The art of delivering Kinder Eggs
Emma Jönsson, Area Manager for Stockholm and Södertälje, on how digitalisation doesn’t solve all problems, how team solutions are often the most effective, and on how having a woman manager made her take the leap herself.
Our customers often want what I jokingly call a Kinder Egg. That is to say, they want a consultant that is of course really good, but also has both specialist expertise and a huge breadth – at the same time. Sometimes we can match that demand with a single person, but often it’s actually a team that the customers are asking for without really having put their finger on that themselves. That’s why we’re moving more and more towards delivering team solutions in which we at Semcon also free the customer from on/off boarding and a lot of personnel administration. A positive effect of this is that the customers often get more value for their money. Instead of paying 100% for a specialist, the same assignment is carried out 70% by a junior and 30% by a specialist. The results are often better and the consultants think that it is more fun to work together. So the answer is yes. We absolutely offer Kinder Eggs, but they may look a bit different than what the customer initially thought.
Another reason that we’re moving more towards team solutions is that advancements in product development happen fast and there are staff shortages in certain areas. Digitalisation of production environments in life science, for instance, is very relevant for many of our customers. Sometimes we go in and provide support in these types of projects, with testing and verification of systems, for example, while in other cases we come in earlier in the process and get to be involved in sorting out what may be the most important question of all: Why? Production IT is a hot potato and sometimes it’s important to stop and reflect on the root cause: What really is the solution to the problem of deviations in production? The answer may be a production robot, but it can also be something else.
In addition to digitalising production facilities, Semcon’s production development offering also includes new establishments of production facilities, system implementation, testing and verification. Our great advantage is that we CAN DO so incredibly much – and can also do it in a regulatory environment, which is a requirement for many of our big clients in the medical technology and pharmaceutical industries. A process engineer from us can, for example, support the start-up of a production process by asking critical questions on everything from technology, to Lean principles, to rules and regulations.
A large part of my working time is spent conducting interviews and recruiting new skills to our team. We are really always on the hunt for a range of different profiles, but of course I look extra hard for certain qualities. In addition to consulting aspects, interest is important for me. If there is a person in front of me who is knowledgeable and genuinely passionate about their field, I know that it will work. If they also have a few years’ practical experience under their belt, then we’re getting close to that Kinder Egg I talked about. It’s incredibly important for a project manager to be able to familiarise themselves with the practical aspects to really be able to deliver value in the end.
I haven’t always worked in life science, but actually came in from the electrical and automation field. Before I came to Semcon, I was very pleased where I was at and really not looking for a new job. But I stumbled across an ad and thought ‘Somebody just has to apply for this job’. So I started trying to convince my friends that this was a very exciting role. When no one took the bait, I quite simply had to apply myself. There was obviously something in the ad that struck something in me, but I can’t really put my finger on what it was. One thing I know that got me to take the step was the chance to, for the first time ever, work for a woman boss, something that isn’t quite common in the industries I worked in previously. Today, I work closely with my team, the majority of which are women, something I think brings a different dynamic than at my previous workplaces, where as a woman, I was part of a clear minority. It’s not better necessarily, but it is definitely different – and an experience I’m glad I’ve had.
Title: Area Manager i Stockholm Södertälje.
Education: MSc in Industrial Economics.
Has worked at Semcon since: 15 August 2016
I have the most fun at work when…: me and my colleagues work together to solve customer problems. When we sit and brainstorm and bounce around ideas to develop a really good solution.