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May 28, 2015

An exciting and educational journey

Early in the 1990s she worked with Peder Myklebust and John Ivar Olsen in Ulstein Forsyningstjeneste AS. In 1995 Peder and John Ivar decided to start up Maritime Partner in Ålesund and Norunn was invited to join in, both as an employee and as a shareholder. ”It sounded very challenging and exciting. I grabbed the chance and was part of the removal to Ålesund. It was also very practical for me,” says Norunn with a smile,” as I lived in Ålesund and had a shorter journey to work.”

Norunn BuggeSlowly but surely
Maritime Partner had its 20th birthday in 2014, and since its foundation has succeeded in establishing itself as a leader in fast rescue and patrol boats. In recent years the company has surfed a wave of steadily increasing turnover which doesn’t look as if it will subside any time soon. Startup was in a shared service office in Lorkenesgata on 13 May 1994 with three employees, a few bits of office equipment and a computer. Today the 60 Maritime Partner employees work in a 4,200 m2 facility in Breivika in Ålesund.

With a view over Brosundet
Shortly after its formation the company based itself in Kipervikgata before in 1998 moving to new offices in Notenesgata overlooking Brosundet.
”When the firm started we had practically only what we stood up in. Peder and John were mainly out capturing customers while I took on the administrative side. When we moved into Notenesgata we had seven employees, and thought we had plenty of space well into the future,” recalls Norunn.

Sold 2,000 boats
In 1999 the company took over the well known boat brand names Alusafe, Seabear and Weedo, which together with its own Springer boat range gave it a big selection of boat types and models. Maritime Partner was on its way to establishing itself as a name in the market. To date Maritime Partner has sold 2,000 boats of the company’s design. In Singapore the size of the crew grew in pace with turnover. In 2004 Maritime Partner had 12 person-years of work, and today the figure is five times as great. The company established Maritime Partner Asia in 2007 and now has five employees in Singapore together with certified service partners in all parts of the world and a comprehen-sive network of agents. Headquarters is still located in Ålesund.
”At the end of 2010 we moved to a fine new location in Breivika, where we are today. Now we have everything in one place – workshop, warehouse  and administration,” says Norunn.

Maid of all work
Norunn BuggeNorunn is happy that she took the chance of joining in when the opportunity arose.
”When I think of the developments we have gone through in the past 21 years, it’s been an exciting and educational journey. With three employees for the first few years it was relatively simple to operate and I was a sort of maid 
of all work who did everything from making coffee to administering pay, keeping the accounts and preparing quotations. Now, naturally enough a larger system is needed to operate the business and skills are more special-ised.” Laughing, she says, ”These have been very educational, enjoyable and exciting years. I’ve never regretted that I said yes to joining in.”