Introducing Kash Henderson: BoKlok Account Manager at IKEA
BoKlok is the result of a successful partnership between two industry leaders, Skanska and IKEA. While Skanska is a leading construction and development company, committed to quality and sustainability, IKEA Retail is a leader in life at home, offering furniture and home furnishings that are beautiful, well-designed, functional, affordable and sustainable.
By combining their knowledge and expertise, we believe that at BoKlok, we are able to deliver well-built, well-designed, sustainable new homes that are accessible for ‘the many people’.
With these key partnerships in mind, we have taken the opportunity to speak with Kash Henderson, our new IKEA Business Account Manager here in the UK. We find out what he believes IKEA brings to our partnership, what motivates him and what he loves about his role:
What does your role entail?
- I work with some of IKEA Business biggest accounts across the UK and Ireland. As BoKlok Account Manager, it is my role to ensure that we are working together harmoniously and in partnership. I support BoKlok with their relationship across the IKEA network and it is my role to ensure effective communication throughout the ordering process from design to product delivery.
- I also support on a project by project basis, brokering relationships between BoKlok and the IKEA store, local to each development. From this point onwards, I will also be involved on a practical level, supporting the in-store/local marketing as well as the interior design appointments, which we offer to all BoKlok customers. It’s so important that wherever possible we are maximising opportunities and sharing knowledge and ideas. If we achieve this, it will not only deliver benefits to both of our businesses but ultimately our customer too.
What do you love about your job?
- I get to meet new people every day, which has to be one of the best things about my job. What’s more, I get to promote the many merits of so many of our wonderful IKEA products. From ranges such as our new, IKEA KONSTFULL vases, which are made from recovered glass to the STARKVIND, a new air purifier that doubles up as a stylish side table and old favourites such as the BILLY Bookcase (to date we have sold over 60 million of these bookcases worldwide) - all combining to demonstrate both the popularity and the variety of IKEA products.
What do you feel is special about the role of both companies in this partnership?
- One of the things that I have found to be very special about our partnership, is the mutual respect between our organisations. It’s difficult to put it into words but there is a real sense of being part of the same family. We have a shared ethos, and our core values are very closely aligned, so it feels like we are always working towards the same goals.
What do you feel IKEA brings to the partnership?
- At IKEA, we are experts in life at home. We can use this expertise to input into the planning of the internal layouts of BoKlok homes. We can advise on the ideal furniture placement to maximise space, while suggesting materials and furnishings that really accentuate the homes and their use of natural light and space.
- All of the BoKlok show homes are designed and delivered by IKEA interior designers. This means that we can give future occupants lots of ideas and inspiration for their own homes, while hopefully showing them ways to make the most of their space.
What challenges do you think the partnership has faced?
- Through our partnership we have a robust business to business relationship, providing interior design expertise and delivering goods on a large scale. This has brought new challenges and has led to us introducing new ways of working. What has been interesting for me, is the different focus that BoKlok has brought to both my role, and the wider IKEA perspective. For us at IKEA, our primary focus has always been the individual customer visiting our store/browsing our website, now we are broadening this. It’s an exciting partnership to be a part of and to be in a role where we can continually learn and evolve.
What do you think the partnership offers, which is different to other housebuilders?
- In the simplest of terms, the relationship between Skanska and IKEA is an open and honest one. We learn from our mistakes, while always striving to do our best for the customer.
- By combining the sustainable elements of a modular build with IKEA interior design and space planning skills, we are creating something pretty special. BoKlok homes feel modern and spacious, and they are well planned to meet the day to day needs of everyday life. Through the broader BoKlok partnership, we are able to deliver homes that are not only comfortable and practical, but homes that are built sustainably so that people can live more sustainably too. For me, that’s something to feel really proud of.