Marcus Holm is an engineer at the core
21 AUGUSTI 2023
To be Head of Production & Logistics comes naturally for an engineer like Marcus Holm, who not only applies his long experience in this field at Scania but also has the same curiosity to explore new technology and find out how things work at home.
He might be fairly new in the position as Head of Production and Logistics but carries a swift confidence, humble to the challenge ahead. “I see it as two roles: one part is to take care of Production and Logistics, see to that it is running smoothly with the vital mission to deliver trucks and buses, according to the Scania house: great quality to the right cost, and always safety first. It can’t be more basic than that. The other is to contribute to the future of Scania and TRATON as a member of Scania’s Executive Board.”
Curiosity as a driving force
From the beginning, Marcus had no connection to the transport industry as such, no neighbour working as a truck driver, and no urge to take on the roads himself. He didn’t need to, as he is an engineer to the core with an interest in all things tech: “I want to understand reality. So, I ask a lot of questions; what does it look like? Why is that? We need to know how the machine works, or else we can’t change it. Before we get started on fixing it, we need to know what to fix. To improve it must be our common aim.” But it is a challenge, in his position, to not engage in every little thing, no matter how interesting it might seem. “My attitude is that if we understand the big picture together, then we have possibilities for real improvement.”
This curiosity is something that affects his thoughts not only on things at work but on more or less any electronic or mechanical device he encounters, especially if someone else has found a way to improve it. “I challenge myself to take the current tech one step further, often influenced by things I’ve seen online. If someone has tried to make something different with, say some kind of remote for a smart home and succeeded, then I’m bound to do the same.” It’s a hobby, but also a tell-tale of someone that can’t leave a technical stone left unturned.
How it all started
Marcus’ journey at Scania began as a trainee in 1994. He had applied for a few of these programmes, at various companies. But Scania was his first choice, since vehicles, and especially trucks, appealed to his inner super engineer. Also, he knew what he was getting himself into, as his Master’s Thesis was done at one of our major competitors in Gothenburg. “As a product, a truck is really exciting. Scania was different. It felt robust and stable with it being a part of Swedish industrial history. It also suited my degree in mechanical engineering.”
Now, Marcus has been a part of the Scania world for a long time, and in various geographical settings. “It’s rewarding, to meet other cultures. It gives you a reality check, and a new perspective to work in an environment you aren’t used to. For me, as a Swede, you’d think Brazil would be the furthest from what I was used to because it is South America. But Denmark, or even Oskarshamn, are also different settings and dynamics compared to Södertälje.”
His previous position, as Managing Director at Scania Danmark, has been the experience most out of his comfort zone. “I didn’t have the tools, there, didn’t have the old encyclopaedia filled with knowledge to turn to.”
Back to the factory
To re-join the Production and Logistics team in Sweden was a trip down memory lane. “It was such a warm welcome. People I worked with 15 years ago, and that have had their careers parallel to mine, to meet them again is great.” Marcus feels that these kinds of encounters are possible because of our culture, and the opportunities that come with a large, global company: “The possibilities to develop oneself in different areas, and to explore new fields are endless for those who stay.”
He is, if not concerned, but at least wary, that his generation might be the last one that is this loyal to an employer. “It’s not necessarily wrong to work for a shorter time at a corporation. New people are coming to us, and we need to care for them, to make sure that the sense of belonging to the Scania family remains. It’s a balance between the heritage we carry, and the new, innovative spirit.”
Outside of work, he is still very much an engineer. But he also enjoys playing the piano, after a bumpy start: “I was not a regular student. I mean – who wants to hear Für Elise but your grandma? Instead, I was taught some chords, and to play by ear. A bit of a shortcut, but a lot of fun.”
He thinks that Scania’s future is exciting. It will come a time when we have a scenario that differs a lot from our current one, with the transition to electric vehicles, but there is still time to prepare. “With all that is happening, we need to keep a split vision. It’s like we are playing a game of soccer on one field but with two balls. One represents the combustion engine, and the other is electrification. We need to have the right players on the right ball.”
Marcus believes that for Scania to stay successful, we need to keep track of our foundation. “As long as we treasure our industrial heritage, we will remain a great company even in times of turbulence. We are good at what we do, but we need to keep our core, we can’t be what we are not.”
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