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- The CEO Magazine
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Beijer Byggmaterial is going through a change of mindset by bringing the focus on its
internal and external relationships. Leading this organisational change is CEO and
passionate people person, Anders Jakobsson.
Images courtesy of Beijer Byggmaterial
nders Jakobsson was
recruited by Beijer
Byggmaterial five
years ago to take the
CEO position after his
extensive work in sales, marketing,
and business and people
development for Philips and
Elektroskandia. He has always had
a passion for people, both inside
and outside business, and brings
that same dedication and drive to
his role at the helm of Beijer.
growth and acquisitions. “We were
coming from a period of cost
cutting and trying to make the
organisation more cost effective.
Switching focus from cost to
growth demands another kind
of competence. So we have
been focused on the leadership
development during this year and
training to make that shift from
cost cutting to working with
customers and sales in order to
achieve growth.
“Our business is all about people.
We have very motivated staff and
they enjoy serving demanding
professional customers,” Anders
explains. “And they’re very good
at doing that and proud to do so.
Many of our staff have been
working with us for a very long
time. We have a lot of gold
watches. I think it’s a good
fundamental that people can
really develop and see Beijer as
a good company.”
“To structure sales we organised
the whole branch network into
seven regions, to ensure local
engagement, because in our
industry business is definitely
local; you must be number one in
your local city. Even if
you are a national company, you
can’t attract customers in the
northern part just because you’re
doing well in a city in the south.
You must have a strong local
focus. But that’s easier said than
done. It turned out that all branch
managers and people were not
really prepared to go from
working with a cost structure to
Coming into the role, Anders
needed to grow and develop the
business, both in terms of organic
The CEO Magazine - September 2014 creating growth in the local
market. So it was about changing,
training, and helping people to
adjust to this new mindset. We
organised the branch network
and we invested a lot of money
into skills development and
leadership training.”
The increasing speed of
technology has made customer
service more dynamic, to meet
this challenge, Beijer has adopted
an omnichannel approach to its
client communications. “Our
commitment today is to give
our customers a great digital
experience through our website.
Our customers have immediate
online access to their account,
where they find accurate stock
levels, their unique prices, and
place orders. For customers
adopting this new way of doing
business they will gain a
competitive advantage. They will
save time staying onsite and have
their orders picked, packed, and
delivered to their site at the time
they need it, while their
competitor will be visiting another
“We have put a
lot of work and
thinking into the
strategy and we
believe very
strongly in that
since we really
want to serve
our customers
in the best
possible way”
- Anders Jakobsson
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“We have put a lot of work and
brainpower into the omnichannel
strategy since we want to serve our
customers in the best possible way,
regardless of whether they want to
interact by phone, or physically in
our branch network, or using our
website. The industry is not
leading the online arena, but
e-commerce development is rapid,
and Beijer will be on the forefront
of this development.”
Anders has introduced some
structural changes within the
organisation to support growth
and increase the company’s focus
on customers and sales. One such
initiative is Mission Felix, which
aims to reduce 50 per cent of
administrative tasks for all staff at
the 75 branches. “We can unload
the administrative burden from
the branch and take that time and
spend it with customers. It is a
challenge for us, but that is what
Felix is all about. To achieve that
Aim higher
The limitless possibilities
of thin sheet metal.
ith deep roots in Scandinavia and steel
close to its heart, Plannja has been refining
thin steel sheet products since 1967.
Plannja designs, develops and produces
roofing, facade elements and every imaginable accessory
to add value and convenience to buildings. Plannja’s sheet
steel and aluminium roof and eave guttering are made
to withstand the Nordic climate, with exceptionally high
quality and attention to detail. The minimalist Nordic
design and colour of our products accentuate buildings’
we must work smarter, work with
more data-driven decisions
instead of just going on
experience or gut feelings. So
we base Mission Felix on three
pillars: fix basic, work smarter,
and be proactive.
“We made a time study and saw
that 60 per cent of the branch
network’s time was being spent on
non-customer-related tasks; mostly
admin tasks. One of our major
goals in Mission Felix is to turn
those numbers around; we shall
spend at least 60 per cent of our
time with customer activities and a
maximum of 40 per cent on other
things that you must do in the
branch. For example, one of the
things that comes with ‘fix basic’
and ‘work smarter’ is a huge
investment around logistics.”
Sustainable lightweight solutions
for the future
In a changing world, cooperation and trust are the keys to
success. We at Gyproc are convinced that a close cooperation
with our customers is a prerequisite to build and renovate
facilities and homes which are healthy for people to live and
work in. Through our combined technical expertise and our
innovations, we create the conditions for future-flexible,
economical and climatically advantageous solutions in
lightweight construction.
Our aim and mission is to lead the development of
sustainable building – together with you.
As part of Beijer’s efforts to
become more customer-centric and
streamline its operations, the
organisation recently invested
more than 100 million SEK into a
new distribution centre in
Stockholm. “We have 10 branches
in the Stockholm metropolitan
area. Before we moved distribution
orders to this centre, the staff in
these 10 branches used to spend
50 per cent of their working time
on distribution orders. So what I
mean about ‘fix basic’ and ‘work
smarter’ is that we’ve invested in
the distribution centre for the
region of Stockholm, which is very
important for us, and that saved
our branch staff 50 per cent of
their working time.
“With all distribution activities in
one place and all of our branches
in Stockholm are only pick-up or
collect branches. So instead of
spending time picking and packing
orders to be delivered, we can now
put that time into customer-facing
time instead. On top of that, we
have increased our delivery
capacity within that distribution
hub. So the service level has
increased and there’s been a huge
development in terms of how we
distribute with our own trucks in
the Stockholm area. The
investment is also a big success
from an environmental point of
view. This was the pilot and now
Göran Larsson,
Sales Director
It’s about aiming higher.
About being more determined and moving
onward and upward. At Svenska Fönster, we
are leaders in our industry. We have two strong
brand names – SP Fönster and Traryd Fönster –
both of which have a long-standing history and
solid traditions in the Swedish timber industry.
From this firm foundation, we have built up
one of Sweden’s most state-of-the-art window
manufacturing facilities and developed an
extensive range of top-quality, modern windows.
we are rolling out distribution
networks for the whole of Sweden
in the coming years.”
Focus and aspiration
The past five years have been eventful and exciting. In 2008, we
decided to significantly move our position forward. Our aim was
clear; to become the best partner for our customers. The first step
was to spread the Lean philosophy throughout the company to
make production processes more efficient and resource-friendly. In
2011, we launched a new generation of windows. Modern, virtually
maintenance-free windows with a perfect blend of beautiful,
innovative design and classic craftsmanship. Optimal from Traryd
Fönster and Balans from SP Fönster account for the majority of our
sales today. And it’s a continuing trend. We recently launched Intakt;
our new range of windows for apartments built using a brand new
technology platform.
We can also announce that our Optimal and Balans product series
together with the sliding doors are now available as BIM objects,
ready to use in CAD applications. This much-requested feature will
make work simpler for architects and engineers.
Environmental responsibility a core
company value
Our manufacturing facility is located in Edsbyn, in the magnificent
forests of central Sweden. Perhaps it’s our proximity to the countryside
that makes it so natural for us to do everything we can to minimise our
impact on the environment.
Ours is one of the most environmentally-compliant facilities in northern
Europe. Our coating systems are water-based, which means that almost
no solvents are used in our production processes. Two years ago,
we were the first window manufacturer in Sweden to be verified as
complying with the new, more stringent criteria set by the Nordic Swan
Eco-label. The following year, our passive house windows were the first
in Sweden to be certified as meeting the strict German standard.
Welcome to Svenska Fönster
If you would like to find out more about us, our products, and our
long-term commitment to driving Swedish window manufacturing to
even higher levels, please visit our websites. You will find our products
at selected retailers throughout Sweden.
spfonster.se och trarydfonster.se
Beijer is sharpening its focus on its
branch network and applying best
practice across the organisation. “The
industry is not really driven by good,
accurate data; we are making a lot of
decisions based on relations with the
customer, which is very important
because it is a relation-driven
business. Still, we need to have
clearer guidelines around pricing,
customer segmentation, and the
product assortment. By optimising
clear local mandate, reducing
manual pricing, and centrally
optimising pricing structures we
can realise a hidden potential.
“In the context of Mission Felix,
we believe that we can move taks
from the branch to a regional or a
central level. For example, establish
a regional experts team on tenders;
instead of everybody working on
complex tenders in the branches,
why don’t we take the best and
train them and really have control
of data, pricing, work, and support
the organisation in the region with
all tenders. So we make a bit of a
specialist group and a hit team.”
Since Beijer is part of Wolseley
Group, the company has access
to a wealth of knowledge and
resources from all over the globe.
“We are part of a Nordic cluster
called DT Group, which is the
company Wolseley bought some
years ago. In the group, we
realise a number of Nordic
synergies in terms of purchasing
IT, finance, and we try to
benchmark across the divisions
within the cluster. I am a part
of the Nordic management team
in those terms. We try to dig
out what makes sense and create
local competitiveness. If we
decide to centralise a process
or a decision on a national or
Nordic level, the decision is
made for us to gain advantages
for our local branch, for example
in Växjö, Luleå, or Karlstad.”
Anders notes the importance of
maintaining both internal and
external relationships as it
facilitates continuous
improvement within the business.
“We are a big player in Sweden
in terms of suppliers, so we
have regular discussions and
meetings with our big suppliers.
The suppliers work with us on
a Nordic level since many of
the contracts that we have are
“Suppliers also help us on a local
basis. We love our suppliers and
they are as important to us as our
customers. As a wholesaler and
distributor we absolutely need to
“We love our
suppliers and
they are as
important to
us as our
customers. As
a wholesaler
and distributor
we absolutely
need to
have good
with our
- Anders Jakobsson
have good relationships with our
suppliers. Going forward, instead
of spending too much time on
terms and conditions, I hope we
can switch over and see how we
can increase the savings together
with our customers.”
The development of Beijer will
focus mainly on Mission Felix,
which is a three-year journey
for the company. “We currently
have 12 projects ongoing; we
administer Mission Felix jointly
on a Nordic level, in a project
management office where we do
monthly follow-ups on all
initiatives, ensuring a fast and
efficient roll out. Even if we only
acheive 75 per cent of our targets
in Mission Felix, I think we can be
a game changer in our industry.
“I want to see our branch network
be a selling machine; they should
not be doing things that we can do
for them on a regional or central
basis. Hopefully, with the logistics
set up for the whole of Sweden,
with the omnichannel strategy,
supported by enriched digital
content, we can transform the way
we support our customers, be
proactive and really stand the test
of time. We are very good at
reactive states, meaning that when
you call us or come to us, we can
work day and night to help you out;
to be proactive sounds very easy,
but the culture in the industry
makes that a challenge for us.”
The CEO Magazine - September 2014