Touching base with Ulf Wretskog, next President of Coor Sweden
Coor’s Swedish business currently represents nearly 75% of sales (currently some SEK 7,000 m excluding Addici). It’s a big operation, which Ulf Wretskog will be heading up from year-end. We touch base with Ulf.
You’ve been with Coor a long time, what’s made you stay so long?
I started at Coor in 2002, when I joined from construction group Skanska’s building business. Being part of building up our company, while also experiencing the growth we’ve achieved, has been really enjoyable and stimulating. We’ve got so many good qualities and excellent competences within Coor, and I think we’re utilizing them well. We help each other out in different situations, and there is a genuine willingness to drive our business forward.
Even if you’ve been here a long time, not everyone knows you personally. How would you describe yourself?
I think I’m perceived as a straightforward, clear individual, which I think are very important leadership qualities. I’m loyal and ambitious, but sometimes tend to be a bit impatient. My best quality as a leader is probably my ability to build teams that work together towards collective goals. I also always try to view things positively and constructively, even in difficult situations.
Will there be big changes in our Swedish business?
Coor is a modern, fleet-footed company, and change is a natural and necessary part of our operation. In our world, you can’t survive without continuously adapting to changeable surroundings. I think our business largely works very well, but I think we do need to fine-tune and clarify our strategies for some services groups. We work on a lot of different types of business and services that require different strategies and resources. Accordingly, we’ll make sure that our business units have the right prospects to be able to execute our strategies and achieve our common targets.
In our world, you can’t survive without continuously adapting to changeable surroundings.Ulf Wretskog, Incoming CEO, Coor Sweden
What do you see as your biggest challenges in the short and long term?
In the short term, we’ve got all our focus on winning new tenders on those contracts approaching expiry, and to ensure the successful integration of Addici. We also face a big challenge in coping with this recession as well as we can.
In the long term, I think it’s important to secure our leadership and be able to demonstrate to the market that we are better and create more value-added than our competitors, so our customers choose us because we bring the greatest customer benefit. We do this by always showing my commitment and proactivity on deliveries, simultaneous with getting better at packaging our value-added (e.g. development work etc.) and services.
What’s more important—profitability or customer satisfaction?
They go hand in hand. If you don’t have a satisfied customer, you won’t be profitable in the long term. A dissatisfied customer won’t order more services or assignments, while there’s also a risk of losing the contract. You should also remember the importance of ensuring expectations of the delivery are right, so that we agree with the customer about what they’ve purchased. This also increases the likelihood of good customer satisfaction.
What’s your view of sustainability issues?
We all have to take responsibility for the lives we lead. As a company, we have to accept responsibility for the business we run—in the short and long term. As a service provider, first and foremost, we can help create a more sustainable society by proactively proposing environmentally friendly solutions. Our proprietary Green Services tool enables us to take this responsibility on a good, structured footing. The Green Services environmental audit of our deliveries that we conduct offers clear evidence of the value-added we bring to our customers.
This is Ulf Wretskog
Born: 1967, Falun, Sweden
Family: Married to Elisabet, 3 children (all boys)
Lives: Sollentuna, near Stockholm
Background: engineering graduate from the University of Lund. Various management positions in Skanska, including regional manager for the Mälar Valley regional construction business and Business Area Manager at Skanska Facilities Management. Various executive positions in Coor Service Management since 2002.
Leisure interests: spending time with my family and on the family farm, where hunting and fishing are big interests.