Each printed issue of Torque Magazine gets the input of a top industry executive in the Guest Editor role. Torque Magazine's latest issue (February 2021) had Fredrik Meuller, CEO of Nord-Lock, take on the position, where he discussed the future of the industry, how the group operated during the pandemic and the importance of investment...
TO SAFEGUARD HUMAN LIVES AND CUSTOMER INVESTMENTS IS OUR RAISON DÉTRE
I had high expectations when I joined Nord-Lock Group and I can honestly say they have been exceeded. It is a great company with amazing employees possessing unique competence and experience to secure critical bolting solutions, and truly the global leader driving innovation in the field. To safeguard human lives and customer investments is our raison détre.
Our solid owner AB Latour has fully supported us during 2020 and their long-term commitment as ensured us to invest in expanding three of our large factories – which is really positive. 2020 saw a flight to safety - when things get difficult, everyone wants to mitigate their risk exposure and having us as an reliable partner with lots of experience from different industries has been critical for many customers.
Many big end consumer project decisions were deferred so now there is quite a backlog, so I think we will see more infrastructure investments this year. And in any downturn you see opportunities in mergers and acquisitions, so I expect some owners of fastener companies that struggled during the pandemic will be reaching out this year.
I joined the company two years ago, after roles at JP Morgan, McKinsey & Company and global polymer giant Trelleborg. Nord-Lock had grown rapidly, both organically and through bolt-on acquisitions; the Superbolt business in 2011, Boltight in 2015 and Expander in 2016. There was a need to focus on structure and efficiency, invest in systems and create an operational platform to ‘earn our right to grow’. We also integrated more into digital solutions as part of our efficiency strategy.
Our focus has moved on to growth and innovation. It’s important we raise the bar with new product and solutions, and work closely with end users. Developments like our LST – Load Sensing Tensioner – is a fantastic innovation and saves a lot of time and money for end users. It’s also given us a different business model - we are no longer selling a product, we are selling uptime. We are also keen to ensure that sustainability becomes a natural part of our DNA. One of our biggest growth opportunities is simply in growing awareness, making people aware that we exist and the kind of safety solutions we can provide.
Nord-Lock Group has 600 employees worldwide and in 2020 we’ve put a lot of focus in education, knowledge transfer and employee engagement. We were even awarded top 5 “Employer of the year” in Sweden by Briliant Future. As a result we came out of 2020 stronger, tighter as a team and we managed to keep the wheels spinning.
2020 has been a busy year for us and I am happy see that all our effort and learnings along the way makes it easier for our customers and partners to do business with us.
CEO of Nord-Lock
You can read the full issue online now.