The last month have been truly hectic from a work point of view having to finish up my project within production, participating in a seminar week together with the other trainees and moving to a new country to start my third rotation within Scania Lietuva (Lithuania). And as many of you probably have experienced, moving abroad is never as easy as you think, especially when you do not speak the language. Even the smallest things take a lot of time and effort to solve or understand. But better late than never, as they say. In this post I will try to recap my first couple of weeks in Lithuania and share what I will be working with during my three months here.
Lithuania is quite a small country, ranking 35th in Europe when it comes to population with around 2.8 million inhabitants and is continuously shrinking due to labour migration. However, surprisingly enough the Lithuania truck market is the 9th biggest in Europe (even larger than Sweden) with just short of 7000 trucks sold in 2017. Nonetheless, the Lithuanian truck market is in a sense different from many of the other markets in Europe, 95% of all sold trucks are long haulage trucks and more or less all of them leave the country for transport jobs in western Europe as soon as they are registered.
On top of this, the transport and logistics industry is rather consolidated with many larger fleets and where the two biggest almost accounts for half of all the sold trucks in Lithuania. These big companies usually have their own workshops and purchase spare parts from their own suppliers. Additionally, they usually use their own fleet management systems or a system from local suppliers, whereas they usually have their own driver trainers. These facts altogether make the aftermarket and service sales very challenging. In other words, Lithuania is quite a tricky transport market where Scania historically has had a relatively low market share, mainly because of price sensitivity in the consolidated market and tough competition from other premium brands, who typically price themselves extremely low to win large deals.
While all forms of service sales are rather challenging in Lithuania as a result of the current traits of the market, Scania Baltics as a whole has also suffered from relatively low penetration of connected and driver services. Main reasons to this is said to be that customers tend to use similar fleet management systems from local suppliers to a much lower price and at the same time are hesitant to buy into the notion of educated divers to reduce TCO (total cost of ownership). Hence, I have consequently been assigned to look into the connected and driver services offering within the Baltics. My main tasks, together with other stakeholders, is too make sure we develop the strategy for connected and driver services into a competitive and future proof platform – filled with customer oriented solutions and value. This includes pricing and packaging of services, develop a reasonable vision for Baltic region, as well as identifying show stoppers and solution enablers along the way. In other words, partly restructure the way we work with connected and driver services, but also make sure the basics are in place and possible to sell.
I find this project very intriguing as it is rather customer centric, and allows me to gain a better understanding of Scania customers while also learning more about services that I believe will be crucial in order for Scania to stay competitive in the future. So far it´s been a great experience to be out on the market and I have confidence in that these experiences will be truly valuable in understanding the broader picture of Scania as a company.
Stay tuned, in my next post I will tell you a bit about life in general in Lithuania and a national marketing activity that I participated in during this past week. Until then, take care!
All the best,