CIO Masterclass: Hard targets while preserving culture
A corporate culture based on harmony and decentralized freedom has several advantages: there is often a focus on the longer term, there is sustainable treatment of people and the environment, decisions tend to be widely supported, and they provide the right breeding ground for innovation. Yet even such a culture sometimes cannot escape the need to steer firmly towards higher goals, as was evident during Anderson MacGyver’s recent CIO Masterclass. With a starring role for Swedish truck manufacturer Scania.
The meeting at the headquarters in IJsselstein sometimes breathed the atmosphere of a cultural exchange: the sometimes somewhat undiplomatic Dutch drive versus the Swedish modesty and inclination toward harmony and support. Guest speaker Jon Månson of Scania is also averse to bravado and stage presence, he told us at the start of his presentation. Despite his enviable position as Head of Sales Digitalization at the highly successful company for over 130 years.
The connecting touch of chairman of the day Lovisa Lundblad, who works at Anderson MacGyver’s Swedish office in Stockholm, as well as the introductory word from Nordics director Patrik Hermansson added to the Scandinavian-inspired ambiance. “We have been active in the Nordics with Anderson MacGyver for four years,” Hermansson stated. “The startup phase is behind us and we are working hard to grow. Interactive meetings such as these CIO Masterclasses contribute significantly to this.”
Leading clients like Scania are illustrative of the steps the increasingly international consulting company is making. The presentations by Jon Månson and management consultant Cliff de Laat, involved with Scania from Anderson MacGyver, fuel thoughts that the Swedish and Dutch temperaments are a perfect match.
Founded in 1891, Scania was one of the first manufacturers to introduce modern products such as the turbocharger and an ethanol-powered bus during its long years of existence. Driven by business and sustainability goals, the truck brand was also the first to launch an all-electric truck in 2020. It also embraced early on the principle of customization based on modular, component-based product lines.
“This made it possible back in 1980 to be able to customize each newly ordered truck to the customer’s requirements,” says Jon Månson. “Our so-called Scania Way is a way of working in which customer focus, respect, team spirit, responsibility, and avoiding waste are guiding principles.”
Scania employs about 57,000 people, spread across seven regions and roughly ten times as many largely autonomous business units, serving more than a hundred countries. Månson called it a combination of “coordinated and uncoordinated independence” in IJsselstein. This structure combined with the complex product range puts the necessary pressure on decentralized sales and marketing departments, many of which have to deal with a multitude of product configurations and prices using their own systems.
Månson has been Head of Sales Digitalization since 2021. His initial task was to smooth the rollout of the central CRM program, known as Scania CRM (SCRM), which was stranded at only a quarter of its potential. “With a standardized system, we could offer products the same way everywhere,” he said. Moreover, the availability of the right data would make it easier for the company to move into new forms of digital services. But a successful re-launch required more than just the right intentions and a looming perspective.
For this purpose, contact was made with Anderson MacGyver. Under the leadership of Cliff de Laat, who held the role of Product Owner of the system to be rolled out within Scania, the intended objective was nearly achieved thanks to a structured approach. Nearly 90 percent of sales volume now runs through SCRM. “Important was a clear argument for why a central CRM was needed: to enable sales representatives to sell sustainable transport solutions based on customer requirements and supported by data-driven insights,” De Laat told us.
Structured demand management helps to identify needs in different markets, and then determine any priorities. Ultimately, this resulted in a single solution for the central availability of uniform data, with clear added value for global markets. “Moreover, the theoretical possibility of market-specific configuration contributed greatly to the necessary support and the possibility of acceleration.”
Jon Månson: “Our trajectory shows that you can still achieve major changes without top-down control in close cooperation with the various markets. The usual friction between central, decentralized and various departments involved can be overcome by making stakeholders themselves responsible for their decisions, consistency in terms of the chosen direction and involving the right people. For example, we benefited greatly from the help provided by Anderson MacGyver. Cliff and his team have made real breakthroughs.”
“The process shows that you can achieve major changes without top-down direction“Jon Månson – Director Sales Digitalisation at Scania
After an extensive question-and-answer session with the participants, Lovisa Lundblad posed the closing question: what do the speakers consider the greatest success of their joint journey? Månson: “I don’t like to brag, but moving forward: that sales representatives tell me they are very satisfied with the system.” De Laat: “That through SCRM we have become an enabler instead of a bottleneck. We now talk to users about digital sales, marketing automation, and so on. Exactly the position you want to be in as a product owner.”