The world's leading fire extinguishers
Fire Fighting Systems has a 50 percent share of the market for complete water cannon systems. "Expertise, innovation and cost control are our greatest assets," says Truls Aannestad.
Aannestad is the CEO of Fire Fighting Systems (FFS) and describes a company that, in ten years, has grown to become the dominant player in this niche market.
"Last year we delivered equipment for 350 boats and had a turnover of NOK 285 million. FFS has become a premium brand and ship designers, shipyards and ship owners put us on the top of the list when they need fire-fighting equipment,” he says.
Much of the reason for this is that FFS has developed products which have become market leaders.
"Half of today's plants contain our products. We have extensive expertise in development and years of experience in the sector. Our close cooperation with the market and our understanding of what the customer needs make us very competitive," says Aannestad.
He explains that the requirements for their products are stringent. Ship designers want plants that are smaller in volume but with high levels of quality and usability. And of course, the cost shall be as low as possible.
"We are experts in delivering high-quality goods, while still controlling costs. Another factor is our attitude to service. We know that our equipment is used around the clock all over the world. We take care of our customers, even after the product has been delivered. This is what helps us succeed, even though our head office is in Moss and production facilities in Sweden," says the FFS manager.
Being based in Norway is actually used as a selling point in itself.
"Norway has the best shipbuilding skills in the world, and a very good reputation around the world. I'm sure that FFS acquire more customers by being located here, than if we had moved to a low-cost country. It also helps that our company has the largest product portfolio in the business," says Aannestad.
Exports to China
FFS is an export-led company; over 90 percent of its customers are located outside Norway. For example, it is one of the few companies to make products that are exported to China.
"This is our largest market today. 40 percent of our revenue comes from China. But we have a worldwide sales force, with customers in the USA, Turkey, Brazil, Japan, India, Russia and Singapore. We still have a lot to do as regards to our product range and there is solid potential for further growth, but we will do as we have always done, confidently moving forward step by step," says Aannestad.
FFS has supplied equipment for the world's largest fireboat in New York.
Big in New York
While most of FFS's products are used offshore in supply or tug boats, FFS also has 90 percent of the fireboat market.
"We have supplied equipment for the world's largest fire boat in New York, and have also delivered to Hong Kong and Los Angeles. Fireboats require very complex plants and high standards of expertise, which is great and suits us very well," says Aannestad.