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October 18, 2023 | 9 Mins Read

Live Tour 2023: Stockholm Highlights

October 18, 2023 | 9 Mins Read

Live Tour 2023: Stockholm Highlights


Sarah shares a synopsis of the topics discussed at the Future of Field Service Live Tour 2023 stop in Stockholm on October 10th.

Sarah Nicastro: Welcome to the Future of Field Service podcast. I'm your host, Sarah Nicastro. Last week we held the sixth and final Future of Field Service Live Tour event for 2023 in Stockholm. It was a great day, great event, and wonderful way to wrap up the live tour series for this year, and thought it would be worth sharing a bit of what took place with you all. If you haven't listened to any of our event recap podcasts before or haven't had the opportunity to attend a live tour event, the format for the day is we have a series of speakers, typically four or five, six speakers depending on the duration of that day's event, who do interview-based sessions. So similar to what you normally hear on this podcast just in-person. So they're pretty casual in nature. We sit in front of the audience, but they aren't slide based. We're welcoming these people in to share their experiences, insights, expertise with the audience and learn from one another.

We also have workshops that are sprinkled in, usually one in the morning, one in the afternoon, where attendees break out into smaller groups and have some more in-depth conversation related to the topics that have been presented. So this is the second year doing these events. In 2022, we hosted five, this year, this was our sixth. And overall the feedback has been very positive and it's always heartwarming for me if I ask people, how is today for you? I had a gentleman last week that said it was inspiring. And those are the answers I love because we live in the information age, we can get information everywhere. So while the speakers are definitely sharing helpful insights and information, what I love about these days is when these service leaders take a break from their everyday responsibilities and come together as a community, they have the opportunity to leave feeling inspired and reinvigorated to go back and continue innovating in their businesses. So that's an honor for me.

So last week in Stockholm we had our first session was with Caroline Häggström Marklund, who is the Managing Director and Vice President for Customer Services in the Nordics at Vattenfall. So this session was an inside look at Vattenfall customer services prize winning people first strategy. Okay, so Vattenfall customer service has won a couple of different awards and recognitions such as winning the Swedish Union's HBTQI award for Most Inclusive Workplace. That's just one example. So they have won these awards because they have put a lot of effort into really creating this people first culture. This is one of those things that, as Caroline and I discussed, can be a very thrown about term. Everyone knows that they should say there are people first, but it's a question of if they're really doing the work to live that out, and then what impact that can have. So I loved that Caroline made a number of really, really important points, and the entire session was great and hopefully will be released as a podcast.

But I know one of the things that was important for her to convey is that people tend to think that this idea of people first is this soft, fluffy concept. And what she wanted to make sure people understand is that there are real business benefits that come from putting action behind creating a people first culture. So she spoke in specifics about some of the impact that Vattenfall customer service has seen since it started on this journey and how that has related to metrics of results achieved, customer satisfaction, et cetera. She also spoke about some of the challenges. So she was there from the perspective of winning these awards and having made all of this progress, but she was sure to share with folks that it hasn't just been a smooth journey. There are some things that are challenging that you have to overcome if you want to put the effort behind truly becoming people first. So she shared some of those.

She also spoke about some of the most important elements. So she shared some stories about building trust and how that can take time, requires patience, but is very, very important in showing your teams that you are invested in the process. She also talked about the fact that leaders can't do this without being able to be vulnerable and emotional. Being people first requires you to really get to know people as humans, and you can't do that if you're not willing to open up and be yourself. And she also talked about the importance of being humble and shared a story around her willingness and readiness to admit when she doesn't have the answers. And also sharing with her teams that her intentions are good, but she isn't perfect and welcoming them to hold her accountable. So many great points were made, and I think a very important discussion.

Any of you that are here on the podcast often know that I'm a big believer in this approach and what it will continue to mean in terms of retaining and recruiting top talent into the future. The second session we had was a service transformation deep dive with Electrolux. So, I was joined by Kristoffer Brun, who is Services and Repair Transformation Manager, Anna Mezzanotte, who is Service Operations Product Domain Expert, and Peter Sandqvist, who is the Transformation Manager, all from Electrolux. What was really cool about this session is Kristoffer, Anna and Peter are all from different functions of the business and came together to really talk about what has gone into making their service transformation a success. So they're in the midst of a global rollout of IFS and talked about some lessons learned in actually piloting a solution before they regrouped and went through a new selection process and what they learned about the importance of having all stakeholders involved.

They also then talked about the pilot process, change management, lessons learned from, Peter was speaking from the business perspective, some of the things that came up that were maybe a little bit more unexpected or unique that they have kept track of and taken as lessons learned. And Anna then from an IT perspective, so they went into some detail around what does it really take to execute this type of global transformation? What are some of the things that were pleasant surprises? What are some of the things that were unseen, unforeseen challenges? What have they been learning along the way that they then take and put into the plan for the next region, et cetera.

So it was a great session. I think these are the types of sessions people really value because we often speak of these global projects once they're completely executed and we talk about the impact, but people aren't always willing to share the in-between and the deep dive into what it takes along the way to get to that ultimate success. After that, we had our morning workshops and lunch, and then the next session was with Hannele Peltonen, who is the Head of Field Service Transformation at KONE. So Hannele joined really to talk about how KONE is viewing and forging the future of service. So we spoke about a number of different areas of change or of transformation, and how those can be both a challenge and an opportunity. So Hannele spoke about her view on each of those areas and what some of the challenges are, but also what some of the opportunity is that those areas represent for the business going forward.

So again, very big global brand. So a lot of things to take into consideration when you think about this idea of creating global consistency and customer experience and global standards, but also keeping in mind all of the regional differences in approach, culture, et cetera. We talked about obviously technology and the role that plays. We talked about how the role of service technicians has changed and is changing. So a number of different areas that are top of mind for Hannele as she leads KONE into the future of service. The next session was with Henrik Wahl, who is the Business Area Manager for Services at Coromatic. And this session was how Coromatic has taken service from aftermarket afterthought to business growth engine. So Henrik started by saying how much he dislikes the term aftermarket and why that often gives the connotation that it is more of an afterthought.

We talked about Coromatic beginning in 2017, really saw an opportunity for differentiation and growth around service, and Henrik has been leading that journey since that time. So they decided to create service as a dedicated business. And so he spoke about why that decision was made, the impact that it's had, how they have encouraged technicians to not necessarily outrightly sell, but to make suggestions with customers to take more of that consultative trusted advisor role and the impact that that's had. Also, how this journey has evolved, the type of services that they offer their customers. So moving from the traditional service to more of an area of opportunity to make suggestions to a full outsourced service model. So it was interesting to think about how this focus brought about for them areas to introduce different service offerings, and certainly they have succeeded in really growing service for Coromatic. And so we talked about in the future making sure that the different areas of the business are aligned to provide a cohesive customer experience and some of the things that will be coming next.

And last but not least, we had a session with Ann Sørensen, who is the Global Competence Development Manager at Alfa Laval, and we talked about what it takes to build competence and service from the front lines to the leadership levels. So Ann spoke quite a bit about some of the changes we see in the talent landscape and what's important to new talent coming in, in terms of not only the onboarding experience and training, but also career development paths. What opportunities exist for them within the business and how that requires Alfa Laval to take a different approach than it has traditionally. We talked about how she and her global role aligns with local HR and business leadership to create and execute this competent strategy.

We talked about the importance of a company brand and evangelizing the service opportunity, bringing people into service as a potential career. We talked about the importance of competence, not only at the frontline level, which is I think what people often think of, making sure that the frontline workforce is trained and enabled to do the job we need them to do, but also remembering that we need to think about competence from the leadership perspective. So tying back to the first session of the day with Caroline, and for us to be more people first, for us to take a modern leadership approach, we need to keep in mind that leadership also demands training, development, upskilling and competence building along the way. And of course, she spoke about how Alfa Laval is tackling these different areas, what she thinks the future holds in terms of building competence and some of the trends. And it was a great way to wrap up the day.

So five great sessions and some workshops interspersed to talk about these things and to have people weigh in on where they're at in their companies with these topics and also ask questions and have some good dialogue. So it was, like I said, a great way to end the tour series. We don't yet have plans in place for what 2024 will hold, but stay tuned. We'll obviously share those with you all as soon as we know, and hope that if you haven't had the opportunity to join us at one of these events thus far, you will in the near future. They are special days, and I enjoy each and every one. So big thank you to everyone in Stockholm who joined us to speak and share their insights and also those who came to attend and enjoy the day.

As always, you can find more content by visiting us at My hope is in the coming weeks, we will be able to share some of the Stockholm sessions as podcasts so that you can hear the conversations that I've mentioned today in their full detail. The Future of Field Service podcasts is published in partnership with IFS. You can learn more at As always, thank you for listening.