Scandinavia is a dynamic market for Sarens. Sarens Projects has an office with 19 employees in Norway, as well as a business development manager, Sofia Hanner, based in Sweden. With a small fleet of equipment in Scandinavia, Sarens focuses primarily on heavy lifting and logistics solutions in the region and collaborates with companies who have equipment available locally. For projects that require large cranes and special equipment, Sarens Projects in Belgium provides assistance.
This month, Sarens' business development manager in Scandinavia, Sofia Hanner, shares her insights regarding the Group's prospects in and plans for this dynamic region:
Which strengths does Sarens bring to the Scandinavian region?
Sarens is a very flexible company with short decision-making pathways, which is an advantage when the market dynamic or project scope changes. In these cases, you need to be quick and solution-driven in order to finish a project on time and at a high standard of quality. At Sarens, we benefit from a culture where employees with very innovative, entrepreneurial skills can quickly adapt to new rules while maintaining excellence in advanced engineering.
What is the current and future market outlook in this region? Which challenges and opportunities do you foresee?
The current market in Scandinavia is on the upswing. The market differs considerably between countries (Sweden, Norway and Denmark) but a lot of large investments are expected in the near future, particularly within infrastructure and the oil industry. Foreign investors and developers are seeking and being awarded major development projects in the area. These foreign companies do not already have established relationships with heavy lifters, which presents a great opportunity for Sarens to make contact with them and win market share, larger projects, and great references within Scandinavia.
The projects are also getting larger for each individual contractor, and they are in need of package solutions for heavy lifting and transport. The challenge is that major projects seem to be getting postponed, which makes it hard to plan a budget and pipeline for equipment and employees. That's why it's important for us to have a business mix of both large and small projects.
Another challenge we face is that many large Scandinavian-based companies already have established relationships with local firms, and these can be very hard to split for companies that are not already well-known in that country. However, I believe that if Sarens in Scandinavia successfully markets its large local projects, including all-in solutions for transport and heavy lifting, we will be in a position to challenge these local companies.
What do you believe drives the growth of heavy lifting and transport in the region?
The markets and branches are different within each of the Scandinavian countries. In Norway, the largest drivers are oil and gas as well as infrastructure and construction. In Denmark, the largest industries are wind power and commercial construction. In Sweden, major drivers are infrastructure, construction, mining, steel and general industry. In Finland, steel, paper and general industry are dominant. At this moment, we are very into bridge projects in Scandinavia and believe that we can provide great solutions for both transport and implementation, based on our global track record of successful projects.
Which projects in this region are lined up for the coming months?
We have a number of projects coming up this year, including these EUR 1M+ contracts:
How do you ensure safety on every project?
Sarens is committed to raising awareness of safety issues and best practises among all of our employees and contractors. We also take care to ensure that our projects are done in an environmentally sustainable way.
Sarens has an Integrated SHEQ (Safety, Health, Environmental and Quality) Management System to ensure that our business performance exceeds the needs of our clients. This system was created to help Sarens business units work towards compliance in meeting the requirements of OHSAS 18001:2007 Occupational Health and Safety Management, ISO 14001:2004 for Environmental Management and ISO 9001:2008 for Quality Management. Our SHEQ department does regular audits and we maintain all relevant ISO and OHSAS certifications.
Safety is highly-regarded by our clients, and is paramount to all of us at Sarens. We strongly uphold the words, 'better be safe than sorry' and encourage a safety mentality that is supported and fully committed by our top management.