East Sweden
 

Siemens - clean power and energy

A modern, high-tech, world-leading production facility set in the historic, scenic milieu in and around Finspång Castle. The setting conveys a clear feeling of centuries of success. The glaring contrast between the past and the present serves as reminder of the long tradition of important business operations that have had their headquarters in Finspång: the small industrial town with great local, regional and now global importance.

We are in the heart of Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery AB. Finspång's biggest employer by far and the second biggest for the region as a whole. This is where Siemens develops and manufactures power plants, and steam and gas turbines among other things. One of the company's many tasks is to deliver cleaner energy via these masterpieces of machinery to people and places all over the world.

A humble leader who enjoys his new job

The man sitting across from me, in this beautiful Castle office, is the person who is ultimately responsible for this far-reaching, international operation and its nearly 3,000 employees. Hans Holmström, a paterfamilias in his prime, has his own roots in Norrbotten and a long history as a manager and leader within the ABB Group, and is pleased to have the opportunity be a part of such a big, important industrial facility.  He is new to the job as President and CEO of SIT, but it certainly isn't obvious.  Calm, well-informed and engaged, he talks about his thoughts and plans for the company and its future. In particular, Hans speaks of his delight at the great competence and skill he constantly encounters in meetings with his new employees.

It's all about the staff!

There really seems to be some sort of consensus that Siemens in Finspång is a great place to work. Besides the opportunities to work with world-class technology, there is, of course, a wealth of professional roles represented within the Group. The working environment is an international one. On the home front, he has a large number of foreign colleagues, and for those employees who would like to expand their horizons, a job here offers good opportunities for spending time abroad in the form of business trips and projects.

In addition, Siemens often holds celebrations. Large lavish events, to the delight of both employees and other visitors. Hans Holmström is pleased about this: “All companies stand or fall with their employees. It’s really quite simple. By far the most important resource is the staff. Their commitment, participation and skills are absolutely vital for the result. We might talk a lot about machines and physical bits and pieces, but for me it’s all about the people in the company. The most important thing is that they enjoy their work and that they always can and do contribute, in many different ways. If we want to keep one step ahead out there in the world, it is our staff who have to do the work.”

The thoughts that Hans Holmström expresses breathe genuine team spirit. Every player is equally important, in their place, and he is convinced that work is the most fun and done best when each individual is able to develop and take responsibility within their respective areas of competence.

Broad agenda

We discuss the German ownership, the successes of recent years, his understanding of shifting markets, the big new building in Finspång with space for 1,000 people, the extensive recruitment campaign the company has recently completed, the increasingly globalised economy, increasing international competition, and much more. There is no shortage of topics of conversation when it comes to this very prominent, interesting company. But then we come to rest in what is in fact the somewhat astonishing thought, that some of the world's most efficient and environmentally-friendly energy solutions – for all corners of the globe – come from precisely where we are sitting at this very moment. From little Finspång, in Östergötland, in Sweden!

On Siemens' map of Sweden, Finspång is a metropolis

Hans Holmström believes that some of the reasons why Finspång is still the headquarters of this gigantic operation "is in the walls": the know-how and job satisfaction that has gone through many generations: the warmth and camaraderie that an entire town feel in being able to come together around successful companies. Loyalty is strong. And the staff’s skills are even stronger. In pace with the need for more and more employees, nowadays many also come from outside. A large number of people commute from all over the whole region, and from all over the country, to work at SIT.

“The Germans invest heavily in us,” says Hans. “We are refining and expanding those parts of the business that we are the best at and moving out of some of the others. It's all about becoming as efficient and revenue-generating as possible. The location here and the premises are fantastic! We intend to remain in Finspång!” Proximity to both Linköping and Norrköping is important – from the logistics point of view, with Norrköping and its port – but perhaps primarily for access to university-educated employees. Hans Holmström's eyes suddenly become serious when he stresses the importance of Sweden producing more technicians and engineers:
“We are constantly on the lookout for highly skilled employees. For example, currently the need for engineers outstrips the supply. Finspång is an excellent example of a town that is growing in pace with its enterprises. But we need even more people in the longer term. We need to provide for the challenges of tomorrow already today.”