Family company Skandia Elevator is 100 years old, yet in spite of this milestone the company is already planning for the future.
“It has taken 100 years to become the European leader when it comes to handling grain. Now we’re going to be best in the world” says Joakim Larsson, MD at Skandia Elevator. Skandia Elevator is a company with a pedigree. It was founded in Vara by brothers Nils and Gustav Larsson in 1914. And still today, 100 years on, the Vara plain remains the company’s home, and as before, the company is run by two brothers from the Larsson family – Joakim and Jonas. They took over the company as partners in the 1990s. They developed a business plan early on and set their sights pretty high – to become European leaders in their industry. The business plan was christened Vision 100 and would be realized in time for the centenary in 2014.
“Looking back we can see that everything went much better than expected – sales have increased fivefold, we launched two new product lines and more than doubled the number of export countries” says Joakim Larsson, who these days is MD at Skandia Elevator.
There are many reasons for their success. In the eyes of Joakim, it all boiled down to decisiveness. Having a clear goal made it easy to opt for the right measures. Production and export capabilities were improved, and the personnel also played an important part.
“Vara is an agricultural town that was built on hard work. There is motivation here, and an ambition always to do the right thing. Day-to-day work is characterized by a high degree of involvement and a propensity to join in and make a difference. I suppose you could say we have more than 100 entrepreneurs working for us” explains Joakim And it was precisely this entrepreneurial spirit that was crucial for the company’s survival. We can see it especially well in the company’s latest product, the Sweep Conveyor, a device that empties and cleans silos fully automatically and which took home the Elmia Lantbruk Innovation Award 2014.
Humility and attentiveness are two other important factors, which is apparent in many of Skandia Elevator’s customer collaborations, the majority of which have been going on for decades.
“We grow alongside our customers, and we see opportunities where others see problems” explains Joakim.
And now Skandia Elevator has crossed the finishing line. So what happens next? For Joakim, the answer is as clear as day: – We’re going to be best in the world. At the moment we’re in a phase where we’re trying to learn more about other cultures and farming traditions. The goal is always the same – Happy Farmers. To make living and working as a farmer easier. But the goal is not just about financial driving forces. For Skandia Elevator, making a difference to the quality of life for future generations is just as important.”
“Our day-to-day work plays an important part in the planet’s future food supply. There are ever more people and the need for food is increasing, so the better we get at handling things like grain, the more mouths we can feed, concludes Joakim.