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Teknikkonsult i förändring - positionering på ny marknad

Persson, Cecilia (2006) MIO920
Production Management
Abstract
Background
AB Ångpanneföreningen (ÅF) is one of the largest and oldest technical consulting
firms in Sweden. The company was founded in 1895 and has witnessed four big
technical advances: steam power, electricity, nuclear power and computerization.
The company provides qualified services and solutions for industrial processes,
infrastructural projects and in the development of products as well as IT systems.
The firm also performs inspection and testing.
Today, the market is subjected to financial strains. To fight against this, ÅF has
made the organisation more effective and productivity has improved. One part of
the reorganisation consists of changing the tasks for each local office; now each
office has got to know and be able... (More)
Background
AB Ångpanneföreningen (ÅF) is one of the largest and oldest technical consulting
firms in Sweden. The company was founded in 1895 and has witnessed four big
technical advances: steam power, electricity, nuclear power and computerization.
The company provides qualified services and solutions for industrial processes,
infrastructural projects and in the development of products as well as IT systems.
The firm also performs inspection and testing.
Today, the market is subjected to financial strains. To fight against this, ÅF has
made the organisation more effective and productivity has improved. One part of
the reorganisation consists of changing the tasks for each local office; now each
office has got to know and be able to offer all services of the company. To succeed
with this reorganisation, further knowledge about ÅF’s market is necessary.
The company organisation has been regionalised with regional managers. All the
new regional managers are a part of the central group management that reinforces
the local perspective. They have the over-all perspective of ÅF services and
marketing. The regions are: Sweden North, Sweden East, Sweden West, Sweden
South and International. The local office in Växjö is included in the region of
Sweden South.
Purpose
The purpose of the Master Thesis is to make a survey of the current market
situation for the office in Växjö regarding heating, ventilation and sanitation
installations on the markets of Småland and Blekinge.
Method
The form of analysis used is the predictable analysis with a descriptive part. A case
study was most suitable since the purpose was to find detailed information of
different processes. The analysis has also been qualitative since the collected
information cannot, in a meaningful way, be quantified. The analysis consisted of a
desk survey and a field survey (interviews).
On the whole, the mode of procedure has been as follows (certain steps have been
done in parallel): planning, study of literature (desk survey), collection of data,
In other words, the purpose of the Master Thesis was to collect ad hoc information.
Very little periodic information has been available. To collect the data, personal
interviews were carried out. This method was the most suitable for the study since
the purpose was to get detailed and extensive information. The costs for the
interviews became small thanks to the geographic demarcation.
A non-probability selection was the most appropriate for the study since the aim
was a deeper and more detailed analysis. Hence, a statistically grounded inference
was not valid. The selection was made with help from ÅF; those who work as
consultants daily have the best understanding of which companies should be
investigated.
In total, 21 respondents in fifteen companies were chosen to participate in the
market analysis. The companies were: Carlshamn Mejeri AB, Fastighets AB
Corallen, Fiinnveden Powertrain, Flextronics International AB, Fortifikationsverket,
Gustav Kährs AB, Högskolefastigheter i Jönköping AB (HÖFAB), IKEA AB, ITT
Flygt, AB Kalmarhem, Landstingsfastigheter, Ljungby kommun, Skanska
Inneklimat, Växjöhem and Växjö kommun. These firms were judged as interesting
because of their sizes, geographical dispersions, different business types and the
mixture of public and private companies. The non-response was not very large;
eleven of fifteen contacted firms were interviewed which is acceptable.
Results
Many factors control the choice of technical consulting company. The most
frequent are: reputation and references, price, knowledge and
competence, nearness, which specific consultant who will work with the
project and finally, earlier customer experience.
The core product is all services in the field of heating, ventilation and
sanitation installations. The actual product consists of among other things
the packaging; that is the consultants’ behaviour and treatment. The
augmented product consists partly of the after-sales service, which could
be improved upon. In principle, time is never set aside to do a follow-up
which could be done a couple of months after finishing and delivery of a
project.
The two largest competitors to ÅF in Växjö are FLK and WSP.
Also interesting information outside the purpose of the Master Thesis has been
The Future
To sum up, the need of consultants in the field of heating, ventilation and sanitation
installations will increase. This conclusion of the Master Thesis is partly founded on
the opinion of a majority of the interviewed companies, partly on the fact that a
couple of the competitors are looking for consultants to employ in this particularly
area.
The Surveyors
ÅF has a great advantage compared to its competitors: the surveyors. The
surveyors visit many companies in their daily work and they learn a lot of informal
information. Unfortunately, this information is not documented to any greater
extent. The surveyors should naturally not try to sell services each time they do an
inspection but they could tell a seller what potential needs the company has.
Nearness
What is nearness exactly? Nearness is an important factor in the choice of
technical consultant. For a majority of the interviewed companies, nearness means
“from the same city”. They think it is almost to far to get help from a firm fifty
kilometres away. Others think that the whole of Småland is nearness. In all cases,
the interviewed firms agree that Malmö for example is to far away. If so, the daily
contact is missed and it will be hard for the consultant to make a quick control of
things at the site. Furthermore, it will be much more expensive for the customer;
before the consultant can even start, several hours will be used on transportation.
An advantage for the technical consultant is therefore to be local.
Communication
One of the most important factors of success, concluded in the Master Thesis is
communication. It is often a lack in communication that creates problems. An
example could be that the consultant does not inform about delays.
One part of the communication problem, mentioned by several interviewees, is the
feedback that is rarely done within ÅF due to lack of time. The feedback, or aftersale
service, could be much better. One proposal is to put aside a couple of hours
for discussion already in the beginning of a project and that the customer pays a
little more for this service.
Another communication problem is how the customer gets in contact with ÅF.
Today, the costumer is obliged to use ÅF’s website where the local contact
information is inadequate. Since it is important to be near the customers, this way
of communication should be improved. A first step of improvement is the leaflet
that has been produced during the Thesis Work. It presents all the co-workers with
name, picture and contact information at ÅF-Infrastructure in Växjö and in
Karlskrona.
One further aspect of communication is the local marketing. During the interviews a
lack of knowledge about ÅF was discovered. For example, some customers that
used ÅF for electrical services used another consultant for heating, ventilation and
sanitation; they did not know that ÅF offers the whole range of services. Some
interviewees also thought that consultants in general are bad at marketing their
services. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Persson, Cecilia
supervisor
organization
course
MIO920
year
type
M1 - University Diploma
subject
other publication id
06/5246
language
Swedish
id
1988414
date added to LUP
2011-06-28 14:29:36
date last changed
2011-06-28 14:29:36
@misc{1988414,
  abstract     = {Background
AB Ångpanneföreningen (ÅF) is one of the largest and oldest technical consulting
firms in Sweden. The company was founded in 1895 and has witnessed four big
technical advances: steam power, electricity, nuclear power and computerization.
The company provides qualified services and solutions for industrial processes,
infrastructural projects and in the development of products as well as IT systems.
The firm also performs inspection and testing.
Today, the market is subjected to financial strains. To fight against this, ÅF has
made the organisation more effective and productivity has improved. One part of
the reorganisation consists of changing the tasks for each local office; now each
office has got to know and be able to offer all services of the company. To succeed
with this reorganisation, further knowledge about ÅF’s market is necessary.
The company organisation has been regionalised with regional managers. All the
new regional managers are a part of the central group management that reinforces
the local perspective. They have the over-all perspective of ÅF services and
marketing. The regions are: Sweden North, Sweden East, Sweden West, Sweden
South and International. The local office in Växjö is included in the region of
Sweden South.
Purpose
The purpose of the Master Thesis is to make a survey of the current market
situation for the office in Växjö regarding heating, ventilation and sanitation
installations on the markets of Småland and Blekinge.
Method
The form of analysis used is the predictable analysis with a descriptive part. A case
study was most suitable since the purpose was to find detailed information of
different processes. The analysis has also been qualitative since the collected
information cannot, in a meaningful way, be quantified. The analysis consisted of a
desk survey and a field survey (interviews).
On the whole, the mode of procedure has been as follows (certain steps have been
done in parallel): planning, study of literature (desk survey), collection of data,
In other words, the purpose of the Master Thesis was to collect ad hoc information.
Very little periodic information has been available. To collect the data, personal
interviews were carried out. This method was the most suitable for the study since
the purpose was to get detailed and extensive information. The costs for the
interviews became small thanks to the geographic demarcation.
A non-probability selection was the most appropriate for the study since the aim
was a deeper and more detailed analysis. Hence, a statistically grounded inference
was not valid. The selection was made with help from ÅF; those who work as
consultants daily have the best understanding of which companies should be
investigated.
In total, 21 respondents in fifteen companies were chosen to participate in the
market analysis. The companies were: Carlshamn Mejeri AB, Fastighets AB
Corallen, Fiinnveden Powertrain, Flextronics International AB, Fortifikationsverket,
Gustav Kährs AB, Högskolefastigheter i Jönköping AB (HÖFAB), IKEA AB, ITT
Flygt, AB Kalmarhem, Landstingsfastigheter, Ljungby kommun, Skanska
Inneklimat, Växjöhem and Växjö kommun. These firms were judged as interesting
because of their sizes, geographical dispersions, different business types and the
mixture of public and private companies. The non-response was not very large;
eleven of fifteen contacted firms were interviewed which is acceptable.
Results
 Many factors control the choice of technical consulting company. The most
frequent are: reputation and references, price, knowledge and
competence, nearness, which specific consultant who will work with the
project and finally, earlier customer experience.
 The core product is all services in the field of heating, ventilation and
sanitation installations. The actual product consists of among other things
the packaging; that is the consultants’ behaviour and treatment. The
augmented product consists partly of the after-sales service, which could
be improved upon. In principle, time is never set aside to do a follow-up
which could be done a couple of months after finishing and delivery of a
project.
 The two largest competitors to ÅF in Växjö are FLK and WSP.
Also interesting information outside the purpose of the Master Thesis has been
The Future
To sum up, the need of consultants in the field of heating, ventilation and sanitation
installations will increase. This conclusion of the Master Thesis is partly founded on
the opinion of a majority of the interviewed companies, partly on the fact that a
couple of the competitors are looking for consultants to employ in this particularly
area.
The Surveyors
ÅF has a great advantage compared to its competitors: the surveyors. The
surveyors visit many companies in their daily work and they learn a lot of informal
information. Unfortunately, this information is not documented to any greater
extent. The surveyors should naturally not try to sell services each time they do an
inspection but they could tell a seller what potential needs the company has.
Nearness
What is nearness exactly? Nearness is an important factor in the choice of
technical consultant. For a majority of the interviewed companies, nearness means
“from the same city”. They think it is almost to far to get help from a firm fifty
kilometres away. Others think that the whole of Småland is nearness. In all cases,
the interviewed firms agree that Malmö for example is to far away. If so, the daily
contact is missed and it will be hard for the consultant to make a quick control of
things at the site. Furthermore, it will be much more expensive for the customer;
before the consultant can even start, several hours will be used on transportation.
An advantage for the technical consultant is therefore to be local.
Communication
One of the most important factors of success, concluded in the Master Thesis is
communication. It is often a lack in communication that creates problems. An
example could be that the consultant does not inform about delays.
One part of the communication problem, mentioned by several interviewees, is the
feedback that is rarely done within ÅF due to lack of time. The feedback, or aftersale
service, could be much better. One proposal is to put aside a couple of hours
for discussion already in the beginning of a project and that the customer pays a
little more for this service.
Another communication problem is how the customer gets in contact with ÅF.
Today, the costumer is obliged to use ÅF’s website where the local contact
information is inadequate. Since it is important to be near the customers, this way
of communication should be improved. A first step of improvement is the leaflet
that has been produced during the Thesis Work. It presents all the co-workers with
name, picture and contact information at ÅF-Infrastructure in Växjö and in
Karlskrona.
One further aspect of communication is the local marketing. During the interviews a
lack of knowledge about ÅF was discovered. For example, some customers that
used ÅF for electrical services used another consultant for heating, ventilation and
sanitation; they did not know that ÅF offers the whole range of services. Some
interviewees also thought that consultants in general are bad at marketing their
services.},
  author       = {Persson, Cecilia},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Teknikkonsult i förändring - positionering på ny marknad},
  year         = {2006},
}