New product areas offer opportunities for innovation within WSS.

Bjørn Brubakk has been set a challenge. As the business development director of marine products at WSS, he is leading the charge to grow business revenue by 50 % in the next two to three years.

Kjell André Engen, vp of marine products.

Kjell André Engen,
vp of marine products.

This challenge was set by Kjell André Engen, vice president of marine products, and Brubakk and his team of three are responsible for finding new product areas that offer the potential for innovation.

The team’s first major achievement has recently been announced: the acquisition of the marine rope manufacturer, Timm AS.

Getting to the point of acquisition was a detailed process. Brubakk explains: “Once we’ve identified a new product area that satisfies a specific set of criteria, we consider a variety of companies or options. We present our suggestions to the product development board and we also share it with the regional product managers for their feedback.”

In the case of Timm, the feedback was positive, and Brubakk says that it was a mix of factors that made the manufacturer particularly attractive. “Timm is a good cultural match for WSS, it’s a strong brand with a solid customer base and their production set up is suitable for us.”

Now that the purchase is complete, the Business Development team is tasked with managing the integration of Timm into WSS. Brubakk expects the process to take six to 12 months before the company is fully integrated.

Bjørge Grimholt, president of WSS.

Bjørge Grimholt,
president of WSS.

While the Timm acquisition strengthens WSS’s position in the marine products arena, it also answers Kjell André Engen’s revenue challenge. According to Bjørge Grimholt, president of WSS: “Timm will contribute with some USD 16 million to our revenue with immediate effect. This is a renowned brand with high quality products, which is a good fit with our global supply and service network. We have significant synergy potential going forward. Together, we will develop this business greatly and in line with our ambitious growth targets.”

The craft of rope-making

The acquisition of Timm AS brings to WSS a legacy of rope craftsmanship and leadership. Since 1772, Timm has developed and manufactured ropes, starting with handspun natural mixed fibres, moving on to harder fibres such hemp during the period of steamships and after World War II, they moved on to synthetic polymer fibers.

Today’s hero fibre is Acera, which is proprietary to Timm. Acera is stronger than steel and 30 % lighter than the same strength polyester rope, and all Acera ropes are made up of individually coated Acera yarns. This single coating enhances the internal and external scratch resistance, to extend the life and strength of the rope.

“This is a renowned brand with high quality products.”


Share your ideas

Bjørn Brubakk, business development director of marine products.

Bjørn Brubakk, business development director of marine products.

While Bjørn Brubakk and his team are focused on identifying new product areas, they welcome ideas from the entire network. “It is very encouraging to work in a company where new initiatives are supported – I believe this is true across the network,” he says.

Have you discovered the next WSS innovation area? If you think you have, consider the criteria that Brubakk and his team apply to every potential proposition. If the team is weighing up the possible purchase of a new product or company, such as Timm, they start by looking at how close the new company’s core business is to that of WSS and how it will fit strategically. Next, they consider how attractive the new product is in the market, and finally they weigh up what it will take to achieve this within the defined strategic objectives.

  • By applying these four steps to your proposal
  • core business relevance
  • strategic fit
  • market attractiveness
  • ability to execute or achieve it

… your suggestion stands a better chance of being considered. Contact your regional marine product manager to share your ideas.