Several forms of proven leadership can elevate businesses from the ground. However, when passion comes into the mix with leadership, it can create never before seen transformational wonders in the business world. It is precisely what Mikael Hoier brought when he was appointed as the CEO of Lowenco A/S.
Mikael promoted and brought Lowensco’s innovative and environment-friendly products to the industry, dramatically changing the possibilities to store pharmaceutical products in large-scale solutions that benefit everyone, embarking on the foundation of a better future.
Lowenco produces high-end cold storage facilities, refrigerated units, and freezers from well-known quality components in its Denmark facilities, delivering custom-made freezers and cold storage facilities where GMP guidelines must be applied worldwide.
Mikael envisions bringing Lowenco to a position where it is the most recognized and trusted supplier of high-end cold storage facilities for pharmaceuticals and biotech firms worldwide.
Let us unveil Mikael’s journey.
Graduated with an Academy Profession Degree in Leadership & Management, Mikael began his professional journey in sales, having a profound knowledge of technology. For the past two decades, he has benefited from his technical background in technical sales, talking the same language as clients. He climbed up the leadership ladder, playing multiple roles from Sales Manager to CEO for the last decade.
Mikael’s ambitions and clear goals have contributed to the development and growth of several companies and the people around him. He says, “When I have the feeling that I have contributed to the company and the people with what I can contribute– I’ll need to move forward.”
Mikael led as the General Manager in his previous company, with complete responsibility, including P&L, for Denmark’s sales subsidiaries. After five years of declining turnover, Mikael was brought on board to get the desired change. He analyzed the markets, trends, and the internal staff; he made a strategy to turn it. He managed to turn the 5 years declining to 4 years with year-on-year growth, even with changing the team “on the fly.”
Mikael notes, “When people stuck in “we are used to doing,” “we have tried this, and it is not working,” “this is not possible” – they cannot be a part of my team. If a change needs to be done, you cannot just do like you did yesterday – then the decline will continue. By building up a brand-new motivated team – this was possible.” He managed to create and develop a team of strong individual businessmen who took ownership of their job. His role became more and more a supporting function to his team. This is precisely what Mikael understands about leadership. He considers that his most important role as leader and manager is to get optimal out of each person and develop them to become “self-propelled” – and to a point where they do not need him any longer.
Creating a Better World
The name Lowenco comes from Low Energy Cooling, creating a better world – one unit at a time. Lowenco is one of the leading manufacturers of cold storage facilities, forming strategies to change the expensive, inefficient, and non-environmentally friendly temperature-controlled storage. The solution has been developed under the brand names CON20 and LSSU, and more cold storage facilities are under development. The company is figuring out different ideas to change the future of cold storage facilities with new and improved designs.
Having a strong experience with cold storage facilities for high-demand markets like biotech and pharmaceutical industries, performing Factory Acceptance Tests including performance tests documented according to customer requirements and GMP.
Lowenco’s unique product is a large-scale ultra-low temperature freezer storage solution with the highest quality and safety for the people handling the products going into the very low-temperature storage area of -80°C. It develops products to save energy without reflecting on quality and performance, making the world a better place to live.
Lowenco’s mission is to revolutionize the general perception of how temperature-controlled storage units are built and optimized for medicine and food storage. It wants to be an internationally recognized supplier of cold storage facilities that supports and challenges global innovation and energy optimization for the benefit of companies, the environment, and the individual.
Sharing his thoughts on the positive impact of Lowenco’s LSSU solutions, Mikael asserts, “Our clients can substitute 40 standard upright freezers by 1 of our LSSU’s, which only have the power consumption of 6 upright freezers – and that’s only the power. Then handling, the safety of the products and the operators, etc. The solutions are very well adapted by the clients worldwide, especially with companies looking at CSR’s and reporting their “green” strategy. Who will not be helpful changing the world to become an even better place to be?”
The Foundational Core
Lowenco builds on its daily operations on its core values:
- It is creating success through team efforts, and competencies are essential for the future development of Lowenco.
- Knowing the customer’s expectations and needs is half the way – the remaining is producing solutions that help the customer reach their objectives.
- Innovation and out-of-the-box thinking define Lowenco – the only area where we aim for predictability is in the quality of our solutions.
- Lowenco believes that all have a common responsibility to make the world a better place.
Mikael mentions, “I am closely following the trends in the market and our segment of product solutions. But so far, no competitors have moved forward with solutions like ours. They stick to the old way, traditional upright freezers, and large walk-in storage solutions. Our innovative prefabricated modular, scalable, and highly flexible solutions are still unique to the market – and with our daily development and focus optimizing, I am comfortable that this will remain for many years.”
With more installations made across Europe, the US, and Asia, Lowenco is expanding into new markets, becoming more visible in the field. More clients have discovered it as they speak more positively about the company to a new potential client. Mikael asserts, “What’s great is, more and more of our existing clients buy more and more times, for expansions the facilities – but also new sites. We are becoming ‘the internal worldwide site standard’ at more and more clients – which tells me that we have a unique product and great employees acting very professional and doing a great job at the client sites.”
The Technological Perspective
Today’s technology has changed several industries, including the manufacturing industry. Some technologies have made it easier to manufacture even very difficult and special components in the same way repeatedly – and not even mentioning the speed/flow.
Mikael shares his views, “For us at Lowenco, most of our manufacturing itself is still handmade by our staff and not by a huge machine park. Of course, we have different kinds of machines to secure the very high and constant quality, e.g., bending the refrigeration pipes, etc. But for niche productions like ours, it’s not always a great idea to use machines and technologies for everything – and not even everything of ours is possible to do by machines. But in general, the use of the technologies is absolutely great – and we are definitely far away from the end.”
The technologies will keep on developing and make more and more things possible to automate throughout the production floor, to the benefit of competitiveness and for the employees not getting worn out prematurely.
Mikael mentions that product-wise, technology is a massive part of Lowenco. The company controls the different parts in the innovative cooling system are based on great technologies. It constantly keeps its products in front of all its competitors, with new features, efficiently seeking new ways of control. He says, “Something we constantly are looking at – in line with our strategy – always to seek for the most “green” and environmental solution possible.”
Above and Beyond
It is crucial for Mikael to have goals and milestones. He says, “Maybe you are not reaching all of them – but having a vision and missions in life, I believe, is very important for personal development. And this is something I’m trying to tell my staff and even trying to give to my kids.”
Mikael will continue to lead Lowenco through a remarkable developing process to become a world-renowned company. He wants to continue executing a growth strategy to grow the business market share and expand the workforce to serve clients worldwide even better than today. He wants to develop people, get out the best performance, fulfill their potential at the highest level, and serve the clients.
Mikael sees an open and honest environment, where all are important and know they are important to the company, positiveness, and humor – create a great working environment at Lowenco. He shares, “Great products to work with – and where people can focus on quality instead of quantity, this I believe brings pride into the job – and pride brings ownership for what you do. And all summed-up gives a great working environment – a great atmosphere – and a great place to be, which I believe motivates all the employees – including myself. All this is what’s needed to attract the right people to the open positions we have now – and those to come.”
Mikael and his team closely he trends in the market to innovate prefabricated modular, scalable, and highly flexible solutions that are unique to the market. He foresees Lowenco becoming “the internal worldwide site standard.”
Passing the Lessons
Mikael advises budding entrepreneurs aspiring to start their venture to Be Yourself! He says, “Develop the people around you – they are the key to your success. Give yourself to the company – instead of expecting to have. Give yourself to your employees and do not expect to have. By doing so – you will get so much more return than you are giving. You and nobody else can take care of your career and your life in general – take full responsibility for your personal development – and you will succeed in life. Learn everything about yourself – you need to know yourself before being able to know and develop others.”
Mikael notes, “What doesn’t kill you – makes you stronger,” as Kelly Clarkson sings. He states that challenges in development for the human being. One needs to learn every day – this is what develops one as a person, company, and the whole world. He says, “For me, success is when my staff succeeds! Happy and inspired people – makes better results – better results make success – success makes happy and inspired people. The right people at the right positions in the organization are the key to success. As a leader – you are only as strong as the weakest point of your organization.”
Mikael advises showing your employees attention and being there for them – trust them in their capabilities and receive dedicated employees. He notes, “Your employees can learn much more than you know – and even much more than they know themselves.”
Learning from his experience, Mikael guides to make plans and a strategy, follow it – and if it needs to be adjusted, then adjust it. It’s not seen as your strategy fails – not at all, the world is dynamic – and so do you have to be.
“Involve the employees in the strategy, get them all to own it as it was themselves who have developed it. This will give you the best-in-class working environment and inclusive workplace – a workplace your employees like to be at,” Mikael concludes.