Production in scenic Orust – historical centre for shipbuilding
Smart Storing is based on the island of Orust, which lies an hour north of Gothenburg, Sweden’s second city and industrial heartland where our sales office is also located.
The island was a historical centre for shipbuilding and is still home to several leading manufacturers of sailing yachts, so there is a proud tradition of craftmanship and bespoke design work here. The company name ‘Smart Storing’ was only adopted in 2006, but the business it grew from has deep roots, having been founded back in 1986 by the present owner and Managing Director Kjell Johansson. Originally a mechanic’s shop and light engineering works, the company’s factory on the island of Orust is now home to the latest in CAD and high-tech manufacturing equipment.
It all started at Volvo
Orust is scenic but for an enterprising young entrepreneur, it was a clear choice to look southwards for new markets. Gothenburg is the home base for several long-established and internationally known manufacturers, including SKF, the world’s largest ball bearings maker, and its offshoot Volvo (founded 1926). It was at Volvo Trucks in the early 1990s that Kjell won a major contract to rationalise and improve in-factory storage systems, which gave him the inspiration to specialise in this area. He immediately saw three significant openings in the market for an engineering company with smart solutions: the need for more compact storage of materials, the need for faster picking operations and the need for better ergonomics in the workplace.
Made in Sweden
Swedish manufacturing industry has a well deserved reputation for uncompromising engineering and production values. From process workers to managers, we are trained to apply as basic standards what would be considered best practice elsewhere. We accept only the best quality materials and we like to think that Swedish steel is the very best! We don’t believe in making things to wear out and be thrown away – we make things to work properly and to last. (see Safety & Design)
We use the best techniques for the job and continually update our production line as required. For repetitive series production we have CNC stamping machines, automated metal presses and robot welders. For one-offs, prototypes and low volume ranges we have the skilled manual labour to do the job entirely by hand. This combination of craftsmanship and automation allows us to be flexible, competitive and fast whether it’s a big or a small job. When it comes to protecting the metal, all of our products are powder coated in the factory, so there is no use of environmentally unfriendly solvents. Finally they are tested during assembly and inspected individually.
We depend on our Europe-wide network of resellers
It’s no use having a fantastic product range if nobody knows about it. We depend on our Europe-wide network of resellers and business partners to get our storage systems out into the market-place. (And we´re not stopping with Europe: Smart Storing products are already in use in Mexico, China, Russia and the USA!) Our resellers come in all shapes and sizes, some specialize in ergonomics, some in materials handling, some in storage, some in manufacturing, but all are experts in their fields.
Our 450 business partners (including over 50 resellers) in 22 different countries are also our eyes and ears in the marketplace. The conversation with them is vital to us and we love it when they come back to us with a new problem they have encountered out in the field. Then we can work together on a tailor-made solution for the end customer.
Not infrequently, that solution will also drive innovation in our standard product range.