Digitread, like many other companies, has felt the consequences of COVID-19, but thanks to an offensive strategy, the company has been strengthened throughout the crisis. The company is now firmly set on a path toward continued growth.

“The crisis hit us hard especially in the first two weeks when everything came to a complete stop. However, many of our customers have been in a much tougher situation than us. For several of them, the value chains collapsed. The consequence was that they did not receive any goods they were expecting and at the same time the customers stopped ordering. Fortunately, the situation never became that dramatic for us,” reports Digitread CEO Magnus Normann.

Offensive strategy
Courses and training have always formed an important part of Digitread’s business. Much of the training takes place at the Digitread University based in Sandvika, but when Norway closed down in March they could no longer conduct course activities on site in the usual way.
“Both our customers and staff were sat in their home offices, but we refused to allow artificial barriers to stop course activities continuing just because we couldn’t have traditional classroom teaching,” Normann continues.
The obvious solution was to implement the courses digitally using Microsoft Teams. Digitread informed their customers that their education programs and projects would continue throughout the COVID-19 lockdown.
Together with its financing partner, another important measure that Digitread exercised at this time was to put a financing solution in place that allowed them to offer financing for new projects. This not only covered software, but also the implementation and detection of the customer’s internal project costs.
“This was perceived very positively by our customers and really made a difference,” highlights Normann. “We were extremely concerned about being able to find new opportunities during this time. We certainly didn’t rest on our laurels. We went full steam ahead to produce results. In so doing, we managed to conduct courses, workshops, studies and analyses. In fact, we held more courses and sold more software during the coronavirus crisis than we did before,” he adds.

Digitization is part of the solution
Many companies have historically invested too little in IT. Instead of developing better processes and digital solutions, they have created growth by hiring more people. This has led to many of them having solutions that are unable to absorb digital opportunities. Such companies have actually accumulated a technological shortfall. Chairman of Digitread, Helge Kjeilen, believes that companies should use this time we currently find ourselves in to digitize their businesses.
“Companies should take advantage of the fantastic opportunities that await them. As is the case today, for example, now more than ever, it is even more relevant to remotely monitor equipment whether it be equipment in a defined factory area, a shipyard or equipment on board a ship. Remote digital solutions that work effectively also mean much less travel which is in line with today’s requirements. Instead, we can create complete applications for remote monitoring. With today’s advanced technology, this is attainable using readily available means. Solutions within the IoT can be in place in a few weeks and bring great benefits. Geographical proximity to monitor equipment and processes is no longer a constraint; the tasks can be performed remotely anytime, any place, anywhere”, Kjeilen emphasizes. Normann goes on to reiterate “In many ways, we have gone back to square one when it comes to finding new, innovative ways of working. Under such circumstances, success cannot be garnered by sitting on the fence and waiting for things to happen. Any downturn can also be considered a potential upturn, but proactive action is required. If you want to succeed in the market you have to be among those who put in the extra effort, stand out from the competition and lead the way,” Normann points out. “We will help our customers to realize this” he adds.

Hiring more staff
Before the coronavirus pandemic, Digitread was hiring more staff to meet anticipated future growth. The hiring process was temporarily halted, but now the company is once again looking to take on employees.
“Digitread has emerged stronger from the coronavirus situation and is now entering a new growth phase with the company seeing an increase in business and a surge in activity. That is why we are happy to be once again in a position to add to our workforce. We are looking for forward-thinking, dynamic people who are passionate about developing good digital solutions and creating added value for our customers,” Normann concludes.

PUBLISHED: July 03rd 2020