"Mr. Lesjöfors" celebrates 50th anniversary in the company

2010-06-04 Much of the success behind Lesjöfors is one man to thank for - Göran Andersen. With his ideas and expertise, he has helped to put Lesjöfors on the world map as a leading spring supplier and has helped countless clients over the years. Now he celebrates 50 years in the company.
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The story of Lesjöfors and Göran Andersen begins before Göran was born, with his father Egil Andersen. Egil comes to Lesjöfors in the Swedish county Värmland in the mid 40´s from the war-affected Norway. There he meets his wife, starts a family and works for the town's spring factory with the same name. Meanwhile, he is studying for his engineering. In 1955 the family moved to Stockholm, where Egil got a post as head of Svenska Spriralfabriken, a subsidiary of Lesjöfors. A few years later, another spring manufacturer, Stockholm Fjäderfabrik, is for sale, and Egil takes the opportunity to buy this.

Business manager as a teenager
In 1960, at the age of 15, Göran also starts working in the company. He begins in the workshop and learns production from the ground up. Four years later his father tragically dies, only 48 years old. Göran, who is not yet 19 at this point, takes over the management of the company. Despite his young age, he does so with verve; business is developing prosperous and Göran can invest in new modern equipment, more staff and may eventually build new, modern premises.

Standard collection a huge success
During the 70's, Göran got the idea of standardizing spring production. That kind of production did not exist at the time; all springs where manufactured after customer needs, which meant long lead times. Consequently, Göran picked up the calculator and started counting every spring´s characteristics for the 3 000 products in first Spring Catalogue. The catalogue was released in 1972 and Goran also did all the photos and illustrations on his own. Today, the standard range is one of the core businesses in Lesjöfors and has contributed greatly to the company's strong market position. The Spring Catalogue currently contains over 10 000 products and is published in eight languages.

First with computerized manufacturing
In 1982, Göran and his brother Björn starts a manufacturing unit in Nordmarkshyttan, a nearby village to Lesjöfors. As the first company on the market, they produce small springs and wire springs using computerized CNC machines. A business which is successful from the start and today consists of approximately 15 employees.

Two companies merge
In 1988, Göran Andersen sells Stockholms Fjäder to ALMA Invest, which is specialized in industry and trade. The management at ALMA sees great opportunities with the profitable company. The year after, ALMA buys Lesjöfors, where great synergies can be found, and the two companies merge under the name Lesjöfors. This means closing the circle, with the company in which Göran´s father once started his career.

No retirement in sight
Göran continued as MD at Stockholm Fjäder until two years ago. The company was then divided into Lesjöfors Gas & Stock Spring with Mårten Glass as MD and Lesjöfors Stockholms Fjäder, where Göran´s son in law Mats Klangsell took over. More of the Andersen family is also working in the company; Göran´s two brothers and two daughters.

What does the front man Goran Andersen best remembers from his years in the spring industry?
- I have had the pleasure to work with many interesting, customized projects. A special memory was of course the Öresund Bridge and the unique, flexible design we were able to produce in order to dampen vibrations on the bridge.

As for today, Göran has no plans to retire to a full-time management of the farm that he and his wife operate on an island in the Stockholm archipelago.
- No, as long as I like my work at Lesjöfors and feel I can contribute, I will continue, says Göran.

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