Focus on construction products

A new organisation presents both new opportunities and new challenges for Norra Timber, as two companies become one.

Published: 2020-06-17

Erik Eliasson Norra Timber

The merger of NWP and Norra Timber creates a larger and stronger marketing organisation with new specialist functions. The new organisation is designed so that by 2021 it will be able to handle an annual volume of around 750,000 cubic metres sawn products, 200,000 cubic metres of which will be construction products, plus 100,000 poles.  According to sales director Erik Eliasson, this expansion will see Norra Timber shift from a sawmill company to a full wood processing company.
“Together, our output of construction products is enormous – 150percent more  than the old Norra Timber produced,” says Erik.

Three-pronged organisation

There are three prongs to the new marketing organisation, the first of which is traditional sales. Six people sell sawn products in redwood and whitewood, and three people specialise in sales of construction products. The second prong is a newly established function: a centre for Business Support. Sales administrators in Östersund and Umeå are forming a new unit with its own manager in Östersund. The unit will be responsible for business administration, currency management, credit issues and market communication.
Business Support will also deal with IT development issues, assisted by the company’s support functions. Finally, Norra Timber has set up a product organisation for construction products. Their responsibilities include invoicing, goods out and order processing at the different units, from Kåge in the north to Hissmofors in the south. This organisation has specialist expertise concerning the particular administrative requirements that apply to a builders’ merchant’s supplier.
The unit is led by a manager who has overall responsibility for marketing-related business, with the exception of direct construction product sales. The big new operation also has a newly established logistics function, managed by a member of the marketing unit who is responsible for all logistics-related matters.

New look

The new company has a new logo, which means that the graphic identity will look different. The packaging wrap will gradually change over the autumn. During a transition
period, customers will notice that the invoices are generated from two different systems, because there will initially be two separate business management systems in use.

Larger volumes

But without doubt the biggest change for customers will be the increased muscle of the company.
“NWP’s customers have two new sawmills to buy wood products from, while Norra’s customers have access to one extra sawmill. This creates the scope for much larger volumes of wood products. Customers who buy construction products will see a substantial improvement in delivery capacity, as we will be ramping up total production levels across our mills, while at the same time being able to supply to a greater geographical area,” says the sales director.

Vital task

Norra Timber faces the major challenge of bringing together two strong corporate cultures. The plan is to establish working practices and process flows that take the best from the two cultures.
“It’s going to be an incredibly important task that will run for a long while and is critical for our success. I essentially believe in a decentralised way of working, where many decisions are taken close to the heart of the action, out in the market. I believe in and trust my staff implicitly, and my ambition is to introduce this approach and make it work in the new organisation as well,” Erik says.

A success

He is pleased that all the employees are channelling positive energy into the new organisation.
“I hope this will filter through into our dealings with customers – that they notice our commitment and drive. After all, the customers are the most important focus for us and I believe that the combination of the new organisation and our products will be a success long into the future. We’re confident that the new company is going to generate added value for our customers.”

Text: Karolina Edstedt | Foto: Mikael Lundgren, NWP och Calle Bredberg