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The view from the US

To thrive in an ever-changing market, a company needs to innovate, stay flexible and always keep its customers in focus, says Rick Askin, President, Sandvik US.

The United States is Sandvik's single largets marke by revenue. What are the greatest challenges both for the US and for Sandvik?

The greatest challenge for Sandvik and the United States is our ability to adapt to the ever-changing business and competitive landscape. The market, the competition and the business climate will continue to change, and demands for innovative solutions to deliver productivity will continue to increase. As business cycles have a greater global reach, in order to be successful we need to continue to innovate, be flexible enough to adapt to rapidly changing business conditions and keep our customers' productivity in focus.

Aerospace is one of our most important developing segments. What is going on there?

Commercial aerospace continues to introduce new materials in order to innovate, reduce weight and increase fuel efficiency. From supplying titanium tubing to machining composites or super alloy castings, Sandvik is active in helping our aerospace customers achieve their objectives. We have centers in which we work with our customers to develop and test new processes and to design solutions that make our customers more efficient. It is through this cooperation and continuous innovation that we are both successful.

You have a reputation for always being in a positive mood. How do you keep up your good spirits at work?

I simply enjoy life. Each of us needs to find our individual driver to good spirits and happiness. For me it is skiing. At work, I draw much of my energy and positive mood from my surroundings. As an organization, Sandvik challenges me, and at the same time I have the privilege to be surrounded by very talented and terrific people with whom to collaborate. This allows me to believe that we can achieve whatever we strive to do, and that brings positive energy and enthusiasm.