Sofia Hugosson leads the Quality Assurance and Audit team at Volvo Construction Equipment’s plant in Braås, Sweden. The team is a tightly welded group which deals with quality issues linked to components from suppliers. When a deviation is reported, they are expected to identify the problem, resolve it and make sure it does not happen again.
“On some days, we have an enormous amount to do and everyone is 150 per cent focused. I am incredibly impressed,” she says.
It is an unpredictable job where issues occur suddenly and call for swift decisions. During pulse meetings and other checks, everyone is focused as they give their status and action reports. In between, however, there is still plenty of time for jokes and banter.
“It’s important to have a secure, open atmosphere in the group, so that all the members can be themselves. This helps us to manage the really stressful days,” says Sofia Hugosson.
She feels that safeguarding this good atmosphere is one of her most important tasks.
The rules of enjoyment are taped on the wall and the first one is “Have fun and get on with one another”.
For Sofia Hugosson, a normal working day begins at 7 am with a control meeting. It is followed by a range of checks up to 9.30 am, even if she also finds time for a coffee break with the team.
This day, she has scheduled a meeting with an employee to follow up on his personal business plan. She then gathers the staff’s safety representatives and the quality technicians that work in the arrival area for incoming components to make a risk appraisal of their work space to prevent incidents. On this particular day, however, she had to fit in some extra meetings to handle unexpected deviations.
“My greatest challenge is that I never have enough time. I have been a manager for just over a year and this is one of the things I have to learn to handle. Luckily enough, there are good mentors in the organisation that I can talk to.”
The training courses she attended, when she was previously an internal consultant are also really useful.
“The training as an internal consultant also frequently focused on leadership. That was probably when I started to find it interesting. After all, many people at the Volvo Group who are not managers spend a great deal of time working on leadership.”
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