Tor Henning Ramfjord, General Manager of National Oilwell Varco Norway.

National Oilwell Varco Norway employs a number of specialists within supply chain management. General Manager Tor Henning Ramfjord encourages other NODE companies to do the same.

“There were times when we thought our best engineer was also our best buyer, our best project manager, our best everything, really. Today, we have long considered procurement, logistics and project management separate professional disciplines. We are certain that our best engineer is, in fact, not best at any other discipline than engineering. This understanding is basic for developing a more efficient, professional and competitive company”.

Ramfjord said this in his opening remarks at the kick-off for GCE NODE Cluster Development Program in Kristiansand Monday. This educational program addresses three main themes; supply chain management, RD&I and internationalization.

In his presentation, Ramfjord stressed the need to focus on more than technology and innovation.

“Part of our success in NOV is the fact that we take other disciplines seriously. Supply chain management used to be a one-man show in the early days, or something an engineer handled after ordinary working hours. Now, we have 600 people in our department of supply chain management. Every function is specialized and professionalized”, said Ramfjord.

NODE Cluster Development Program, which has been eagerly anticipated by many small and medium-sized companies, attracted 40 participants from 30 companies for a lunch-to-lunch-sampler of what the program has in store.

“It is an educational program designed to increase business skills and to build a stronger understanding of the value chain and the importance of research, development and innovation”, explains project manager Bjørn Saltermark at GCE NODE.

The program comprises three parts, with topics covered on 4-6 afternoons and early evenings over a six months period. The total length of the program is thus approximately 18 months.

The three parts of the program are:

  1. Supply Chain Management & Risk (kick-off Fall 2015)
  2. Research, development and innovation (begins fourth quarter 2015)
  3. Internationalization (begins second quarter 2016)

The program is a partnership between GCE NODE, UiA, Agderforskning and Noroff. It will accept 15 to 25 companies with up to two representatives each. NODE companies will have priority.