Our first year of operation is coming to an end. Founder and CEO Nils-Johan Tufte can look back on an exciting year, which has substantially exceeded every expectation.
“A year ago we were at the starting line. We had done our preparations and had the plans ready. But the trail was unknown. Would we be able to finish the race, and do so with a good lap time?” Nils says. “It is incredible to sit here now, a year later, with the feeling that “Yes! We made it"! Not only have we succeeded, but our figures are significantly better than we dared to hope for and we are fantastically well positioned in the market, ready for the new year.”
Our first order came in January: A PE basin for Dykkerteknikk. Then came FishGlobe, our first major contract. Our next project was the fishing lab on Campus Ås. We got involved in carbon capture with Ocean Geoloop, signed the Tjuin project for SalMar and a multi-year strategic cooperation agreement with Sterner, with the subsequent Sande Settefisk project. In parallel with this, the workshop has delivered many solid "small projects" that have become a significant part of our turnover.
“I feel an enormous gratitude to customers and partners”, says Nils humbly. “They have had faith in us, and given us jobs, good payment terms and eventually credit lines. Together with well-executed projects, this has made it possible to finance all growth over operations, not least the purchase of a large and important equipment portfolio. It has been challenging, but I am proud that we have managed it.”
In addition to good customers and partners, we have had to work very smart. Nils has experienced “rough waters” before, and highlights the following as keys to this year's success:
We set clear goals and have followed these closely throughout the year. Finances, cash flow, order backlog, etc. Here, the collaboration with our business partner BDO has been crucial.
We have been good at risk assessment. We have dared to say no to many jobs, and spent time choosing the projects that are in line with our strategy.
We have been good at logistics and timing. We have used hired equipment and personnel to tackle the peaks, and then scaled when the timing was right.
We have had an extreme focus on cost control!
We have taken risks - but calculated risks. Without risk, you won't grow, but it is important to make thorough assessments, have control over as many of the unknowns in the equation as possible and follow-up tightly.
We have implemented a great quality assurance system - and proof of that. We have received National Approval, Startbank and become an Approved Vocational Training Company. In January, we will welcome our second apprentice in the Plastic Mechanics vocation.
Last but not least, we have invested in brand building and visibility, and continuously told our story. We partnered with R8 Edge in January, and they have helped us all the way. First with the brand platform - to define who we are and what we stand for, our core values. Our website is always updated with news and customer cases, we send out newsletters every month and have active profiles on LinkedIn and Facebook. This means that we stand out in the industry, and are getting noticed.
Nils has the plans for 2022 ready:
Closed fish farms will be the Big Thing in 2022. On January 14, the consultation round on a new regime within environmental technology licenses ends. This will fuel the demand for closed farms and we are extremely well positioned for this with our international cutting-edge expertise and unique IPR in the product Marine Donut.
Carbon capture and storage (CCS / CCU) is another focus area for the coming year. We have already delivered critical infrastructure, a pilot plant for Ocean Geoloop outside Norske Skog in Skogn, and this collaboration will be further developed. Furthermore, we are engaged by Aker Solutions to supply special parts in thermoplastic for the CCS plant being built at Norcem in Brevik - the so-called Langskip project.
“Grenland aims to become the world's first carbon-neutral industrial region” Nils explains. “Industrial companies and suppliers in the region are collaborating to achieve this big hairy goal, and we are naturally a part of the Grenland Industrial CO2 Capture and Storage project.”
But our most important advantage is the people:
“We entered 2021 with 3 employees. Now the number is 30, and another 5 new employees will start in January. I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved, together,” says Nils. “We have the best people in the industry for thermoplastic fusion, and the most flexible. We just got a call from a fish farmer up north. They had four farming vessels that were not suitable for filling with fish, and needed help installing a new PE liner in the vessels NOW. Even though it's just before Christmas, our guys are happy to help out.”
We thank you for your trust and cooperation in 2021, and wish all our customers, partners, followers and friends a very Merry Christmas!