Complementing the diversity of the service market nowadays, Sale Management lecturer Jorma Nordlund likewise has a diverse background.
A graduate of Helsinki School of Economics, Nordlund comes from an entrepreneurial family, with his youth spent working in their furniture shop in Helsinki. This was followed by a colourful career that has included being marketing manager at Sony, managing director at Rentokil and lecturer in Moscow, Eritrea and Henley College. Having been involved in various aspects of marketing during his career, marketing is an integral part of his life.
“I’m lecturing all the time about marketing and I’m writing about it,” he explains. “A marketing sales and marketing management career involves discipline, but there’s also innovations and creativity which we need. It’s a job and area where you can work with people and thus results are coming from the people.”
Nordlund acknowledges that it is in fact with people and interaction that competitive advantage lies these days.
“It is very difficult to find differences anymore. You cannot compete with the price, the bottom line, so it means that you have to find the competitive advantage through service. It’s importance is growing greater.”
For Nordlund, service excellence means exceeding the expectations of the customers, the shareholders and the subcontractor.
“We should offer excellent service, internally, externally, and at the same time earn money. We can never, ever forget that whatever we are doing, at the end of the day we should make it in a profitable way. Service excellence is done through the people; it means everything in a sense. You cannot take everything in a block – sales, administration, accounting logistics – they are all together. If they are isolated the service excellence doesn’t exist.”
Thus Norlund uses his own previous experience to inform his lectures.
“I have the theoretical background as well as practical,” Nordlund admits. “This is similar to the eMBA programme as it is it is a combination of theory and practice. It is about how to give tools to people. The strength of this programme is that it combines theory and practice very well. People can get a lot out of it: self-confidence, knowledge and new theoretical ideas.”
Text by James O'Sullivan