Anneli Anhelm is driven by turning questions into answers, and by developing the steel products of the future. Meet Anneli Anhelm, head of technical customer service and product development, who tried out a number of opportunities before she knew what she wanted to work with.
Having worked a total of 21 years at Ovako, Anneli has no hesitations about her working day. But in 1988, when Anneli arrived in Hällefors as a newly graduated metallurgist from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), she wondered not only what it was like to work “for real” in a Swedish heavy basic industry, but also the bigger issues like what she actually wanted to focus on.
“As an inexperienced graduate I didn’t really know what I wanted to focus on. I think the best thing for a new graduate is to get to work more widely with a variety of issues and in different fields, but still to be with a company that’s big enough to be able to switch jobs internally and try out some different roles.”
And Anneli did indeed get to try out different roles. After she presented her thesis in Hofors, she was employed as a materials development engineer in Hällefors and got to sample process development, technical customer service and quality development.
“It was like a smorgasbord of work, and gave me great experience.”
After seven years in Hällefors, Anneli moved to France. Back in Sweden seven years later, in 2002, she was employed in technical customer service at Fundia, which in 2005 became Ovako.
“When Ovako was formed there was a greater focus on looking forward and not just dealing with problem solving, but also product development.”
Today, Anneli heads the team that deals with technical customer service in Smedjebacken, a role that involves lots of customer contact. The changes are often small – a measurement that needs to be approved following customer feedback, or a material that needs to be tested one more time. Anneli is driven both by turning existing questions into answers, and by finding new areas for development.
“High quality and new products are really important for us to remain successful. And there has been a change in responsibilities, especially in my field. Technical customer service is now drives forward the product development, and it feels incredibly stimulating to be involved in developing the products of tomorrow together with our customers.”