Borregaard – Norway's Smartest Industrial Company

(7.5.2014) Borregaard has been named Norway's Smartest Industrial Company in competition with 43 other businesses in Norway. Through the active use of technology and continuous restructuring, the company has become extremely productive, which has led to good growth and profitability.

Increasing Norwegian productivity is high on the agenda of both business and politicians. Through the competition “Norway's Smartest Industrial Company,” the Federation of Norwegian Industry and Siemens have challenged Norwegian industrial businesses on how they exploit technology to work smarter, increase productivity and establish competitive advantages. A total of 44 industrial businesses all over the country competed for the award.

Borregaard stood out by being quick to adopt smart technology to increase productivity, while also undertaking continuous restructuring and finding profitable markets abroad. Last year the company set a new production record. It has also created better conditions for HSE and numerous interesting workplaces.

“Norwegian industrial enterprises are engaged in tough competition with industry in low-cost countries, and we must therefore work smarter and be innovative in order to be competitive. It is quite a feat to carry out production at home in Norway while also selling with good profitability abroad. Borregaard has succeeded well with this,” said member of the jury and Professor of Strategy Torger Reve with the Norwegian Business School.

Great productivity potential

Borregaard has come a long way in productivity, and can be viewed as a model for many others.

“Borregaard has done a lot of smart things, and we hope that many are inspired by what they have achieved. Our experience is that many Norwegian industrial enterprises have significant potential within automation and production management. In certain cases smarter use of technology can contribute to huge increases in productivity. Even though a high level of innovation and development is important, much of the technology that can provide improvement is already available. It's about recognizing the opportunities for adopting it,” said CEO Anne Marit Panengstuen of Siemens.

Important focus area

For the Federation of Norwegian Industries, productivity and the smart use of technology are among the sector organization's most important focus areas.

“In this competition we have seen several good examples, such as Borregaard, of effective production and high productivity in Norwegian industry. However, a challenge in a high-cost country like Norway is that we must increase productivity and exploit resources more efficiently. Thus we must learn from companies such as Borregaard on how the smart use of technology creates increased productivity and competitive ability. This is not only highly significant for the profitability of the individual business, but also of decisive importance for the level of welfare in our country,” said Stein Lier-Hansen, Director General of the Federation of Norwegian Industries.

Senior Vice President of HR & Communications at Borregaard, Dag Arthur Aasbø, accepted the award on behalf of the company.

“We are proud to accept this award, because it gives us recognition in an area that is important to us; combining our expertise with the smart use of technology. At the same time we are humble because we know that there are many other smart companies in the country that were worthy candidates to the award. What has been decisive for the success of the new operations centre is good internal interaction combined with inspiration from world-leading groups in the fields of control rooms, remote control of factories and safety,” said Senior Vice President of HR & Communications Dag Arthur Aasbø, who accepted the award at Federation of Norwegian Industries' annual industry conference in Oslo.