- Our specialties today are repair, renovation and new manufacture of hydraulic cylinders in all sizes for, for example, wheel loaders, excavators and graders. In our workshop we do repairs and service of construction machinery. We have an extensive spare parts warehouse with a store adjacent to the workshop, but we also have an online shop that we need to market more strategically to reach new markets, says Rickard Niemelä who is himself an alumnus of Luleå University of Technology and a graduate in economics.
Generational change meant moving north
After Rickard's degree, he waited a few years as a consultant at an accounting firm in Luleå and then Stockholm. However, the moving load went back up to the north when a generational change became relevant in the family business his father founded. For a few years now, the brothers Rickard and Niklas have been running the company Nevo Maskin AB in newly built premises in Gammelstad outside Luleå. The company has on several occasions over the years received interns from high school and vocational training. They have been given a natural place in the workshop part.
- When I saw that it was possible to receive an intern from Luleå University of Technology, I thought it was an exciting offer, but first thought that we may not be the right kind of company for a university student, says Rickard Niemelä.
However, it turned out to be the opposite.
- Since we have a number of strategic development areas, it was rather that we had to prioritize quite hard among the tasks and focus on what makes the most difference for us here and now, Rickard says.
In service and maintenance, Nevo Maskin has a fully subscribed order book but wants to scale up spare parts sales further.
- We are well known locally and regionally but want to reach a broader market throughout Sweden. The focus was therefore on finding a long-term strategy for the company's web shop and marketing, primarily in social media. The student first worked out a current situation analysis and based on that, we have balled the continued work throughout the process. The result was a communication plan and sharp campaign activities in our social media, says Rickard.
He describes letting an intern take on their challenge as energizing and developing.
- It is always valuable to get new eyes on the business, the student's competence became a complementary element in our business, which created new ideas for how we can develop as a company, says Rickard Niemelä.
Simon Larsson, as the student is called, is satisfied with the structure of the education, where close collaborations with companies in project courses are common and the practice a complementary element that further strengthens the connection to the business world.
- You get a sense of what your job will look like in the future. It is clearly good to be able to deal with real issues. It gives an idea of what is expected in working life, says Simon.
He has just over a year left of studies and after that, working life awaits behind the door he opened during his internship.
- The dream is to work with business development, regardless of whether it is in a large or small company, my plan is to continue to gather as much expertise as possible, says Simon.
Mutual added value
Student collaboration means an opportunity for both companies and universities to develop and becomes a "win-win" for everyone involved.
- It is so fun to hear the companies highlight the concrete benefits that our students bring out in different activities. Companies have the opportunity to market themselves as potential employers, and our students gain realistic experiences that prepare them for future working lives. The next internship will begin in November 2021. says Susanne Sundström, project manager at Career Center and matching coach student / company in NorrlandsNavet.