Benjamin and Hedvig
“We’re becoming a tech company: driven by data, inspired by innovation.”
At some point in your life you’ve probably had a connection with one of our products that has added to your sense of “home”. Maybe it was when you moved into your first apartment, or creating a space for your new office, or perhaps it was when you were starting a family.
But now you have the chance to connect with us in a whole new way. The development of our digital department is an opportunity to blend the traditional in-store experience of our stores and products with the IKEA of the future - a progressive digital company that cares about and is committed to the customer, our co-workers and the data. And we’re looking for people who wantto come alongside us in that journey; who care about the original IKEA but are excited for the vision of a new IKEA.
In the words of one our Data Science Chapter Leads, Benjamin Hoyer:
“We are taking on the big legacy stuff. We have this “physical store” way of doing things, which we can use to our advantage. Not just to emulate our competitors, but to become challengers in the digital space.”
“Our stores are a powerful tool”, says Benjamin, “because, essentially, we have an incredible 423 warehouses across the globe. This gives us an edge because we’re able to merge the benefits of physical stores with the benefits of digital transformation rather than merely trading inthe old model for a new one.”
“We’re figuring out ways to deliver projects in a shorter time period, which allows us to adapt to market movements faster; and have worked hard to get as many data services available as possible on our cloud platform, which has sped up the digital process in a way that’s unheard of in most corporate enterprises.”
“This department is such an exciting part of IKEA”, says Hedvig Alling, one of the Technical Capability Product Owners of the digital department.
“There’s an awesome culture of togetherness and I know that if I need help I will always be supported by my team. It’s incredible to have a network like that. But on top of that, there are just so many opportunities to grab hold of. If you want it, you put the work in, but you’re given endless opportunities to do innovative things.”
“The customer is at the forefront of our innovation”, says Benjamin. “We want to use digital to make the IKEA experience as exciting, simple and efficient as possible. Our aim is to meet our customers where they expect to meet us, but to also go beyond that.
We know they expect easy-to-use websites, a great online shopping app, fast delivery and simple customer service, which we want to give them. But we know we can do more. For example, we developed an app called Place, which uses augmented reality to allow consumers to virtually place IKEA products in their home, enabling them to make better buying decisions.
Through the creation of innovative apps and services, and the smart use of data, AR and AI, we can give our customers a more immersive, personal and convenient retail experience than ever before.”
But we can’t give proper care to our customers, if we don’t care about our teams, which is why we view our co-workers as the heartbeat of our company. Our step towards digital transformation has meant more opportunities for co-workers to step up to the plate, take on more responsibility, and have a seat at the table.
“Everyone has a voice in the IKEA universe,” says Benjamin, “whether you’re in senior leadership or a junior. It helps management gain perspective and make better decisions for the company.”
“And we’re also passionate about empowering our team”, says Hedvig. “I work with a woman who started as a store shopkeeper, and expressed the desire to upskill. She now works as a software developer in the digital department. If you have the ambition and desire to grow, you will. You don't have to be a manager just because you turn 45 and are doing a good job. If you want to become a developer, go for it.”
“We’re looking for people across the spectrum”, says Benjamin. “We have opportunities for those who have a more academic take on things, but also space for people, like me, who are excited about the business problems and want to come up with simple and innovative digital solutions.
“Other companies may have already been working in the digital space for a while but we are doing something unique by blurring the lines between the physical and the digital. It’s a new way of working and it’s been exciting, for me personally, to develop in a company as big and legendary as IKEA.
“Our values will stay the same,” says Hedvig, “but we are becoming a new company. We’re becoming a tech company: driven by data, inspired by innovation.”
You have the chance to be a part of this team, coming up with ideas to serve our customers better and creating one of the biggest transformations in IKEA history. Do you want to join us?