Scanning the market
Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, Scanunit AB has taken the knowledge and experience of its founders and established itself as a provider of quality marine solutions. At its inception these individuals, including managing director Per Ekelund, had identified a gap in the market for a one-stop-shop provider of repair, installation and maintenance services as well as service and certifying lifeboats, davits, cranes and lifting equipment. By utilising a business like Scanunit customers were able to save a lot of time and money, and the hassle of engaging lots of different companies to complete a job.
The business has grown steadily ever since, achieving increases of up to 20 per cent per annum for the last decade. Its offering has also widened so that today Scanunit performs a number of vessel services out of its offices in Sweden, Denmark and Norway including rigging, lashing and lifting, surveying and testing, and maintenance and repair as well as sales of all products involved.
The intervening years have seen Scanunit expand outside of its traditional home market to offer a similar scope of services in areas such as Denmark. Starting with one site in Copenhagen in early 2012, the subsidiary specialises in the installation and servicing of fallarrests and lifeboat pilot ladders, as well as providing all the services currently on offer in Sweden. By the end of the year Scanunit had founded a second office in Fredericia, and at the same time brought its Danish business under the new name Scanunit Danmark ApS.
“Over time we have seen customers and fleet disappearing from the Swedish market, which encouraged us to look at new markets,” begins Per. “We chose Denmark because the Danish shipping industry is one of the biggest in the world, and growing all the time. In order to have a presence in this market though we needed to have a local entity hence why we founded this subsidiary. It is on these same grounds that this year we started a second subsidiary in Norway, where we are hoping to move into the offshore sector.”
Scanunit Norge As began operations at the turn of the year as part of the company’s aspiration to be present in all Scandinavian markets in order to provide a prompt service to customers. Working out of offices in Oslo, the new subsidiary’s first Norwegian assignment runs through until July and involves the repair of hydraulic systems.
Although Scanunit has worked in this field since its inception, one of the company’s key expansion plans of recent years has been in life saving appliances (LSA) in to the Danish market. To this end in February 2012 the business was approved by RINA, the Italian industry classification society, which qualified it to perform inspections, maintenance, and repair on lifeboats, launching appliances and release gear. This was followed later in the year with certification from the Lloyd’s Register approving Scanunit for service and maintenance of safety and life saving appliances.
With more and more regulations governing LSA across different markets, the Lloyd’s Register certification enables Scanunit to grow its offering further in this area, particularly through its Danish subsidiary. Furthermore Scanunit has entered into an agreement with Umoe Schat-Harding to be the service station for the Norwegian company’s marine life saving appliances in Sweden and Denmark. Scanunit already has a similar co-operation with the German suppliers Hatecke, which has proved a benefit in terms of equipment knowledge and expertise.
Legislation also plays a big part in another area which Scanunit is targeting for future growth: “Right now we are aiming to position ourselves in the market for installation of ballast water treatment systems, and also for pipeworks for scrubber units, special in GRE pipes, in the wake of the new environmental regulations that are coming up. This puts a lot of pressure on vessel owners to reduce things like sulphur gases for example, which we hope we can be a part of for installation services. We’ve already completed some such projects for clients, which gives us a good track record ahead of the growth we expect in this sector over the coming years,” reveals Per.
“As repair and installation work represents the biggest business for us, we also see the importance of having a recognised quality system, so therefore not only is the company ISO 9001 and 14001 approved by Lloyds, but we also have a good quality system for our welders with WPQ and WPS certification.”
It would appear that over a quarter of a century, very little has changed when it comes to Scanunit’s approach to service. The company still aims to provide its customers with high quality, reliable and wholesale solutions from a single source, and welcomes those facing problems, which it tackles through its knowledge and expertise. Its year-on-year growth suggests that this is much appreciated by such clients.
“Our goal is to achieve growth of around ten per cent each year,” concludes Per. “We also see the potential to expand into other countries as well, and if we need to set up a new business in those areas then we will do so. Even in shipping, which is a very international business, you sometimes have to be locally placed to win the work. We are always looking at what services customers are not satisfied with in the wider market, and then whether these fit into our business idea. Our desire is to be able to help the customer in all of their requirements so that they need only call one number for a complete solution.”
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Life saving appliance certification