Our History

The Short Story of How SAM Became SAM

Since the start, SAM has supported clients to better understand the details of their business and what will make them sustainable and successful in the long-term.

The mindset we have, the methods we use, and our general approach are the result of years of studies and cooperation with our clients.

We defined the Management by Means (MBM) concept, which was later launched in the book “Profit Beyond Measure”, authored by SAM founder Anders Bröms and Prof. H. Thomas Johnson at Portland University in 2000.

The foundation for SAM, or Samarbetande Konsulter as the full name is, was laid in 1977 when Sten Drakenberg and Anders Bröms started the company. Initially, SAM focused on order-line profitability analysis, developed by Sten Drakenberg. The method later fell under the Activity Based Costing (ABC) umbrella. ABC was first clearly defined in 1987 by Robert S. Kaplan and W. Bruns as a chapter in their book “Accounting and Management: A Field Study Perspective”, at which point SAM had extensive experience in performing order-line analysis’.

SAM became the first firm in Sweden to offer ABC/order-line analysis to clients. Many companies had issues in understanding what products, services, and customers were profitable. The order-line analysis gave them a new perspective on their profitability. An early yet groundbreaking analysis was done for the company Kanthal, later acquired by the Sandvik Corporation. The case was discussed in the book “Relevance Lost – The Rise and Fall of Management Accounting” by Robert S. Kaplan and H. Thomas Johnson. The case was also published and taught at Harvard Business School and can still be purchased at the university. The learnings from the Kanthal case and many others were compiled and published in the book “Lönsamma kunder-Lönsamma företag” (Profitable customers-Profitable companies), not published in English.

”It has been a fascinating journey to watch SAM grow into what it is today. 
When we started in 1977 we were just testing our theories, now they have been proved and developed further!”
Anders Bröms
Co-Founder of Samarbetande Konsulter, SAM

In the second half of the 80’s SAM was engaged to perform Order-line analysis’ for the Swedish truck manufacturer Scania. It became the start of a cooperation still flourishing today.

In the early 90’s SAM initiated and facilitated the first contacts between Scania and Toyota USA. The cooperation resulted in the development of the Scania Production System, SPS. SAM spearheaded the first pilot in Scania assembly and continued to support the transformation throughout the company. SPS and the Scania Way is today considered as a role model for management and organizational systems, not only in Sweden, but all over the globe.

Another important subject where SAM has supported Scania concerns product structures and modularization. SAM supported Scania in developing the principles for modular design, central to the success of the product. SAM has also developed and provided training for the Scania staff.

”SAM is a small but vibrant company that keeps pushing our clients to think of the bigger picture. 
I'm proud to be a part of challenging companies to take a new approach to leadership.”
Fredrik Lagergren
CEO Samarbetande Konsulter, SAM

The work with Scania and Toyota together with previous experiences gave the embryo and the practice ground for our management system Management by Means, MBM, mentioned above. The book was awarded the Shingo Prize in 2000 “for excellence in manufacturing research”. Over the years, SAM has further developed the foundation and understanding of MBM as well as expanded and improved the implementation methods.

SAM today is a company working together with organizations supporting and managing cultural change, management development, flow efficiency, digitalization, and analysis. Our clients can be found on the NASDDAQ-OMX Large Cap list, in manufacturing industries as well as bank/insurance, telco, services, transport, and IT, among others.

Our methodology is based on what can be called “Go & See” and “learning-by-doing”. We support our clients by spending much time investigating, analyzing, and coaching at their workplaces.

We truly believe in the under-title for Profit Beyond Measure – “Extraordinary results through attention to work and people”. An organization should apply evolution instead of revolution. By focusing on people and their work, and involving people in the development of their work, the changes will be sustainable.

We have a genuine interest in organizations and how they can be developed to better support their customers, their employees, and their owners, all at the same time. Regardless of how the world and technologies evolve, people and organizations need to cooperate to create long-term profitability. Management by Means is the mindset we advocate in the work with our customers to attain “Extraordinary Results Through Attention to Work and People”.