand as a decision criteria.

A good model for describing the basic relationship steps between a customer and a brand is the conversion funnel, that the following graph illustrates.

It begins with the overall awareness of a brand. Does the customer even recognize a brand? The next steps show, if a customer knows more than the name of a brand (Familiarity), if they would consider it for purchase (Consideration), and finally if they would prefer the brand over another when choosing a product for a need. Of course, from the top you lose potential customers since not everybody that is aware of the brand will finally purchase the product of this brand.

You can imagine, that you perform better if you lose as few potential customers as possible during the journey.

Building the basics

Of course, given the market you cannot focus on all steps equally. My first assignment is a good example of awareness building.

During this rotation, I was working amongst other projects on the market introduction of our brand in the UK from a global brand management perspective. Pretty few people know GARDENA on the rainy island. Hence, I learned a lot about building a customer base.

What makes us stick out compared to other customers? Which channels have the biggest impact? What is the best time for penetrating the market? How can we provide assets with the deducted messages from market research?

A lot of question marks, and a lot of step by step actions characterized this important part of my first half year.

Improving a growing market

Currently, in my second assignment I am working in Sweden. Here, the brand is already much more established, but still a lot of potential for growing. Once you have a certain level of awareness, it makes sense to more concentrate on activities further down the funnel. What can you do for a person considering or preferring your brand and product over others?

For this purpose, I am working on optimizing our point of sales performance. At the point of sales, the customer actively decides between the brands he considers for his actual purchase, so it is crucial to perform well there. Therefore, I define main stores and improve activities for a high impact in actual sales. This applies for physical stores as well as online.

Daily work

Of course, I am not only working on strategic topics. There are also a lot of hands-on tasks that help understand the different facets and needs in the departments. Below, I am depicted with my Swedish colleagues at our Husqvarna Group annual shareholder meeting, where I prepared the GARDENA division’s participation.


 More to learn

What I also enjoy a lot is, that I can develop more besides work tasks. I get room for developing other skills like lean management techniques or project management.

For my daily work, the most important take away from those trainings is the concept of continuous improvement. The idea is to constantly question and improve current situations, and to standardize them for establishing better habits. In my opinion, this applies for a lot of work- and non-work related situations in life.

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Exciting times ahead!

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The year of 2016 was the year when I graduated as Master of Science in Industrial Engineering, it was also the year when I was hired as a global trainee at Husqvarna Group. I started my two year program the fall of 2016. So far it have been an exciting time, with a lot of new impressions, which I will tell you about in this short blog post.

Each global trainee has its own focus area, with a specified development plan guiding four assignment rotations for the coming two years. Me, as global trainee within manufacturing started my first assignment at Manufacturing Engineering at the Husqvarna site in Huskvarna.

My first two weeks at Husqvarna started with an introduction to the manufacturing site, which is a very interesting one; as it contains the whole value chain. The process starts with a piece of metal and ends with a final product ready to be delivered to a dealer. During these two weeks; me and a fellow trainee got to spend time understanding the everyday work of the different functions within manufacturing. Most interesting was the days we got to assembly products on the assembly line, it gave me understanding of the product and the challenging work for my colleagues.

Me during product testing at the first training module.

The first assignment was kicked off with a training module and introduction to the Husqvarna division with start in and end at Husqvarna Headquarters in Stockholm. During this training module I got to meet all the other global trainees for the first time, and we had a great time as we learned about the products and the business of Husqvarna.

Huskvarna site is currently going through an industrial revolution where we are moving towards industry 4.0. As my first assignment I got to participate in this exciting journey as project manager of a pre-study. The pre-study included movement from manual assembly towards a semi-automated assembly for one of our fast growing product categories. The finalization of the pre-study meant a presentation for the management team, and now the project is moving towards the next step.

I will soon change assignment and thereby perspective. I will move to the product department for the product category which I worked with within manufacturing. It will be interesting to experience both the delivery and receiving end of the development process, and I’m certain that I have an exciting time ahead of me.

Best regards;

Olof Gustafsson

Global trainee Manufacturing, Husqvarna Division

Husqvarna Group

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