Foreword: Evolution not revolution
I’m delighted to have been appointed the new President of Södra Cell business area, where I inherit a steady ship that is financially secure with a loyal customer base and a reputation for innovation, service and quality in the market. I’m not looking to steer us in a completely new direction, but I do intend to keep the wind in our sails to ensure we maintain an edge in the market and remain your supplier of choice.
My experience should help me on this path. I held both papermaking and converting positions in my previous working life, and my 13 years at Södra have included stints as Mill Manager as well as heading up Sales. I know what it’s like to be on both sides of the price cycle and am grateful for the relationships we have built together that see us through the rough and smooth. I am keen to strengthen our ties further and believe Södra still has the edge when it comes to customer service and collaboration. I feel confident that we will continue to develop our joint projects through Pulp+ in the coming years, adding value to both our businesses.
I am particularly keen to see us shorten the time between innovation in the lab and a new product on the market, and make our processes more open to you, our customers. To this end, we will bring the entire management team to Barcelona for the first time, giving you the chance to meet our mill managers as well as the Sales team. We may be employing the latest digital technology in everything from forestry to logistics, but there is still no substitute for face-to-face discussions, so prepare your questions and suggestions!
Internally, I intend to gather a management team around me which will include more than one person from each competence, whether that be maintenance, production, sales or logistics. By promoting discussion and different points of view, I hope to encourage further creativity and innovation to add value to the supply chain.
I will also be looking at ways to attract and maintain the best rising talent in the industry because it is the expertise of our staff which enables our business to make a difference.
We are preparing to review Södra’s strategic goals for the next 5-10 years. In these turbulent times we are feeling the effects of climate change, political uncertainty, a slowdown in China, trade wars, Brexit and more. It has become harder than ever to plan for the future. What we do know is that the ability to adapt and respond quickly to changing demands will be key to success, as will a business model that places sustainability at its core. We believe that we are well placed to face these challenges, but we are not complacent. We have more to do, we have plans for further expansion and targets to ensure we remain at the forefront of environmental best practice.
Together we can help build a more sustainable and prosperous future.