Linus Åström, Latitude 64:
“We have received in-depth help and new ideas that we hadn’t thought of.”
Strategic expansion plan – hole-in-one for Latitude 64
Latitude 64, based in Skellefteå, northern Sweden, produce state-of-the-art golf discs for the international elite. As the interest for disc golf is increasing globally, they strive to keep up with a rapidly growing customer base. Faced with outgrowing their current production facilities, they started thinking about expansion.
Plans bordered by uncertainty
Known for their reliable and high-quality products, hitting maximum capacity posed a serious threat to a hard-earned reputation of many years. But the uncertainties around how to solve the problem were many and difficult. Linus Åström, production technician at Latitude 64, says:
– We had many issues to sort out before we could decide on the best solution for a larger production – e.g. how big does the new production need to be? And how can we make it scalable? Is it possible to make adjustments in our current production and warehouse management so that we can stay longer in our current premises?
University students straightened out question marks
Emma Norrfors, business coach in university/business matchmaking, had heard about the challenges and got in touch with a proposal that immediately caught the interest of Linus and production manager Robert Lundqvist.
– I asked Robert if they had considered letting students from Luleå University of Technology contribute to their business development. Prospective engineers could provide new perspectives in a case project as part of their course.
Three students were commissioned to analyze the production process and organizational management within Latitude 64 to create a strategic plan for expansion, flexible production and social sustainability.
“This has been a great experience for us. We have received in-depth help, without any major effort on our part. I hope that businesses will take advantage of this opportunity.”
Direct improvements in production flow
The project set off with a technical visit at the production site and a briefing by the management team in September. The three students proceeded to work independently with analyses over the coming months. For the final presentations in January, they could present Latitude 64 with tangible improvements that they came across in their work; ways to optimize the manufacturing process, organization, market, distribution and warehouse, as well as the work environment in connection with the expansion.
– We are delighted with the collaboration and have received new ideas that we ourselves had not thought of. The students have impressed us with how quickly they grasped a fairly advanced production and immediately understood our needs, says Linus.
The expansion is planned to start in the spring of 2021 and Latitude 64 plan to incorporate many of the ideas put forward by the students. Linus is now a strong advocate for collaborating with the university in business development issues.
– This has been a great experience for us. We have received in-depth help, without any major effort on our part. I hope that businesses will take advantage of this opportunity.
Industry-academia partnerships. LTU Business serves companies seeking collaborations with Luleå University of Technology. Read more here.
Latitude 64 participated in SIRT, a regional development project initiated and run by Luleå University of Technology and LTU Business, sponsored by the Swedish Agency for Economic & Regional Growth, Region Norrbotten, Skellefteå Municipality and Luleå University of Technology.