Interview with Per-Arne Andersson, CEO Kinnarps AB.
Kinnarps is the first manufacturer of office furniture in Europe in terms of sales; its turnover totalled 490.000.000 €. What are the strategies followed by this excellent company? How can it set an example and inspire the manufacturers in the office industry?
Kinnarps mission is to understand and fulfill companies’ and organisations’ needs for interior solutions with associated services. With a sustainable and resource effective approach we take responsibility for the whole process from needs analysis to a complete interior solution. We achieve this by efficiently coordination our own and our parnters’ resources.
Here are a few questions to Per-Arne Andersson, CEO Kinnarps AB, to find out their key to success.
What are the company values guiding and distinguishing Kinnarps in the world?
We have basic values within Kinnarps Group that are important to us; they have a favorable effect on Kinnarps operations; all the way from how Kinnarps do business to how we interact with other people. They are a direct heritage from Kinnarps’ founders, Evy and Jarl Andersson and are words that we have spread within the company and are reminded through trainings and meetings. All Kinnarps employees should strive for: Forward-thinking spirit and creativity; Independence and professionalism; Honesty and humility; Responsibility and understanding connections.
How do these values turn into the driver of your strategies?
The basic values are the foundation in all the policy documents within the company; for instance business plan, vision work, owners policies. We have also a profound leadership program within the company, where the basic values have had a big influence of the sections in this program.
What is the chief strength of your business success?
Kinnarps is a 100% family owned enterprise and that have help us to create a long-term view in what we are doing. Our most important resource is our employees – therefore we are investigating a lot do develop and coach the individual to increase the performance. I think the strength is that our owner has prioritized a long-run success, rather than a short term gain.
As excellent company, what benefits and policies are adopted towards the employees?
All the employees have been given a folder of the « Declaration of Intention and Strategy » so they have the opportunity to learn and understand the direction of the company. The goals, as the core values, must be clear to everyone. Our Human Resources concept is very human ; we says that we employ real people, not merely workers, as we think everyone has the right to do a mistake as long they learn from their mistakes.
Brief history of Kinnarps
Kinnarps creates furniture and interior designs solutions which through traditional craftsmanship, design and total ergonomics have a positive impact on people, and this despite why, how and where we work, study and socialise.
Kinnarps is based in Sweden and was founded in 1942 by Jarl and Evy Andersson. The company has always had a strong tradition within innovative design. From the outset, it mainly manufactured furniture for instance to meet a demand from architects. The Kinnarps portfolio contains the Kinnarps, Drabert and MartinStoll brands. In addition, Kinnarps can also offer a large supplementary range of products, partly from the company’s sister companies Materia, Skandiform and NC and partly from a number of renowned partners. Kinnarps is represented insome 40 countries. The company has about 2,700 employees and its turnover in 2010/2011 totalled SEK 4.2 billion.
Photocover: Le Mur by Materia (Kinnarps), flexible seating system for in-between areas designed by Wivian Eidsaunet and Marie Oscarsson (Murman Architects).