Husqvarna: an Entrepreneur's Mindset

Husqvarna Group evolves into leading producer of outdoor power products

The world has changed a lot since 1689.

And the Husqvarna Group has changed right along with it.

What started out as a rifle maker at the base of the Husqvarna waterfall in Sweden, has evolved into the world's leader in outdoor power equipment.

Early on the company recognized it had a unique skill set and that its expertise had applications far beyond rifles. That has taken the company on a 330-year journey of adaptation, innovation and success.

By the 1800s, Husqvarna was a leading manufacturer of sewing machines. At the turn of the century, the company started building bicycles, which naturally led to motorcycles. By 1918, the company was producing lawnmowers, launching Husqvarna into the international outdoor products company it is today.

The Husqvarna Group now has 13,000 employees in 40 countries. Its chainsaws, trimmers, lawnmowers, watering products and diamond cutting tools are sold throughout the world under household names like Gardena, McCulloch and Poulan Pro.

And its spirit of innovation has never wavered.

"We have reinvented ourselves a couple of times," explains Husqvarna Group Risk Manager Jonas Särnborg. "We are entrepreneurs and that mindset has never left the company."

Through international expansion and numerous acquisitions, the Husqvarna Group now has 31 production facilities all over the world. New technology and ever-changing consumer tastes means that Husqvarna's entrepreneurial spirit will always be needed. 

"You can't build protection based on emotion."

Jonas Särnborg, risk manager, Husqvarna Group

Since 2007, FM Global has been part of that journey, leveraging what it knows to help the Husqvarna Group navigate a world that is changing faster than ever.

"Ten years ago, we manufactured few battery products," explains Särnborg. "Today, battery products are everywhere. As battery technology was emerging, FM Global did extensive research to understand the emerging risk, and that knowledge is now applied to our warehouses globally."

The Husqvarna Group introduced the first solar-powered robotic lawnmower in 1995 but consumer demand for the product developed only recently. The explosive growth of the product line in recent years increased the importance of the main robotic lawnmower production facility in the United Kingdom. Working with FM Global, the Husqvarna Group developed a strategic plan to improve the risk of the facility, elevating the plant to Highly Protected Risk (HPR) status in just three years.

Today, the Husqvarna Group is embracing smart machinery with the goal of having Sweden's smartest manufacturing facility. The project moves almost the entire production process into the digital space, exposing Husqvarna Group to new cyber threats. The project has become a proving ground for FM Global's new Industrial Control Standards, designed to keep connected manufacturing safe. The industrial controls pilot has provided valuable information to both FM Global and Husqvarna Group.

"This is new territory for us and the industrial controls pilot gave us access to some industry best practices to follow," Särnborg says. "I think it added value for FM Global as well, giving them a live environment to test their standard against."

As the new Husqvarna Group continues its innovation journey, it looks to FM Global to understand the risks.

"You can't build protection based on emotion," Särnborg adds. "We need to understand the facts. What is the risk? What is the exposure and what can we do about? I'm confident that the FM Global risk engineers are giving us the very best recommendations."


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