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HEAD OFFICE IN COPENHAGEN BREATHED NEW LIFE INTO THE COMPANYBeiersdorf relocated its Nordic head office from Sweden to Copenhagen.
“Before we moved to Copenhagen it was not always easy to recruit new, international staff, but since the move, prospective employees have been almost queuing up!” So says Erik Frisk, director of the Danish division of German company Beiersdorf.
Beiersdorf develops, produces and markets a number of well-known skin care brands: Nivea, Atrix, La Prarie, Juvena, Florena and Hansaplast are just some of the products from the company, which is represented in 150 countries worldwide. Up until october 2005 Beiersdorf ’s head office for the Nordic and Baltic countries was in Kungsbacka, 25 km south of Gothenburg, Sweden.
“Beiersdorf was having difficulty recruiting people to Kungsbacka – even from within our own organisation,” explains Erik Frisk. “But all that has changed now. We have now got a very young, dynamic team of about 50 staff in our Nordic head office in a completely new building in Copenhagen’s southern suburb of Sydhavn.”
CUTTING TRAVEL COSTS
You can hear eight languages being spoken at the head office and the general manager comes from Germany. In Sweden, fully 95 per cent of the staff were Swedish. Explains Erik Frisk: “Beiersdorf is German owned and the corporate head office is in Hamburg, so being based in Copenhagen has also made the travel aspect much easier. As a result of this move we have cut travel time and costs. In Sweden, travel between Hamburg and Kungsbacka entailed going via Stockholm, Helsinki or Copenhagen. But now, with our head office only ten minutes from Copenhagen airport, we can manage everything in one day.”
“The idea of relocating the head office was first aired at the end of 2004. And right from the outset we had two options under consideration: Stockholm or Copenhagen.”
“During this period we had contact with Copenhagen Capacity, who gave us valuable input to the decision-making process,” says Erik Frisk. Apart from ease of recruitment and Copenhagen’s central placing, the final decision by Beiersdorf in favour of the Danish capital was swayed by the flexibility of the Danish labour market.”
“This compensates for the fact that salaries are slightly higher in Denmark than in Sweden. In the end it all evens out.”
A BREATH OF FRESH AIR
Since Beiersdorf‹s relocation to Copenhagen in october 2005, the marketing and finance functions have also relocated to Copenhagen. IT, logistics and supply are currently still in Sweden. Beiersdorf has also outsourced its storage facility in the Swedish town of Örebro.
Although building up the new organisation has been a major undertaking, there is no hint of regret. On the contrary, it is all felt to have been highly worthwhile.
“The last man has just moved in and clearly it is a challenge to put together a whole new team with all new managers.Not to mention integrating so many new staff with different nationalities and cultural backgrounds,” comments Erik Frisk, adding that only very few of the Swedish staff in Kungsbacka chose to relocate to Copenhagen.
“But it has been like a breath of fresh air. We have become more international and today we can say with certainty that things are going exceptionally well and it has absolutely been worth all the effort.”
Read more at: www.beiersdorf.com