Innovation from Danes could boost door firms
EXPANSION PLANS: Doorsystem chief executive Preben Sandergaard, second left, and Soren Rahbek, second right, with Grimsby-based duo Lauren Croft and Steve Andrews.
By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 3 Nov 2017
INNOVATION and a growing order book at a Danish firm with its UK division based in Grimsby could lead to collaboration with local manufacturers who serve the food industry.
Doorsystem was established in Denmark nearly 20 years ago, taking on an office in Europe’s Food Town – the only physical presence it has outside of Scandinavia – in 2015.
Now it is looking to build again, having overcome an immediate lull in the market following the Brexit vote, as fresh industry investments were guarded.
A team of four is headed by UK managing director Soren Rahbek, having first begun with a representative, engineering support and then a solid sales platform operated out of Alexandra Dock Business Centre.
Mr Rahbek said: “The company has been in England a little over two years. We took on Steve as a sales representative for the UK four years ago, as we saw the opportunity, a good market in England. We started out with a representative, with everything sold from Denmark, then we saw the necessity of starting our own company here, and 100 per cent wanted to invest.
“The office has been very good for us, and now we are expanding again. Up to 18 months ago we used freelance service engineers we hired in to do installations. We had so much work, we decided we wanted 100 per cent control of the engineering side and we took on our own guy.”
Recruiting again, there is potential to bring manufacturing work into the town too, with expertise aplenty to tap into, with Lincs Doors and Central Insulations highlighted by the team.
“Manufacturing is something we are considering,” Mr Rahbek said. “With the larger doors freight can be costly, so it would make sense. We have started selling, we have new products being created, and if they come through and are successful, we can up scale. I think we would want to collaborate with English manufacturers, and we would talk with those in the area.
“We feel we are back on track, we are looking for another engineer and we want to invest in the UK. We believe there is big potential. We have invested a lot of money into the fire testing of doors, we think after the tragic incident in London things will evolve – there is a not of awareness now. It could be a focus for many different industries but we are mainly targeting the food industry – that’s why we are based in Grimsby.”
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High speed freezer doors are another key product, with a lot of research completed with the Danish Technology Institute to prove energy savings generated – up to 75,000 kWh in some cases.
“Our products are in the quality range, and one of the challenges in the British market is to convince the end user that long term investment is a better idea,” Mr Rahbek said.
Mr Andrews was a transport planner with DFDS before he started out in the door industry 17 years ago. He worked from home until the UK division was established, and welcomed Mr Rahbek, as well as founding chief executive Preben Søndergaard to Grimsby earlier this month.
Mr Søndergaard, who has a team of 40 in Hasselager, on the outskirts of Aarhus, and has supplied to projects in Indonesia and Africa, said: “I can see the potential here.”