How can Nederman develop sales and better assist our subcontractors? Thomas Niklasson, VP Partner Sales and Marketing at Nederman in Helsingborg, Sweden, shares his thoughts on the potential and the challenges he sees ahead, and the importance of an increased Nederman presence on new markets as well as online.
Can you describe your role at Nederman?
My role in Division Nederman is to develop our indirect sales of products via our partners, distributors and retailers, as well as improve and facilitate our ways of working with them. The indirect sales channel is important to us, and gives us a more extensive geographical coverage than if we would try to cover it ourselves. We are working hard on introducing our partner program, and improving product information accessibility in our partnershop, for example. Marketing our division is also part of my responsibility. In this work, we are particularly invested in developing our digital marketing.
Can you tell us a little about your professional background? What attracted you to Nederman?
I have worked with marketing, communication and sales at several industrial companies. My primary focus has been brand management, financial communication and supporting our sales departments. As for Nederman, it is a strong environmental technology company, offering many exciting possibilities within a business area that is of great interest to me.
Can you outline some aspects of your job that are particularly important for you to keep in mind?
I work with people and countries all over the world in a matrix responsibility role. I find the challenges of indirect leadership to be very inspiring. When implementing new tools and ways of working, it is important to understand the background and market structure of each of these countries, all while seeking to coordinate and standardize the way we work and do business.
How are you working with increased customer benefit, and the quality of your services and solutions?
It is essential that we make it easy for our sales partners to do business with us. As such, tools such as selectors and our partner shop are of great importance, as are secure deliveries and high product quality. Retailers value having a smooth and reliable partner, and will recognize and prioritize such manufacturers when conducting business.
What are the greatest challenges you face in your work?
Finding new ways in which we can develop our business and sales. Are there additional markets and market segments where we can establish ourselves? How can we be more efficient, and at the same time assist our retailers and increase our profits? In terms of online marketing, we have recently made great progress. Being present – and promoting Nederman – online is getting increasingly important, and this is something we need to work on, from a main corporate point-of-view but perhaps even more so from a local perspective.
Looking at the future, what would you say are Nederman’s greatest strengths – and perhaps also challenges?
Nederman is in a strong position, where we can develop and grow in ways in which many of our competitors cannot. Our partnershop, general focus on digitalization, Modern Sales (including the new product information management system – PIM) and Nederman Insight are all good examples of this. I believe that product development, both in terms of our “classic” Nederman products and our distribution products, is an area we need to focus on even more in the future.
What are your own goals, as far as your job and your role are concerned?
Continuing to build our global partner structure. Strengthening our market presence and generating leads are key focus areas for me.
What do you enjoy most about your work, and what do you like to do when you are not working?
Meeting with and talking to all these fantastic colleagues and co-workers around the world. Road bicycle racing is my great leisure time passion, and I have founded an online group devoted to this activity, that currently has more than 500 followers. We arrange bicycle activities on a regular basis, and aside from that I run a couple of other cycling-related websites. Photography is another major interest of mine, as of course is spending time with my family.