A job as a forester in Gothenburg on the west coast of Sweden. Working on sawmill projects in Europe and highly involved in the development of new digital solutions for forestry. Erik Skärberg, 28, has the forester job he never knew existed.
Since November 2021, Erik Skärberg has been working as a business developer at ForestX in Gothenburg, Sweden
ForestX is the fast-growing upstart on the digital development scene in forestry. In four years, the company has grown to nearly 50 coworkers and runs projects in Sweden and Europe.
The customer list includes well-known Swedish forestry and sawmill companies such as Sveaskog, Setra and Sydved. Outside Europe, the company has customers in Denmark, Germany and Austria. In Austria, ForestX runs projects together with Rubner and Pfeifer Group.
Since Erik Skärberg started at ForestX, he has worked in projects towards sawmills and with the development of ForestX’s own optimization system for sawmills; Optinex.
– I started directly in ongoing projects and worked side by side with Oskar Selmeryd, a colleague with a lot of experience from the tasks I now also have.
One third of ForestX employees in Sweden have an education and professional background in forestry. This means that there is a great deal of support and knowledge in everything concerning forestry.
The tasks of the business developers with a forestry background vary and follow the course of the project. In Optinex projects, which involve sawmills, it may look like this:
– We know what information we need in the project and then we analyse the sawmill’s available data and help with what data needs to be further developed. Then we process this into a model of the sawmill. Simply a digital copy with all activities, products, resources and market conditions. Once we have the complete model, Optinex can then find the optimal production plan for the sawmill and explore new scenarios.
An important part of the project is also to educate the users in the programme and which working methods need to be developed in order to make the best use of the benefits of the programme, says Erik Skärberg.
Erik Skärberg enjoys his life as a consultant.
– It’s very varied. You get a different perspective when you work with different customers. It’s developing for yourself too.
– We really develop the very latest support for the forest industry and it’s fun to work at the forefront of digital development.
ForestX has its own experienced system architects in Sweden with experience from forestry and works on the digital solutions together with ForestX’s development team in India. Erik Skärberg, who has a technical interest himself, also gets to take part in the development work with requirements definition and testing from a user’s perspective by understanding the customer’s needs.
The fact that working life could also include projects in Europe was not what Erik Skärberg had expected during the education to be a forester. But ForestX has several large customers in Europe, and the projects there lead to new insights and knowledge about the industry.
– There are some differences in how we work in the forestry and sawmill industry in Sweden and how they do it in Austria and Germany. For example, they work with a much larger number of products at the same sawmill, and they are big on further processing, especially glulam.
Name: Erik Skärbärg
Does: Business developer at ForestX
– As an orienteer, there’s not much that beats running through a nice pine forest.
Best nature experience:
–Cycling holiday with MTB in Grövelsjön and Ramundberget. Fantastic mountain environment.