Hundreds of students developed new concepts for Svensk Cater

Published: 24 January 2017

How will Svensk Cater in Luleå develod? That was the question asked when some 100 students from Luleå University of Technolgoy analyzed and developed improvements to increase competitiveness for the company.

– There is tremendous value in the work and it is difficult to calculate the amount of hours we've taken advantage of. There are over one hundred students who have gone through twenty strategic areas of the company and gave their views on the business, said Rolf Salomonsson, manager at Svensk Cater in Luleå.

Rolf contacted LTU Business AB when he was given the task of implementing the restructuring work for the Svensk Cater in Luleå and the construction of a new warehouse on Bergnäset.

– I have worked in the catering business since 1998 and discovered quite quickly a number of shortcomings and features that could be improved. I knew how a university works so I contacted LTU Business and we set up a meeting together and examined the type of project that would suit us best.

Svesnk Cater joined the project course "Integration projects - business, logistics and quality." where prospective industrial economists select areas of the company to analyze during the course. The analysis is done by qualitative interviews with employees and the management. Six of the projects were to be particularly interesting: market relations and marketing communications, e-commerce, cost-efficiency of the sales process, logistics management, warehouse management and distribution efficiency.

– I still have with me a number of reports that we are looking at. The customer satisfaction plan we planned out for this year's action plan in the budget. There was also a team that made a very interesting analysis on the distribution routine where we think we can save money, said Rolf Salomonsson, manager in Luleå.

Student employee for social media

A side effect was that Rolf Salomonsson found talent in unsuspected areas. During the summer they hired a student who helped with social media marketing.

– We also hired a girl as a substitute inbound-purchaser for summer and autumn when necessary. There were lots of talented individuals that we had contact with who has served as resources for extra projects. There was no reason for us to recruit external when we could contact students directly.

The work also created an internal process where employees were forced to question routines, it led to an interesting dialogue about the company's future development, according to Rolf Salomonsson.

– I find it hard to see that we wouldn't want to contact LTU Business and the university in the future, we want to have a steady contact with them and use different courses and projects. It requires a great deal of a company but I encourage all companies to do so. It is well worth the time and money, said Rolf Salomonsson.