When Nadine Crauwels took on the role of president of Sandvik Coromant, the company welcomed the first non-Swede and the first woman to the position. With 22 years in the industry and 17 years at Sandvik Coromant in various positions, the Belgian brings extensive experience as well as considerable determination.
Nadine Crauwels, the new president of Sandvik Coromant, describes her leadership as modern, open and accessible. She trusts people and expects everyone to take responsibility. “It’s a mutual deal,” she says.
How will you demonstrate this leadership internally and externally?
I think the most important aspects are to be present, accessible and clear on my view of our strategy execution going forward. I have spent a lot of time in Sandviken these two first weeks, and I will be visiting our sites around the world. I will also spend time with our customers and partners to understand their needs and to discuss how we can help them become even more successful. The most important action is to walk the talk, demonstrating that I want people to take initiatives, dare to make mistakes and try new things. I expect nothing less from my management team. My door is always open, even though the door is often virtual, as I am often travelling. By meeting people, discussing ideas, challenges and solutions, I hope that I can create trust, both internally and externally.
What do you see as the major opportunities for Sandvik Coromant?
Before joining Sandvik Coromant, I met a lot of people from different companies and have always found that the Sandvik Coromant representatives were incomparably engaged, professional and interested, pushing leading technology forward in products, applications and ways of serving customers. We have great people and great competence. That is our most important asset. With this, we are well prepared to grasp the opportunities that come with digitalization of the industry. Our job is to define how to utilize it in order to help our customers be successful and also to challenge ourselves and push the business boundaries in a more clever and innovative way than anyone else.
And what are the major challenges?
The biggest challenge is to secure and strengthen our market leadership. The metalcutting industry is not growing as fast as it has done historically. Hence, to meet our growth plans, we need to both widen our offering and consider new business models. We need to differentiate and push our business boundaries, which includes working dedicatedly with our digital offering but also finding ways to provide value in a larger part of our customers’ value chain. This will call for new competences, which is another challenge.
Yes, the competence gap in the industry is well known. Do you have any ideas on how to attract competence to Sandvik Coromant?
Sandvik Coromant has addressed this competence gap for several years and tried to overcome it in many ways. We have our own schools in Sweden, along with comprehensive global trainee programmes. In addition, we invite students to come to our Sandvik Coromant Centers around the world and collaborate with us on various projects. I think we need to listen even more to the young generations and communicate with them on their terms. I’ve met a lot of students during my years in the industry, and I usually get the same answer from them when asking what they look for in a working place; they want to make a difference. So we must build a company where we allow them to prosper and really make that difference – for the company, for our customers and ultimately for the world we live in.
What kind of competences do you think you will lack in the near future?
Offering products and services pre- and post-machining will require competences other than what we are used to, such as designers and analysts. Digitalization will also call for new competences when it comes to designing new business models and value propositions. Of course, we will always need skilled, curious and innovative engineers as well, and we need to excel in attracting them.