Meet Christer Östman, the newest addition to Stringo’s management team. Building from his experience in both sports and industrial manufacturing, he’s eager to involve his entire crew in the upcoming transformation of our production layout. Because according to Christer, teamwork really makes the dream work (unless, of course, the game is ‘dip tin draw’).
How did you find yourself at Stringo?
“I first came to Stringo in the spring of 2023 as an Interim Production Manager through the consultancy firm Knightec. It turned out to be a perfect match, so from 2024, I’m officially a permanent member of the Stringo team.”
What’s the biggest focus for you in your role?
“The main goal ahead is to create a new production layout to accommodate the latest Stringo models, the S5 and 4WM, which are key products in supporting the automotive industry’s shift to EVs. This involves installing a vertical storage module so we can use the storage space in our facilities more effectively. We’ll also introduce new production aids to minimise manual lifting and make pre-assembly more efficient. Skills development is another big priority since more of our employees need to be able to assemble the new machines.”
In your experience, what’s the key to successfully implementing a major change like that?
“Having played a lot of football and ice hockey, I know the value of teamwork. It’s absolutely vital to involve the people directly affected by the change. As a leader, you should never present your staff with a finished solution. Instead, you need to listen, be humble, and not rush into decisions. The end result is so much better if everyone contributes with their ideas, even if it takes a bit longer. This also ensures the buy-in and engagement of your staff, which sets you up for a smoother implementation process down the line.”
How is Stringo different from other places you’ve worked at?
“The low barriers between different departments at Stringo really stand out to me. There's a strong sense of community, and people are willing to go the extra mile. This positive culture is also reflected in the high eNPS we see in our employee surveys.”
What’s your connection to the local area?
“I was born and raised in Örnsköldsvik, where I’ve lived most of my life, except for my university years in Luleå. Örnsköldsvik is a charming city with quite a lot going on these days. It’s a bit of a commute to the office in Nyland, but for Stringo, it’s definitely worth it. The local connection is important for us as a company as well. We go for local suppliers and talent as much as possible.”
What do you do when you’re not working?
“I love spending time with family and friends, especially at my in-laws’ cottage in the archipelago, where we go every summer. These days, I watch hockey more than play it, and I’m a big MoDo supporter. But I still like to keep fit by playing racket sports and going for runs and walks in the beautiful nature we have up here. And in wintertime, I like to do downhill skiing, preferably in the Swedish mountains.”
Any surprising facts or hidden talents you’d like to share?
“For some reason, I have unusually good grip strength. During my military training, I even became the regional master. So I’m nearly unbeatable at 'dip tin draw'.”
What’s 'dip tin draw'?
“It’s a game of tug of war with a snuff tin. You hold the edge of the tin between your index and middle finger and try to pull it from your opponent. I introduced it to people I met as an exchange student in upstate New York. They’d never seen it before but seemed to like it.”