Peter Näsman, our resident Sales Engineer – or “sales guy”, as he says it – for Sweden and Norway, has had a long and storied career here at Nordautomation. In honour of his 50th, we sat down to talk about his lengthy career in the sawmill industry.
A successful career in log handling
Peter got his start as a mechanical designer for a consulting firm. But – thankfully for us – the birth of his first child convinced him to trade in his consulting work for a position that required less time away from his family. This led him to the sawmill business, and he joined Interlog AB, which eventually became Nordautomation, in 1998.
“At the end of 1999, Interlog and Nordautomation got the same owner (Sorb Industri AB). After some time, they decided to continue under the Nordautomation name alone. Since then, I have worked for Nordautomation – 20 years and counting. Time flies when you’re having fun!”
Peter handles marketing Nordautomation to sawmills in Sweden and Norway. He’s the first point of contact for potential customers about log handling needs – big or small.
“I then pass the information on to my Finnish colleagues who draw up a layout and make a proposal to the customer. Then it’s just up to me to make the customer understand that we are the only option – easy, right?”
Complex sales negotiations aside, Peter marks the variety of his days – from packing spare parts to leading a meeting over an investment worth millions of euros – and the constant opportunity to learn as the best parts of the role.
“No day is the same as the other. I think the best thing about my job is that it doesn’t ever become boring, there are always new things to deal with and new things to learn even after so many years.”
When asked about key highlights from his career at Nordautomation, Peter isn’t too shy to mention his stellar sales record – and of course, the day in 2010 when Nordautomation reached 200 metres / minute on a log sorter in Sweden. He then goes on to highlight one particular sales case.
“One of my warmest memories was when a small but lucrative sawmill outside the city where I live chose to buy from us even though the price on our machines was quite a lot higher than our competitors. They must have understood the statement on our give-away t-shirts very well: ‘The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten!’”
But overall, he says, the most significant highlights are the small moments that reflect customers’ trust in Nordautomation. These happen often.
The future of sawmills
Based on his extensive experience and long-term customer relationships, Peter’s believes the future of sawmills bodes well for Nordautomation key strengths.
“The number of sawmills will decrease, but those that remain will be bigger and produce much more per year. This suits us quite well – Nordautomation’s goal from the beginning has always been to develop machines for the biggest and fastest sawmills. The entire organisation is built for this very purpose, and this is reflected in our reference list, which includes all major players in the industry.”
A salesman to the end.
Despite the rumours circulating in the office, Peter isn’t planning a big birthday blowout. He originally joined Nordautomation to spend more time with his family, and that motivation hasn’t changed. He’ll be spending the day with them.
Happy 50th birthday, Peter!