“Diversification has been our strategy in recent years. It makes us resilient when markets change,” says Bent Ståle Johansen, CEO of Tratec.
Tratec recently hosted a GCE NODE breakfast meeting at Tratec Solutions in Kristiansand. Cluster participants from Flekkefjord to Risør gathered to learn about Tratec’s remarkable development since the company was established in 1996.
Through a series of acquisitions and mergers, Tratec has grown from around 70 to 400 employees. The business areas have evolved from the production of machines to a wide range of high-tech products within sectors such as transport, construction and offshore.
“We have benefited from having diversified our business. When the oil and gas market crashed in 2014, we grew in other markets where demand was high. It enabled us to retain our workforce and ensure continued growth,” said Johansen.
ON LAND AND WATER
Tratec’s solutions are integrated in everyday life. When receiving a package on your door, it may have been through a sorting facility supplied by Tratec. When driving on the new highway between Kristiansand and Mandal, monitoring systems from Tratec Norcon in Vennesla ensure your safety. And when you are flying, it is likely that the luggage system that transports your suitcase, comes from Tratec. Also, several hotels in Norway have heating and ventilation systems from Tratec.
According to Johansen, the strategy of growth and diversification has produced many positive results.
“We have excelled at transferring knowledge between our companies and to collaborate across the group. Our size and our broad composition of expertise have enabled us to compete for larger contracts. Today, we are capable of handling far more complex projects than we did a few years ago,” says Johansen.
Tratec defines itself as an industrial group located in the Agder region, supplying electrical, pipe, automation and mechanical services to industry, construction, housing, transport and offshore. However, Tratec recently bought an automation company in Trondheim.
“We used to say that all our companies should be located no more than a two-hour-drive from the home of our sales manager, Christian Willumsen, in Søgne. It seems that this no longer applies,” says Johansen smilingly.