Södra's products are part of the ecocycle
Södra is one of Sweden’s largest export companies with two-thirds of its sales outside Sweden. The main market for its products is Europe.
An overriding feature of Södra’s strategy is the process of continuous improvements, an endeavour that encompasses all business areas and staff functions. During 2000 to 2009, more than 10,000 improvement proposals from the employees were implemented, corresponding to a value of approximately SEK 500 million.
In the strategy for 2010 to 2014, the ambition is to implement the same number of proposals in half the time. The productivity generated by the employees’ proposals will thereby be doubled during the period and the pace of concept generation has already been exceeded. During the year, more than 3,800 proposals from the employees were implemented with an overall effect equivalent to SEK 134 million in annual profit improvement.
Value-based leadership provides motivation
The human resources strategy is founded on a value-based management philosophy that emphasizes the manager’s important task of managing human resources and relationships.
The employee mainly contributes his or her expertise, which is the sum of the individual’s abilities, knowledge and, in particular, will.
The whole, closeness and movement are three guiding concepts used to provide room for motivation and will in the daily work. The whole entails that every employee is aware of his or her own significance to the whole. Closeness is the certainty that meetings and relationships strengthen both Södra and the individual employee. With movement, a permissive company culture is cultivated that stimulates change and innovative thinking. Work is followed up through recurring employee surveys, among other efforts.
Recyclable, renewable and compostable
Södra’s business strategy is based on its mills providing an appropriate market for its members’ wood raw materials at market prices. All operations are conducted in harmony with the forest’s ecocycle, constant renewal and growth. The products are inherently a part of the ecocycle: recyclable, renewable and compostable.
Strategy: Södra Skog
Södra Skog’s strategy includes five overriding objectives. The first is to develop an early, profitable service concept with an adapted range of products and services, and stronger communication regarding the offering. The second objective involves a long-term increase in forest growth combined with well-developed consideration of the environment. The third is greater professionalism in the customer and supplier relationship and involves continued development of purchasing efforts and market communication aimed at members, more efficient logistics and the development of the internal cooperation between Södra Skog and the other business areas of the Group.
Södra Skog’s fourth objective is to increase its market share and profitability in the biofuel business, mainly through larger purchases in the field, increased peat production, more international transactions and the development of new technology. The fifth objective is higher volumes of all wood product ranges and the maintenance of the external trade. This objective includes increasing delivery activity among the existing members and attracting new members.
Strategy: Södra Cell
Södra Cell’s strategy is summarised in the business area’s three key objectives. The first is to be the most productive company, both in terms of nurturing the productivity culture and work to develop new products.
The second is to be the most energy-efficient company. This pertains to efforts to make the operations fossil-free in regular operation, which has already been achieved in Södra Cell Värö, and a leveraging of the potential of existing and new energy carriers.
The third is to be the most attractive company for employees and customers. Södra Cell aims to be the customers’ first choice and contribute to the customers’ value-creating product development.
Strategy: Södra Timber
Södra Timber will undergo relatively extensive changes in the next few years, particularly through the new sawmill in Värö. When it is finished in 2011, it is expected to be Sweden’s largest sawmill with an annual production capacity of 750,000 cubic metres.
The business area attaches considerable importance to the development of sales work. The strategy includes becoming a larger, more attractive producer on the market through efficient logistics, more collaboration with other parties and a well-developed customer offering. An important point is to increase internal cooperation, such as with Södra Interiör.
Strategy: Södra Interiör
Södra Interiör has a strong position in Northern Europe. The company produces an extensive range of interior wood products characterised by both product breadth and product depth. This is the core of the operation throughout the entire strategy period.
The business area will continue to grow. Growth is expected to primarily take place organically based on the current organisation. The objective is to grow in virtually all the product areas in which the company is already active, including the sawn hardwood and processing product areas. Another focus area is Södra Interiör’s brand work. The campaign initiated in 2010 is the first step in a multi-year endeavour.
Strategy: Wind power
Södra is planning and building wind power plants at the pulp mills in Mönsterås, Värö and Mörrum. The main owner of the company that develops and builds wind power plants on the members’ land is the Norwegian energy group Statkraft.