CAREERS

Senior Management Consultant / Program Manager

OPEN POSITION
TOKYO, JAPAN

Bridge Strategy, Products and Results

Modular Management Japan enables leading companies to improve their products, production processes and delivery chains.

Modularization methods and tools have proven highly successful and we are now looking for a Senior Management Consultant focused on Program Management.

Role

In this role there will be ample opportunities for your personal development, while leading our consultancy engagements. These engagements range from short, strategic projects to longer development programs.

As Program Manager you will lead a team of experts in the fields of modularization, supply chain management, mechanical design and product configuration. The Program Manager is responsible for making sure that the relationship with the customer/client is harmonious and that quality and delivery are of the highest standard. in this role you will also be lead consultant in the main modularization workstream, Modular Function Deployment (MFD). 

The Program Manager will work together with the Account Manager to find new opportunities at existing clients and communicate the results to client executive management teams. You will also have an opportunity to work with a wide range of products at some of the leading companies in the world, not least those based in the Nordic region and the rest of Europe.

You will be based in our Tokyo office, with frequent travel within Japan.

We're a company with a modern management philosophy. This will enable the successful applicant to find his or her true potential in a creative environment.

Lars Gullander
Representative Director, Modular Management Japan

Background

We believe you have a background in industry and/or management consulting and that you are experienced in leading cross-functional projects, in product development, supply chain development and/or business development.

Modular Management Japan is a company with a modern management philosophy. This will enable the successful applicant to find his or her true potential in a creative environment. We realize the importance of work-life balance.

How to Apply?

If you believe this job suits you, you are welcome to come for an interview where we can explain more about our company and discuss your qualifications and ambitions. We will evaluate candidates through a personal meeting and interview with company directors.

Please e-mail your application to lars.gullander@modularmanagement.com. It will help the application process if you provide recommendation letters from people who know you and your background well. 

If you have any questions, please contact Lars Gullander, lars.gullander@modularmanagement.com, +46-736 201133, or Tadashi Matsuo, tadashi.matsuo@modularmanagement.com, +81 80-5932-1200.

We will interview candidates continuously, so you are welcome to apply as soon as possible.

CONTACT
Tadashi Matsuo
TADASHI MATSUO
LARS GULLANDER
TOPIC

Software Modularity

BY KARL BRÅTEGREN
SOFTWARE

How to Avoid Roadblocks?

Karl Bråtegren, Senior Manager at Modular Management in Stockholm, shares some thoughts on software modularity and how to avoid roadblocks.

KARL ON ONE OF HIS FAVORITE TOPICS

What is Software Modularity?

Software modularity is the decomposition of a program into smaller programs with standardized interfaces.

Microservices is a hot trend right now, and it’s essentially about small modules that are built into a whole software system. Spotify and Netflix talk about how they work with microservice architectures, and before this there was a similar trend called Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) that targeted bigger modules.

Software modularity pretty much shares the same definitions as hardware modularity, with strategically- and functionally-clean modules that are driven by customer needs and share standardized interfaces. You basically allocate different functions to software modules and then implement them in source code.

A common way of referring to interfaces between software modules is Application Program Interfaces (APIs). For example, Google and PALMA expose APIs to the external world, and when you create software modules it’s like creating APIs within the product.

Why is This a Hot Topic?

The main driver is that software is rapidly becoming a bigger part of many products.

Software is delivering on the most important customer values and companies need to be much faster in development to stay ahead of competition. With modularity you can secure product leadership with separate modules that can be developed quickly without being locked into a complex web of other software functions. Basically, you can avoid roadblocks.

A second driver is ‘hardware portability’, a topic that many clients are looking at right now.

Hardware portability means that you want to be able to move the software solution from one hardware to another, enabling you to easily change hardware supplier. Electronics like PCBs, for example, can reach end-of-life quickly and you need to replace them. You also want to take advantage of better and cheaper hardware when it becomes available. If you have inflexible, over-dimensioned software that doesn’t scale well with the hardware, it makes it very hard to move the solution to a lower performance piece of hardware. With the right modules in place, you can isolate hardware impact to specific modules and enable hardware scalability and portability.

A third driver is that you can’t do everything on your own.

You want to make use of open source and leverage third-party specialist expertise. It’s much easier to plug in third-party software, for example navigation and vision processing, into a modular architecture than a monolithic one. You would in this case aim to create modules with the aim to source them from a strategic partner.

What’s Your Personal Experience of This?

We’ve recent client experience, but an older example is when I worked as Product Manager at Siemens Mobile Networks. This was back in the old days of Wireless Application Protocol (WAP), General Packet Radio Services (GPRS) in mobiles and slow networks.

At Siemens we didn’t have a WAP proxy to sell to operators and wanted to launch our own product. What we did was to partner with an American company that had a proxy server with compression technology, and they then made their APIs available to us. Using these APIs we could develop services aimed at the cell phone service providers and make a viable and attractive solution. We also discovered that we needed a WAP protocol stack, so we found a Finnish company with a commercially available WAP-stack that we could plug into.

This is a practical application of our strategic sourcing driver from the Module Indication Matrix (MIM), but at Siemens we didn’t think much about it back then. We just bumped into challenges that had to be solved and found a way to solve them with strategic partners.

What are the Opportunities for Companies?

There are many reasons to invest in software modularity, but it’s basically about being fast and flexible. By developing new features faster, and more frequently, you can provide new software and hardware products that better meet customer needs.

You can also work with the continuous release of new features, while maintaining quality and not putting product reliability at risk. In an integrated or monolithic architecture, there’s a risk that when you introduce a new feature update the whole product goes down. If it’s a robot, for example, this means the whole line stops. Even if the update feature is quite small, like a nice new Graphical User Interface (GU), customers will be scared – or won’t even dare – to update if it’s in a big monolithic package. This has been a real issue and in some cases it still is.

Without a flexible, modular software you have a slower development pace, more bugs, more testing issues and more time to release. You’re also forced to live with old and expensive hardware and run end-of-life hardware projects, often in panic mode.

MONOLITHIC AND MODULAR DEVELOPMENT HIGHWAYS

What is Modular Management Able to Offer?

We’re able to offer a unique approach in Modular Function Deployment® (MFD) which solves many of the challenges mentioned earlier.

I haven’t seen any other structured approach that explains how you should think if you want to move to microservices or a more modular software architecture. There are rules of thumb in the software world, like separation of concerns, but there is no real method like the one we have.

MFD is unique because it takes customer values into account. This is extra important for software, because for a lot of modules you don’t need parallel variants of the source code, you just need to increase speed in delivering on certain customer values. In other words, you need to rapidly bring out new versions of these modules.

With MFD you can also consider company strategy up front, for example hardware portability, strategic sourcing, carry over and technical specification. One scenario is that when you offer integration capabilities to the external world you may need different protocol stacks. An example of this is to offer many different industrial Fieldbuses (ProfiNet, EtheNnet/IP, DeviceNet…). They will typically come with their own variants of the code. This is an example of when we would apply technical specification as a strategic driver. In the end, this could be enough reason to create a module for the Fieldbuses.

Many of our clients typically have good technical software architects. Architecture is a skill that’s important when you work with software because it’s so abstract. You don’t have brackets and pumps to touch and feel, so software architects are typically comfortable in talking in functions and working with architecture diagrams. But they often overlook customer values and strategies, or at least don’t have a systematic method to approach these critical drivers and how to reflect them in the architecture.

THE CUSTOMER-CENTRIC METHOD FOR PRODUCT ARCHITECTURE CREATION: MODULAR FUNCTIONAL DEPLOYMENT (MFD)

Any Final Thoughts?

I’ve heard software architects say that it’s more difficult to describe exactly what you mean when it comes to software, just because it’s so abstract. You also have a very high degree of freedom in implementation since you’re not bound by physics.

This level of freedom makes it easier to circumvent the architecture during implementation, so it’s always important to go back to why you defined a module and make sure it’s implemented accordingly. That’s where we come in. 

For more information, contact me via the button below.

QUOTE

There are many reasons to invest in software modularity, but it’s basically about being fast and flexible. By developing new features faster and more frequently, you can provide new software and hardware products that better meet customer needs.

Karl Bråtegren
Senior Manager, Modular Management
SOLUTION

PALMA®

This is the world-class solution for product management.

Standing for Product Assortment Lifecycle Management, PALMA is cloud-based strategic software to create, document and govern modular product architectures. With this unique structured approach you can design and document product architectures. You can also connect enterprise systems and secure business goals.

Built on an in-memory database platform, PALMA is faster and more capable than anything else on the market, so you can create configuration rules without coding, govern product architecture life cycles and create a business advantage.

INTERVIEW

How to Manage Innovation?

NIKLAS GUSTAFSSON, KTH EXECUTIVE SCHOOL
NEWS

KTH Niklas on Innovation

We got the opportunity to speak with Niklas Gustafsson, Program Director at the KTH Executive School in Stockholm. Here’s what he had to say on innovation and business transformation.

You focus on innovation management, why?

I think innovation sums up a lot of the challenges we’re seeing today. In this day and age we’re witnessing the introduction of a lot of new technologies and completely new product and service offerings.

We see this in the consumer business, driven by the new tech coming out of Silicon Valley, but it’s also happening in traditional industries. Big changes are under way, from combustion to electric engines, AI, 5G changing the frontiers of telecom, financial blockchains and new sensors enabling the internet of things. All these innovations are going to transform industries of today into something new.

The question is how companies can manage transformation? And this is where innovation management is a very good tool.

What are the main challenges facing companies today?

I think the biggest challenge is to adapt to the new reality that’s coming, especially for manufacturing companies.

There are so many shifts going on at the same time, in technology, business models and internationalization. A lot is being driven by new technology, but technology itself is not the solution. It’s how you convert technology into a viable business model.

For example, the electrification that’s ongoing in the truck and automotive industry is going to put an end to traditional business models and old ways of thinking.

What are the main opportunities?

If you can adapt, innovative technology presents tremendous business opportunities. I think the future looks very good for companies that are able to transform, adapt and re-educate their personnel.

It’s going to be much tougher for traditional companies that can’t adapt fast enough, which in turn presents opportunities for new companies with interesting and exciting new solutions. Innovative start-ups have the chance to completely transform traditional industries, faster than ever before.

We’ve seen this in Sweden in the music industry, where streaming capabilities have created big new companies. Books is another, where big new companies are buying up older ones.

And it’s not just Silicon Valley type start-ups. The airline industry, for example, is changing to meet new environmental demands, and the shipping industry is also going to have to make big changes. These changes will demand innovative thinking.

Another example is healthcare, where the opportunities are enormous, and we’ll need innovation in legislation too. Legislation that fits the old world won’t always fit the new.

What advice would you give to companies?

Fill up on knowledge. Refill. Understand theory, research, as well as practice. 

I give the same advice to academia. Go out, talk, listen and really understand the companies that are out there, and their problems. There’s a balance at this meeting point of theory and practice, and if you find it you’re in a good position to take on technical innovation and business model transformation.

What's the best thing about your job?

I get to meet a lot of interesting people, ideas and questions. It’s where theory and practice meet.

Any links you'd like to share?

I like trying to understand ideas and think one of the best podcasts right now is called Hidden Brain (external link).

Thanks Niklas.

INTERVIEW

What I like most about my job is that I get to meet a lot of interesting people, ideas and questions. It’s where theory and practice meet.

Niklas Gustafsson
KTH Executive School
Full Stack Developer
CAREERS

Full Stack Developer

OPEN POSITION
STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN

Full Stack Developer

Curious to find out more?

PALMA® Software is a cloud-based solution to create, document and govern modular product architectures. This strategic software enables companies to take control of their product architecture, govern customization and secure business goals.

PALMA is built on an in-memory NewSQL database and integrated web server. A high level of performance is required for rich and proprietary product information models, and we use the latest web technology to enable top performance for the end user. PALMA is a SaaS solution.

You’ll be working as part of the development team in central Stockholm. Since we’re growing, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to learn and influence how things are done. If you’re interested in delivering quality software services – well designed for usability, maintainability and stability – we are too. We also believe in staying ahead of the competition through innovation and excellence on all levels. This includes how we define and implement services; and how we support each other as individuals and as a team.

Skills and Experience?

Are you a full stack developer, junior or senior? 

This position could well suit you if you’re curious about – and have skills in – C#, .NET, .NET Core, JavaScript, HTML5, Polymer, web components, D3.js, HTML5 canvas, WebGL, WebAssembly, Rust, backend and database technologies, AWS or similar relevant technologies.

How to Apply?

Please e-mail your complete application with a (i) short cover letter and (ii) condensed CV, preferably not more than one page each, to jakob.asell@modularmanagement.com. Please apply as soon as you can, because we’ll be interviewing candidates continuously, and just contact me with any questions.

About

Companies across the globe have worked with Modular Management to create and apply market-driven modular product platforms, in industries as varied as home appliances, industrial products, telecom, and construction equipment.

By implementing this approach, clients have achieved dramatic improvements in business performance through increased speed and efficiency, while simultaneously expanding the breadth of products offered to the market.

Using proven methods and PALMA®, a unique product architecture lifecycle management software, we partner with client resources to deploy a set of innovative tools and structured processes. Together we uncover and exploit the economic potential of product architecture that lies within markets, products, technologies, operations and support systems.

Modular Management was founded 1996 in Stockholm.

CONTACT

Jakob Åsell

NEWS, MARCH 2019

Tusen tack

THAT’S ONE THOUSAND THANKS IN SWEDISH
NEWS

1000 LinkedIn Followers

Many thanks to all of you who follow Modular Management on LinkedIn

One thousand followers is a record for us.

We believe that configurable product architectures are key to bridging strategy and results. Not only do they create value for customers, they help companies solve many challenges, including how to speed up innovation, connect people, data and products, and reduce complexity. Something worth sharing.

Our goal with LinkedIn is to publish relevant material reasonably often, not least regarding who we are, what we do and why we do it. It’s also a key channel for recruiting senior consultants and young professionals from around the world. Don’t hesitate to email if you’re curious to find out more about what a career at Modular Management looks like. 

Above all, LinkedIn is a channel for us to learn from you. So one thousand thanks, or tusen tack as we say in Swedish.

Leif Östling
NEWS, MARCH 2018

Leif Östling Joins the Board

NEWS, MARCH 2018

Leif Östling Joins the Board

Leif Östling
NEWS

Leif Östling has joined the Board of Modular Management.

His former positions include Chairman of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, CEO of Scania Trucks, Member of Volkswagen AG Board of Management and advisor to Toyota Material Handling Group. Leif also holds advisory positions at KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Morgan Stanley and is a Board Member at EQT, the Honorary Doctors’ Academy at Luleå University of Technology and Södertälje Science Park.

Leif Östling, Board Member, Modular Management Group

“This is an era of rapid change. Customers want individual, customized solutions and industry has to move from steel to sensors and services. We learnt at Scania that if you create and implement modular systems with standardized interfaces you can efficiently produce and configure products that meet unique customer demands. With modular digital systems you can harness data to satisfy customer needs and modularity gets your organization, products and customers working more closely together to drive development of your business model. Modular Management is a company that supports international clients do just this and I’m happy to be joining the Board.”

Karl-Johan Linghede, CEO, Modular Management Group

“We’re very pleased that Leif is joining our Board. Leif has extensive experience of leading international companies that utilize modular product architectures as a competitive advantage and this will further support the development of Modular Management. With his unique knowledge, industry insight, breadth and depth of experience and extensive network, Leif will provide great value for Modular Management and our clients.”

Modular Management in Brief

Based in Stockholm, Modular Management is a world leading consultancy in modularity and configuration. Thanks to modular product architectures, clients can increase productivity, speed up the delivery of new products and customize their offering all at the same time.

With 100+ successful cases in sectors including home appliances, transport, power supply, construction equipment and telecom, Modular Management is internationally regarded as market leader in modularity and configuration design.

 
NEWS, JANUARY 2018

New CEO for Modular Management

NEWS, JANUARY 2018

New CEO for Modular Management

NEWS

Karl-Johan Linghede is the new CEO of Modular Management Group as of January 2018. Karl-Johan replaces company founder Alex von Yxkull, who becomes a working board member.

Modular Management, based in Stockholm, is a world-leading consulting firm in modularity and configuration.

Karl-Johan’s most recent position was Vice President and Head of Finance & Corporate Management at consulting firm Acando. He has extensive experience of driving and developing organizations with management consulting and effective digital solutions.

Prior to Acando, Karl-Johan worked at Scania with production development. His responsibilities included investments in production capacity, redefining productions flows and securing manufacturing for new products. He has also worked in USA and Canada for the family business in the concrete industry.

Modular Management in Brief

Modular Management is a world leading consultancy that makes the seemingly impossible possible. Thanks to modular product architectures, clients can increase productivity, speed up the delivery of new products and customize their offering all at the same time.

With more than 100 successful cases in sectors including home appliances, transport, power generation, construction equipment and telecom, Modular Management is internationally regarded as market leader within this field.

Karl-Johan Linghede, CEO, Modular Management Group:

“I’m really looking forward to getting to know Modular Management’s clients, international consultants and software team. We have unique know-how and the capacity to realize business value for our clients through modularization. And the track record to prove it. We now have the opportunity to accelerate service delivery and grow the advisory part of our business. At the same time we can take a position as a leading solution provider with PALMA®. This unique digital solution for product architecture data is built on a state-of-the-art platform that is faster and more capable than anything else available. I’m proud to join Modular Management and, together with my new colleagues, look forward to realizing the next steps in the growth of our company.”

Alex von Yxkull, Founder and Former CEO, Modular Management Group:

“As an investment in the future of Modular Management, the Board has been looking for a person that will strengthen our capabilities to grow. We’re therefore very excited to present Karl-Johan Linghede as new CEO. As for me, I’ll remain in the company as a working board member focusing on sales and partner relations.”