– When I started during the summer of 1996, I was given a totally blank computer without any software. The times were different.
Finn Hogstad has the most experience of any employee of HS-News Systems. – When I started in the summer of 1996, I was given a totally blank computer without any software. The times were different back then, says Hogstad.
– I started my career as an apprentice mechanic at, what was then called, Kongsberg weapon factory. It was known locally simply as «The factory» by the people of Kongsberg.
– I went on to become an Industrial Mechanic at Vestfossen Mek and later I ended up in Media Craft AS. Some of us went on to start the company which is today HS News Systems.
During the almost 26 years that Finn has been employed by HS News Systems, there has been rapid technological developments.
– Of course it’s fun to have been part of the whole journey of the company. In the beginning, we drew the packaging machines in 2D. It was a terrible job, which was both difficult and time consuming.
– Transforming a two dimension drawing into a three dimension drawing is not always easy and straight forward.
– Today we fortunately have far better tools and software compared to what we had back in the day. What took us half a year to develop, now only takes a couple of months. In that regard the turnaround time has decreased significantly, Hogstad explains.
Ever changing markets
Finn believes the future is bright for HS News Systems. With new and fast developing consumer behavior, new opportunities and markets are opening up for HS News Systems.
– The pandemic has really accelerated e-commerce and new trading patterns are emerging. In response we have recently delivered two brand new pilot plants in Denmark for package sorting.
–The past two years have really shown us the importance of being in tune with these new and ever changing markets. We thrive to be a part of these changes, Finn explains.
– Our new headquarters is built specifically for our needs and workflow. This enables us to deliver even better products and systems for our customers.
It has been an exciting journey. I can´t wait for the continuation!Finn Hogstad,Mechanical Engineer
After 24 years at HS News Systems, Stephan Axelsson (45) can not remember having one boring day at work.
Stephan has worked for HS News Systems since 1997, where he started as a trainee while at school. At that time HS News Systems had one of their first big clients in Finland. Stephan was able to go to Finland and gain valuable experience as part of the project team.
– The project we had in Finland was the first time we set up a big solution for a client, and because of this we had to do a lot of developing while onsite. They were long days and with a lot to get done. Strangely enough that’s when I knew that this was something that I wanted to do for a career, Stephan explains.
No two days are ever the same
When Stephan began working with HS News in 1999, he started as a Software Developer. Since then he has been promoted to Head of Software and Services. As Head of Software and Services, Stephan has a senior role in providing support for his customers as well as developing solutions specifically for their requirements.
– No two days are the same. Some days I sit and answer emails and attend different meetings. Other days I’m constantly on the phone answering all kinds of questions from customers. That’s what I like a lot about my job – always something to do and never a boring day.Stephan Axelsson, Head of Software and Services at HS News Systems
In Stephan’s role there is a lot of traveling involved. He tells us about the time he lived in England for several months and the many other places he has been able to visit through his work.
– Sometimes I get to see a little bit more of the country I’m visiting, which is nice, but other times the schedule can be tight. The deadlines are always the priority so sometimes we work very long hours and then straight to the hotel to sleep, Stephan recalls.
The people that work with Stephan in Horten, Norway, have worked there since he could remember. The structure of the company is built in a way that everyone knows almost everything. It’s called a flat structure.
– If you start something, you finish it. Of course we help each other out when needed, but all of us have been here so long that we know the company and each other like the back of our hands, Stephan explains.
What motivates you?
– Having a good relationship with our customers and being able to help them solve different problems is a very important motivation for me. I also like seeing the results of the solutions we provide to our customers, and that we deliver top notch service and products, Stephan states proudly.
HS News’s future
Today, most of HS News Systems’ customers are in many countries around the world other than Norway, but this might be about to change.
Lately we have been talking to companies here in Norway who are now interested in our solutions. I believe that this will mean a lot for the future of the company, an excited Stephan says.
For several years Ubiway in Belgium have used HS News Systems’ solutions for magazine distribution. They are now in the process of adapting their solutions for distribution of other convenience goods.
– Ubiway have been an important customer of ours for many years. We are excited that they are preparing for the future and are going to use our solutions to distribute other types of goods, says Martine Y. Hognestad, Managing Director at HS News Systems.
– HS News Systems give us the possibility to continue to improve our processes and upgrade our solutions to enable new opportunities for use. They quickly understand our requirements and are solution oriented to adapt their technology to our processes and market.Geoffrey Degeest, Chief Operations Officer at Ubiway
Ubiway is a part of bpost, who distribute press and convenience goods to all retailers in Belgium that handle magazines and newspapers.
Mr. Degeest’s job is not only to manage all logistics for press distribution in Belgium, but also other goods linked to their point of sales, such as food, beverages and other convenience products.
– One of our pick & pack lines has just recently been adapted to also pick non-press products with a system of scanning and sampling at the end of the line. This technology gives us the possibility to pick for the delivery of convenience goods and also to continue to pick press. This solution is very flexible for our business, Degeest explains.
Automatic solutions for distribution
– The solution we have installed at Ubiway’s premises can be used for distribution of other goods such as chocolate, soda, bandages and cigarettes, Martine Hognestad confirmes.
– Actually, most of the solutions our customers currently have can be adapted to distribute a wide range of goods, other than what the solution was originally made for. Typically, that was magazines, newspapers and books.Martine Y. Hognestad
Now when Ubiway distribute other convenience goods, a cardboard box is used instead of a plastic box. These are automatically inserted into production, into which the goods can be easily packed. At the end of the distribution line the boxes with convenience goods are identified and transported onto a separate conveyor. When at the designated station the content is quality checked by weight control and is given a delivery note, box cover and label. At the end of the line they are presented for either storage or distribution.
Anything that fits in a box
– Our solutions can pack any goods that fit into a cardboard box, such as kiosk goods, medicines, e-commerce products and food – almost everything. In addition we have equipment to automatically control content, attach labels, insert a delivery note in the box and so on, says Hognestad.
Hognestad and her colleagues at HS News Systems have long and broad experience with intralogistics. HS News Systems is a leading provider of automatic systems to the warehousing and distribution industries. They establish close customer relations at an early stage which enables projects for specific solutions to be developed and created efficiently.
HS News Systems’ pick & pack lines give Ubiway the possibility to pick magazines and goods in their totes with the traceability and accountability required by their customers. Support for other IT solutions and equipment linked to the pick & pack lines and their ERP (SAP) is also provided by HS News Systems to Ubiway.
– HS News Systems is for us a reliable partner year after year, which is an important parameter for us. We like the availability, reactivity and their knowledge of our distribution process. They know the market and suggest solutions payable in a difficult market, says Degeest.
When Kim Larsen became CEO at the Danish distributor UBD in 2016 he saw the need to modernise their working method.
“The packing and return process at UBD at that time was essentially based on manual handling of the products. It was a bit old fashioned and meant a massive workload for those who worked with these processes”, Kim explains.
Modern packing and return solutions
UBD is the biggest distributor of magazines and other print media in Denmark. The company delivers magazines, books and reading material to stores all over Denmark.
“I knew that HS News Systems had some of the most modern packing and return solutions in the world. It therefore became natural to cooperate with them when the time came to take action”, Kim says.
The packing process at UBD became significantly more effective when they started using solutions from HS News Systems. The return process has become almost fully automatic, and the use of new solutions has also improved the workplace environment.
UBD uses solutions for packing and return, and in some degree the IT solution SVEA, from HS News Systems.
“We are very pleased with our cooperation with HS News Systems, and the possibilities for development of new solutions the partnership gives us”, the CEO at UBD states.
Improvement through dialog and transferability
UBD uses solutions from HS News Systems not only for their traditional distribution of magazines, but also for packing of medicines.
“The cooperation and dialog with HS News Systems give us the possibility to further develop the solutions in use. It also enables us to find new methods for other business areas, such as ecommerce”, Kim says with enthusiasm.
Kim and UBD’s goal, in cooperating with HS News Systems, is to create new systems to improve both productivity, efficiency and the workplace environment.