• REACHING FOR NEW MARKETS

    THE 1970’S

ADDING NEW PRODUCTS AND SALES CHANNELS

During the 1970’s Nefab continued to expand the capabilities within packaging solutions, and in 1974, a new product was brought to the market – the returnable plywood pallet collar.

In the mid 70’s Nefab started to broaden the customer base in Sweden, by reaching out to export companies in Sweden that needed qualified packaging solutions for long distance shipments of sensitive industrial products. Nefab also started to build up a network of agents and distributors in Europe, that would serve as channels for packaging products like the Vikex box. The innovative Vikex box increased the market potential significantly for Nefab, since it could be shipped internationally to re-sellers. In 1978 Ing-Marie Nordgren and Jochum Pihl starts working in the company.

Preparing to broaden the customer base

At the start of the 1970’s Nefab was still challenged to cope with the new big business from LM Ericsson. The magnitude of the new business had put Nefab to the test in several ways, for example a doubling of the workforce in just a few years. In the middle of the decade, LM Ericsson announced that their need for packaging was probably going to decline, meaning that Nefab should not expect the same volumes going forward. LM Ericsson believed that their new and smaller transistors would mean lower demand for packaging. As a response to the announcement from LM Ericsson, Nefab decided to strengthen the focus of finding new customers among export companies in Sweden, thus making sure that any lost volumes from the major customer was balanced with new business.
At this time Hans-Elov also initiated efforts to build up a network of agents and distributors in European markets, which would become new channels for Nefab’s packaging products. Some of the markets targeted via agents and distributors were Switzerland, England, Germany, France, Holland and Belgium.

Introducing the returnable plywood pallet collar

As Nefab’s know-how in packaging grew throughout the ‘70s – new products were invented and brought to the market. In 1974, a new returnable plywood packaging solution was brought to the market – the returnable plywood pallet collar. The product got good traction fast, and one of the first customer was Åhléns, a chain of Swedish department stores. This product was very flexible in terms of size (height) and was also lightweight, which made handling easy, for example in department stores.

Manufacturing gets computerized

In the 1970s a clever production engineer named Per Klockarns built the first computer for Nefab’s production. The computer was used to steer and control the steel profile mill, which produced the steel profiles for lids and bottoms of the Vikexboxes. The steel profiles also gave the Vikex solutions their characteristic look. Many of the machines and tools used at that time were built by Per Klockarns and Hans-Elov Nordgren.

A new generation joins Nefab

In 1978 Hans-Elov Nordgren’s daughter Ing-Marie and her husband Jochum Pihl starts working in Nefab. Jochum starts working as production manager, with the task to drive production efficiency improvements. Ing-Marie primarily works with export and marketing related activities.