My Experience at Lantmännen Summarized


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Hello!

This is Sebastian writing from Kiev. I wrote about my assignment in Kiev in another post a couple of months ago, so I am not going to repeat that. Instead, I thought that I would try to sum up my experience throughout this trainee program.

My experience during this 15-month period has been amazing. I started off at AS Faktor in Stockholm, where I worked in a business development role. Then, I develop a go-to-market strategy for fast food buns at Unibake’s headquarter in Copenhagen. Third, I got shadow the energy department’s CEO for three months while also working on a market analysis project for Lantmännen Reppe. Finally, I am not in Kiev working on a business continuity plan for Lantmännen Cerealia.

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Me at Cerealia Ukraine’s annual picnic

Coming in to the program, I was not sure about exactly what types of tasks I wanted to work with. My degree was in marketing, but that I quiet a large area. Getting the chance to work on four large assignments, with some sub-assignments, in four different organizations has really helped me understand what is important to me. For me, that has turned out to be combining long term strategic projects with day-to-day tasks while constantly working with people.

The program also has made me reflect a lot on leadership. I have had the chance to work with a lot of leaders throughout the program, and it has become clear to me that leaders manage their employees very differently. Some leaders believe in collaborative environments while other believe in personal responsibility. Some want constant progress updates while other just was a finished result. What has been great about this program is that I have been around enough leaders to understand what kind of leadership works for me and what kind of leader I want to be. I think gaining a deeper understanding of that will help me tremendously in my future career.

I think constantly being thrown into a new unfamiliar situations in the beginning of my career has been very helpful to my future development. I am not sure if it happens to everybody, but when I enter unfamiliar territories I start to analyze my surroundings and questions why things are the way they are. When you get to do that over and over again, you realize that there are no right or wrong ways to do things. When I came into the company I had the mindset that I had to understand how things are done at Lantmännen; how do leaders act? how are processes carried out?

What has turned out to be my most important realization is that there is no right way because everybody has different ways of doing things. I just have to find my way. I definitely have not found my way yet, but I think the program was the perfect first step to get there.

//Sebastian

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An electrified future


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The end of one great journey is the beginning of another. We have a bit more than a month left of our period as trainees at Lantmännen before starting our permanent positions. But there is still a lot left to do before that. When I’m writing this I’m sitting at the airport in Düsseldorf on my way back to Stockholm. This as a part of my assignment for Swecon, dealer of Volvo CE machines in Sweden, Germany and the Baltics. I’m assigned to look into how a business model in an electrified future could look like, with the upcoming release of two fully electrified construction machines from Volvo CE.

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Showing my lack of skills in a Volvo excavator, really exciting!

Parallel to this assignment is the finalization of our Strategic Group Assignments, which have been mentioned in previous blog posts and are to be presented the upcoming Monday.

In the middle of all this I’ll visit a career fair at Linköping University together with my trainee colleagues Moa and Hugo, all of us Linköping University alumni’s. A great deal of fun to get the opportunity to promote Lantmännen for all the curios and excited students.

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Carrer fair at Linköpng University.

And as if that was not enough, we are also coming together the full trainee group for a final training session where we are about to dig deeper into the topic “communication” , as well as summarize our learnings and experiences over the past year.

Life at Lantmännen, hectic but a great deal of fun!

//Anton

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From Ukrainian cereals to Swedish fuel


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Hi again!

Last time I wrote, I was in Kiev (where Sebastian is at the moment, as you can read in his last blog post). After returning to Sweden, I had some vacation before it was time to move again. This time to Gothenburg!

I have been to Gothenburg several times, but only for a few days each time, so it is going to be great to experience this city for a longer period. Even though it is the second largest city in Sweden, my first impression is that it is not as hectic as Stockholm can be sometimes. Don’t get me wrong here, I love Stockholm, but Gothenburg has a slightly different vibe and I believe I will really enjoy these three months here.

The reason for me going to Gothenburg is to work at Aspen, located in Hindås (about 30 min outside of Gothenburg). Aspen’s most well-known product is an alkylate fuel, which means it is basically free from sulfur, benzene and solvents. Hence, it is better for human, machine and the environment.

My exact assignment at Aspen will be determined along the way, depending on my initial findings. But broadly, I will look at potential new segments for Aspen or existing segments that are worth pursuing even further. So far, I believe it is a very exciting project that will hopefully be valuable for Aspen in the future. Also, I really like the atmosphere at Aspen. Even though it has grown to a large company, it still has a kind of entrepreneurial spirit, which suits me very well. I will let you know more about my time here in my next blog post in a few months.

Allt gött!

Johan

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Next Stop: Ukraine


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Greetings from Kiev!

This week on the Lantmännen trainee blog: Sebastian makes his third appearance – this time from Ukraine.

After a great summer filled with various vacation activates, it was time to get back to work this week. For me that meant packing my bags, downloading Duolingo, and getting on a plane to Boryspil Airport in Kiev. My dear trainee colleague Johan was here during his third trainee assignment, and after hearing his wonderful tales about this magical place, I simply had to follow in his footsteps.

As I am writing this, I have only been in Kiev for five days so I don’t have a firm grasp of this city quite yet. My first impression, however, is that Johan was right about this place – it has great people, beautiful scenery, and amazing food. I cannot wait to explore this country further over the next three months.

The main reason Lantmännen sent me to Kiev, though, was not to develop a deep appreciation for borscht, but rather to develop a business continuity plan. Lantmännen is the Ukrainian market leader in breakfast cereals and all products here are locally produced. That means that Lantmännen has a factory as well as a sales/marketing office in Kiev.  

Creating a business continuity plans means working with the local operations director to ensure that the local business can get back on its feet as quickly as possible after major interruptions. In order to do this, I will first need to identify potential risks that could lead to major interruptions, such as natural disasters, loss of utilities, or major machinery breakdowns. Then, I will determine what the most critical business functions are and how said risks could impact each critical function. Finally, I will develop strategies for each critical business function to get back to normal after potential interruptions. Doesn’t it sound fun?!

Since I only have three months to accomplish all of that, I should probably get back to work now.

Until next time!

З повагою,

Себастьян

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START! your day with breakfast from START! and AXA


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Привіт з Києва! (Hello from Kiev!)

Since the last time I wrote, I have moved from Stockholm to the amazing city Kiev in Ukraine. I had never visited Kiev before and now, when I have been living here for about 10 weeks, I can say I really like Kiev! There are so many things to see and so much to do.

So what brought me to Kiev? Cerealia has an office here (or actually two if you include the one at the production plant) and more specifically, the brands START! and AXA have a production site here, mainly for the Ukrainian market. The products differ slightly from the START! and AXA products you can find in for instance Sweden, where the START! in Ukraine is more focused towards children and both of the brands are a little bit more sweet in the taste.

A view of the the beautiful city Kiev.

The office here is a lot smaller than the head quarter in Stockholm, so everyone knows everyone which creates a good atmosphere in the office. I am at the marketing team doing different assignments connected to their two main brands. At the moment, the marketing team is working on a new commercial platform for the START! brand in Ukraine, which is really interesting for me since I get to see the process from the beginning to the end.

Initially, I attended everything from a photo shoot to several focus groups. Since I do not have a background in marketing (I have only had a few introductory courses in marketing), it was all very new to me. As a result, it has been very interesting and I have learnt a lot of new things when it comes to marketing. This is really a good example of why I enjoy this Trainee Program, since you get the opportunity to try and learn new things in areas that is not specifically connected to your previous expertise. We get a really good insight in several of the main parts of Lantmännen, which will be very valuable going forward in our careers, no matter which area we eventually end up in.

Taking some new photos for an updated product design.

Time really flies, and in a few weeks I am going back to Sweden again for some summer vacation. But before that, we will have a recharge in Copenhagen with all trainees that I really look forward to. I am sure one of the other trainees will write about that in the end of June, so stay updated and don’t forget to read all other blog posts before that – we (the nine trainees) keep you updated every week!

Приємного літа!

/Johan

St Andrew’s church. One of many churches and cathedrals in Kiev.

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Strategic group assignment and burger buns


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Hi everyone!

Time flies and I’m almost half way through my third assignment at Lantmännen Unibake. Based at their office in Copenhagen I’m working with a project aimed at establish an assessment model for mapping quality costs. The project is really fun and gives me the opportunity to visit some of Unibake’s production facilities. So far I’ve visited our bakeries in Petikko, Finland and Örebro, Sweden, the last place is where we produce sausage and burger buns under the brand Korvbrödsbagarn, well known by all Swedes. In two weeks I’m heading over to a Unibake site near Oslo to gather the last pieces of data. By the end of this assignment I’ll be if not an expert on burger and sausage buns, at least a couple of kilos heavier from eating it.

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Parallel to our current and next assignment all trainees are involved in three so called Strategic Group Assignments.  We’ve been divided into groups of three and assigned a project concerning Lantmännen or one of Lantmännen’s divisions at a strategic level. I’ve been assigned, together with my trainee colleagues Johanna and Sebastian, a project for Cerealia (producing products under well known brands such as Axa, Kungsörnen and GoGreen). We have been given the task to look further into what global opportunities there are out there for their products. Who knows in what countries we’ll find the green sprout of Lantmännen in the future.

Next update of our blog will be within a week, up till then have a great time!

Ps. Try out the new Potato Burger Bun from Korvbrödsbagarn if you’ve got the opportunity, tried it this week at our site in Örebro and it is delicious!!

https://korvbrodsbagarn.se/kampanj/potato-burger-bun-nyhet/

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From animal feed to bread and croissants!


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Hello blog, I’m back!

So it’s finally my turn to blog again and a lot has happened since last time! After I finished my project in Stockholm at GF, I moved to Malmö to work with profitability of animal feed with fixed prices. But what is that and why the focus on fixed prices?

The farmer has the possibility to purchase animal feed for several months ahead at a fixed price, opposed to the alternative, which is to buy smaller portions of feed whenever the farmer needs it, with an updated price every time. With a fixed price, the farmer won’t be exposed to the risk of an increase of the feed price, which is based on the raw materials going in to the feed. In order to be profitable, Lantmännen needs to set the right fixed price and my job was to see how we could optimize that process as well as follow up on it. It wasn’t easy, but I learned so much! For example, I learned a bit about hedging commodities in the global market in order to secure a certain price for a certain raw material, but also about controlling, different roles at feed and how we produce and price feed.

Me and my happy team during period 2 in Malmö

As of now, I am located in Belgium with Unibake and I am working in Londerzeel. Here in Londerzeel, Lantmännen Unibake has a bread factory which is completely new and rebuilt, as it sadly burned down in the summer of 2015. My project is about exploring the possibilities to develop a new sales channel in Belgium and/or the Netherlands. This means that I get to explore the Belgian and Dutch bread- and pastry-market by visiting different cities within these countries, which is a lot of fun!

During this period, I am staying in Antwerp, a beautiful city located in the north of Belgium. It is almost like a smaller version of Paris! Here I have found new friends trough an expat community and I have joined a local Cross Fit club where I am surrounded by happy people that always cheer on each other during workouts. Apart from that, I have also got to know some of my great colleges here and we sometimes meet up for different activities, usually involving some kind of eating. One of my colleges is Petra, who just moved from our agriculture business in Malmö to Unibake here in Londerzeel. In Malmö she worked with controlling and now she will be working with marketing, which I believe is a great example of the different possibilities within Lantmännen!  

Brunching with colleges on a day off 🙂
Lunch at the office with Gerald, Katleen and Petra!
Some of the delicious temptations at the Londerzeel office!

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Exploring new territories, finance at Cerealia!


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Hi best blog-followers!

This period I’m positioned at Cerealia within their finance department, which has been really interesting for me since I where more or less clueless about what actually goes on in a finance department. My project is about facilitating the move to the new organisational structure for Cerealia by establishing new monthly reporting material. Now, with a few weeks left of this assignment I can start to condlude my learnings and it’s been a very insightful and interesting time, giving me an holistic view of the organization, much thanks to the nature of the project. Because, to be able to put together this reporting material that is expected to cover large parts of the organisation, it have forced me to explore and understand many unfamiliar territories. So basically the essence of the trainee program! 🙂

As told in the previous post, a whopping 78% (or exactly 7/9 for those that prefer) were able to sync their calenders and take a weekend to Sälen. A few days packed with skiing, sauna, afterski etc etc teambuilded our group even stronger and we left with a big smile on our faces. And maybe some aches in our aging muscles, 1/1 (100%) worth it!

Almost whole crew lined up before another unforgettable ride in the slopes

Also, Johan left last post with a big cliffhanger, promising pictures from an epic squash game. Unfortunately, all I can offer is an anticlimax since the game was postponed due to a striking knee (not ski related). However, might be for the best not to test that teambuilding too soon 😉 Instead I will leave you with a picture from this week’s dinner at Vanessa’s!

Indonesian dinner. Good food – Great company!

Next time you hear from me I’ll be in Finland looking into the agriculture business, talk to you then!

/Hugo

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Back in Stockholm!


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Hi blog!

Finally it is my (Johan’s) turn again to write a blog post. Currently, I am positioned at Group Business Control in Stockholm. Here, I have a project connected to the follow-up process of the larger investments that take place within the group every year. Given my background in accounting and finance, this project is a little bit more within my comfort zone. It is also great to be back in Stockholm since it is easier to hang out with friends and family compared to when I lived in Copenhagen during the autumn (even though I really enjoyed living in Copenhagen 🙂 ).

A fun thing about the trainee program, except from the great experience you get from working in different parts of an organization with completely different projects, is that we as a trainee group have so much fun together. We try to have AWs, do sport activities and similar together. For instance, Hugo and I have started doing a sport activity once a week, usually squash or badminton. And currently, we are sitting in a car heading to Sälen for some skiing during the weekend! Hugo will show you some pictures from the squash games and the ski trip in his next blog post.

A quick stop at Moa’s family home for some hot chocolate on our way to Sälen!

I have also started to think about the last two positions. For the first two positions, we couldn’t really influence in which part of the organization we were placed. One of them should be within the comfort zone and one outside the comfort zone (mostly connected to our studies and earlier work experience). However, for the last two positions, we have much more possibility to control in which direction we want to go. For instance if we want to be positioned abroad (and then in which country) or if we have more specific work related desires, e.g. marketing or just a certain business unit.

In my case, I have not been at Cerealia, where the brands such as AXA, Kungsörnen and GoGreen are included. At the same time, I wanted to do another project abroad and then I heard that Cerealia has two offices (one main office and one production plant) in Kiev, Ukraine. I have not visited Ukraine before, and from what I have heard, many people in Ukraine hardly speak English. So I believe this project will be challenging in a new way, besides just a new project in a new country. But I see it as a really exciting challenge, and I am sure it will be a great experience bringing a lot of joy. Kiev is apparently the third greenest capital in Europe, so I look forward to some great running in the parks and along the river.

Talk to you soon again!

/Johan

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MY GOD THAT’S GOOH!


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Could be the slogan but it is not, though Gooh! is extremely tasty. My name is Anton and I’m now trusted with producing some content for the blog. Currently I’m on my second assignment at, as you might guess, Gooh! which is the brand under which Lantmännen sells their Ready-to-Eat dishes.

Trial run for one of the new Gooh! dishes at Lantmännen’s plant out in Järna.

Back in September I started out my time as a trainee at Lantmännen Agriculture and their office down in Malmö, before heading north up to Stockholm. Down in Malmö I looked into the interest and feasibility for a grain with smaller carbon footprint, a highly interesting task which really could make a difference for the climate and make us more sustainable. Now I’m on my second assignment working with the product development for Gooh! which is great fun!

Apart from our daily work we trainees also engage in training sessions where we deep dive into topics such as leadership and supply chain, as can be seen down below.

You never get too old for Lego!

And if you yet haven’t, try out one of the dishes from Gooh!

//Anton

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