How IKEA Industry Hultsfred Transformed Strategy Execution with Howwe

In the world of strategic execution, the shift from traditional methods to digital solutions marks a turning point for organizations aiming for enhanced efficiency and transparency. IKEA Industry Hultsfred initiated their transition from the analog Tactical Implementation Plan (TIP) to the digital solution for growth, Howwe, in the fall 2022. In this article, Anette Strand, Supply Chain Manager, and Andreas Herdinius, Purchaser at IKEA Industry Hultsfred, share their experiences and insights into this pivotal shift.

From TIP to Howwe: A Leap Towards Digitalization

Previously, IKEA Industry Hultsfred relied on TIP, a method still used by the vast majority of IKEA. An annual plan would be broken down into action plans and activities with set timelines in Excel. This method, while functional,  occasionally resulted in a static plan that lacked continuous follow-up, especially at a strategic level. “The plan would be set, and then shelved,” Anette explains, highlighting the challenge of maintaining momentum and engagement with the plan. “There was a clear need to unify the team and ensure continuous follow-up”. 

Andreas adds: “To truly grasp our strategic direction and measure progress, we found ourselves grappling with the challenge of obtaining a clear overview”. The analog method obscured not only our immediate tasks but also the broader connection to our team and the company’s overarching goals. “Communication of these objectives became more cumbersome, leading to a disconnect that permeated throughout the organization,” Andreas continues.

“Our process involved writing on whiteboards, printing papers, using highlighters, and circulating emails. We had information displayed in four different locations, requiring us to physically run around and update progress manually. Our plans, often set with a six-month horizon, would change significantly—changes that the TIP method struggled to capture. Now, with Howwe, everything is simplified, transparent, and constantly updated”, Andreas explains.

The Howwe Advantage

The adoption of Howwe has introduced a new era of strategic work at IKEA Industry Hultsfred. The digital platform has enhanced clarity, engagement, and the ability to monitor progress towards strategic goals. “With Howwe, we’ve managed to tie everything together,” Anette observes. “It simplifies cross-functional collaboration, a significant advantage that was considerably more challenging to achieve with analog methods”

The software’s user-friendly interface and visual overview have fostered a stronger sense of unity and purpose across the team, allowing for more effective weekly check-ins and overall strategic alignment of goals and initiatives on all levels. 

“Our department is so spread out, so it’s great that we can come together and naturally sync up on a weekly basis. We may not interact with each other much on a day-to-day basis, but we are dependent on each other,” Andreas points out. “Seeing our work visibly progress towards our goal is rewarding. There’s a direct link between our daily tasks and the larger objectives, highlighting our contribution to the vision. This brings a satisfying sense of accomplishment and alignment,” Andreas continues.

Digitalization: The Path to Enhanced Planning and Execution

The digitalization of strategic planning has not only streamlined the planning process but also improved the adaptability of plans, allowing for real-time updates and adjustments. This shift has resulted in better planning, increased efficiency, and a more proactive approach to addressing challenges.

“With Howwe, we continuously input new activities that are relevant to the present moment, making our goal and activity management work more dynamic and alive,” Anette says. “Our planning is now an ongoing process, rendering the strategy far more pertinent which is more efficient and expedient than before,” Anette says. “The manual labor and frustration induced by Excel’s fragile formulas and the tedious task of copy-pasting are things of the past,” says Andreas, sounding relieved. “Plans rarely unfold as expected—alterations and unforeseen events are par for the course. With Howwe, however, we have the agility to keep our plans dynamic and aligned with our current reality,” Andreas continues. 

“We’re in the midst of integrating this approach into our daily operations to make it second nature”, Anette explains. “The onus is on us to leverage the software to its fullest potential”. However, the learning curve for the software itself is minimal, a point on which both Anette and Andreas concur.

Looking Forward with Howwe

The transition from TIP to Howwe at IKEA Industry Hultsfred serves as a testament to the power of digitalization in transforming strategic execution. As IKEA Industry Hultsfred continues to navigate through its digital transformation journey, the focus remains on maximizing the use of Howwe to ensure that the entire team is aligned and engaged with strategic goals. 

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