CEO of the Month, Sweden: Peter Sprigg, Helge Nyberg AB

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Peter joined Helge Nyberg in 2009, during the economic crisis in which all firms in the market were suffering, but despite this has managed to keep the company growing and moving forward. He believes that the reason he was so successful in piloting the firm out of the recession was his head on approach to tackling the issue.

“The market for trucks and trollies was heavily exposed during the financial crisis, which we took as an exciting challenge, making vital changes to our company in order to adapt. As a new CEO in the company, I also took the opportunity to make a six month analysis of our market.

“I used the strategy of, Listen, Find and Act. This meant that I made a lot of interviews with people in the organization, as well as partners and customers. I wanted to identify the changes in the market in order to identify new future sustainable strategies for growth.

“Once these had been identified, one of the first things I did was to make a turnaround in our communication and thinking, from inside out to outside and in, ensuring our firm studied the market before making any decision. In addition we started to look at the company with the view from our customer’s eyes. We started to communicate the benefit for our customers when they used our products in different logistics flow in each segment, instead of product specifications, as well as making new LEAN product development depending of which kind of segment our product should be used in, ensuring that our product range met the requirements of our customers.”

These new strategies, combined with Peter’s excellent organisational skills and customer focused approach helped to bring the firm out of recession, however Peter emphasised that the firm never remains still. Working in an ever changing market, Helge Nyberg needs to ensure that they are constantly ahead of the market in terms of emerging trends, which is why the firm has built a strong customer focus and strong R&D into each of their product classes.

Peter understands that research and development is vital to the firm’s success, as it ensures that they are constantly aware of customers’ needs, which is why 13% of Helge Nyberg’s employees work in the R&D department.

According to Peter, his strong customer focus stems from his background.

“My background as CEO comes from the sales and marketing and I have bought the knowledge gained there into Helge Nyberg, as I realise the need to understand our customers’ needs and demands.

“It is one of our main aims to create strategies, products and solutions that meet and exceed those needs. I have previously worked in a number of industries which has given me a wide range of experience which I use in a variety of ways. Previously I worked as a sales and Marketing manager gaining invaluable experience about logistics solutions with a particular emphasis on the areas of wireless networking, barcodes, handheld computers, barcode printers etc. In this position I drew upon my experience in sales to understand what our customers needed.

“Some of my sales and marketing, experience was spent working for the leading can maker in Northern Europe as a Group Commercial Director, as well as in the textiles industry which has led me to the belief that no matter what product you are selling, in the business model you need to focus on helping your customer to be more successful in his business with your product. If you are not able to make this, you will have a problem.”

Under Peter’s stewardship Helge Nyberg has become the byword for quality. Peter ensured that quality and customer care were installed as a culture in the company as well as implementing LEAN principles in the company. This combination of approaches ensures that the firm operates at maximum efficiency but is always focused on ensuring that the customer receives the best possible product.

The firm has also diversified itself away from traditional its competitors, by providing their customers with a unique service which Peter emphasised was fully aimed at ensuring customer satisfaction.

“We have unique solutions for order picking within our e-Commerce section, as well as using our strong knowledge about our customers’ demands in the different segments we are acting in to ensure we always provide them with exactly what they need, which is what seperates us from our competitors.

In each market segment- Industrial & Manufacturing – E-Commerce & Orderpicking – Healthcare & Hospital - Automotive & Vehicle and Service & Support, we understand the demands and needs and have built up an organization which is able to both provide standard products as well as tailor made customer solutions in order to fulfil them.”

Helge Nyberg operates across a number of markets, and as Peter explained, this requires strong and focused leadership.

“Our firm has succeeded in so many markets because we have a focused approach to everything we do. Our position at the market is as an in house material handling specialist. My role as a CEO is to ensure that we always have enough information and enough skills to succeed in every endeavour.

“This ensures that the outcome and the result of our activities should lead to our customers perceive us as specialist and with this in mind, feel satisfied working with us as a partner. This position, includes all our activities, from development, to production, market and sales as well as the behaviour and attitude of all of the people in our organization, which is a vast task but one which I enjoy.”

In the future, Peter is keen to grow the company even further. Currently the firm constantly benchmarks itself against other firms in the sector to explore every avenue which could be used to grow the business, but there is still more that can be done.

“We have a turnover forecast of about 15% this year and intend to set ourselves a similar target for next year in the hope that we can gradually expand into new markets, which will provide us with fresh and exciting challenges.”

Company: Helge Nyberg AB

Name: Peter Sprigg

Email: peter.sprigg@helge-nyberg.com

Web Address: www.helge-nyberg.com

Address: Industrivägen 2,

523 90 ULRICEHAMN

Telephone: 46 321 263 00

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