In 1995 the experienced engineers Rune Sletterød and Jon Hognestad started up HS News Systems. Their vision was to create smart solutions that could streamline distribution of print media.
HS News Systems was the first company to offer this kind of automatic solutions for distribution of magazines and other print media. Their products HS Returns, HS Packing and HS StockRoom revolutionised the market.
Went all in… and succeeded!
“Back in 1995 we saw a need for automation in the magazine industry. The industry was known for large volumes, which meant that automatic systems for packing could give significant cost savings. Jon Hognestad, Director and Owner of HS News Systems”, explains.
Hognestad and Sletterød own HS News Systems fifty-fifty, and are joint directors of respective hardware and software departments. Both are software and control engineers and have experience from the Kongsberg industry.
Their broad experience in this industry was perhaps their greatest advantage in the process of starting up HS News Systems. Their philosophy all the way has been to use that experience, along with the use of off-the-shelf products and local suppliers.
“I also believe one of the main reasons for our success has been the strategy of employing people with an understanding of the latest technologies”, explains Rune.
Discovering the need for improvement in the magazine industry, they went all in and succeeded. Today HS News Systems has customers all over the world, and products well fit for use in any industry.
Dependent on brave customers
In the very first year there were three people employed in HS News Systems. The three of them started the hard work on the road to success, and developed products and solutions which were tested in Jon’s garage.
“It took a lot of hard work and a lot of travelling to get our products known, to convince our customers of the positive effects and to implement our solutions”, Rune recalls.
“Quite soon we got an agreement with our first customer, the Finnish distributor of print media. They are the only distributor of magazines in Finland and distributes print media to amongst 8000 stores all over the country”, Jon explains.
“The contract we got in Finland at an early stage became decisive. That agreement, in addition to the need we discovered in the market, made us believe even more in our solutions. We were at that time dependent on brave customers, who dared to implement new solutions”, Rune recalls.
Distribution of beer and medicines
The adventure started with packing and distribution, but soon evolved into handling of returned product. Today it has grown into even more complex solutions and functions. Web shops and wholesalers distributing small packages could all benefit from use of HS News Systems solutions. The company has always taken pride in developing solutions that fit the precise needs of the customer.
“For us it is all about helping the customers to get more structure and a rational operation. Close customer relations are therefore important when we implement and develop solutions”, says Rune.
“It is exciting to see our systems being used for distribution of products other than was originally intended. Our solutions are today used for distribution of beer and medicines, amongst others”, Jon states with a grin.
Meeting the needs of future customers
In September 2015 Jon’s daughter, Martine Y. Hognestad, started her career in HS News Systems as a trainee. She quickly realized that her father’s company was an exciting place to work. Since June 2018 she has been Managing Director at HS News Systems.
“Growing up I never planned to follow in my father’s footsteps, but coincidences made it this way. Today I see HS News Systems as an exciting place to work, with skilful and fantastic colleagues”, Martine summarises.
Both Martine, Jon and Rune are looking forward to the making of new solutions which meet the requirements of both new and existing customers. One of the company’s biggest advantages is the small, flexible and quick organisation, ideally suited for the development of customized solutions.
“We are now using robots and visual solutions based on cameras and artificial vision. It’s exciting to make new functions and continuously improve our solutions through new technology, based on needs in the market and new technology”, Jon explains.