Major IT focus at swift–footed Stralfors

Stralfors has a long history. From innovative printing business to fully-fledged communication company, Stralfors has always led the way. Stralfors now has a major IT focus and an aim of providing the right customer with the right information via the right channel.

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A well-known operator in the publishing industry wants to reach female subscribers around the age of 25 in central Stockholm to inform them about a special offer relating to a new magazine about health. The operator logs in via the Stralfors Access customer portal and chooses how the information is to be communicated. Some subscribers are to receive the information via text message and others by email, and with just a few taps on keys the special offer pops up in subscribers' phones and email programmes.

Changed consumer behaviour

This is part of the daily routine at Stralfors, which helps companies all over the world every day with personally adapted special offers that are relevant for their own customers. There are a number of IT systems working in the background to make this possible. We had a chat with Sofia Fristam and Viktor Sjöström, both of whom work in IT, about the role of IT and why they, as people with an interest in IT, were attracted to Stralfors.

Almost 100 years ago Stralfors was running a traditional printing business, but as the years have passed they have focused more and more on information and information distribution. If you've ever had an invoice delivered through your letterbox, there's every chance that Stralfors created it.

Fewer and fewer consumers nowadays want to receive their bills and other information through their letterbox, which in recent years has caused Stralfors to focus on increasingly modern forms of communication. Stralfors now offers its customers an opportunity to make use of multichannel solutions such as text messaging or email, as well as data optimisation and the opportunity to create loyalty schemes.

Sofia is driven by challenges

As System Manager for Stralfors Access, Sofia has a major responsibility to make sure that the system is updated and can deliver whatever customers want. Together with a team of developers, she works with the agile system development method Scrum, which means that they work continuously on results and improvements.

Sofia's background is in Systems Science, with many years' experience of web-based systems in particular. She feels that the most exciting task at Stralfors is how to use smart IT solutions to help companies communicate with their customers, something that is also challenging.

- "I'm driven by challenges, and the challenge for Stralfors Access is often to find simple, good solutions in our web portal," explains Sofia.

Sofia observes that Stralfors as a company is extremely receptive, often encouraging employees to put forward new ideas. One example is when Sofia introduced Kanban, a kind of method using simple visual signals to monitor and control different kinds of processes. These have been implemented in areas including the agile Scrum projects that have advanced to the administration phase, and the initiative has resulted in Stralfors now having a number of active Kanban boards in Sweden.

Viktor picked up his interest in IT as a child

Like Sofia, Viktor has a major responsibility for IT at Stralfors. As the person responsible for Communication in Global IT, his role involves staff responsibility, but he also works as an administrator and architect. Viktor explains that his area includes networks, security, email and system centre, a platform for monitoring, automation and application packaging.

Viktor acquired an interest in IT in his early childhood, and started work at Stralfors after studying Engineering. He points out that Stralfors, which is after all not a pure IT company, has a very strong IT focus and feels that they have invested a lot in high-quality systems:

- "We have high quality and Stralfors always wants to be at the forefront of IT. If we succeed in developing a technically advanced solution that's still user-friendly and becomes a natural feature of the business, we've succeeded."

According to Viktor, it's a matter of being swift-footed and flexible, which the company always has been, in order to be able to create relevant systems and solutions. It is absolutely crucial to keep up with technical developments:

- "If you compare us with the very biggest companies, we stand out and we've long kept up with developments and changed when necessary. If you want to work in an exciting, complex environment with an IT focus, Stralfors is the company for you. You get to learn lots of new things and at the same time contribute new ideas of your own," concludes Viktor.