Articles

It's not who you know, it's who knows you

18th June 2019

Marketing is not our core business, so I like to work with professionals on that. In our latest marketing campaign, it was suggested that for one of our ads we should use a close-up of yours truly. I think a lot of people thought I’d never agree to that. But I did — instantly. Not only because I’m a little bit vain, but I had three good business reasons to put my mug out there.

First of all, I’m very proud of my company. I am proud to represent it, our products and our team. As a business owner I also know that if you put your name (or in this case your face) on your work, you are most likely going to perform your best. You want to make sure you can proudly show your face when it comes to business relationships — be they with employees, suppliers, your range of products, and after-sale services.

Second, we are all human and we like to interact with other humans — the foundation of good communication. My company has been manufacturing seed coaters for more then 50 years and ships them worldwide. Often we have challenges or customizations that need to be solved, and since our clients are from all parts of the world, good communication is essential.

In Scandinavia, just like Canada, we often are challenged by freezing weather conditions in early spring. We are used to solving issues caused by the cold, making sure the liquid flows and that the treatment sticks to the seed and not the equipment in a range of conditions. This can only be successful if you have good communication and work with people that feel they can connect with one another. Clients need to know that you are available and engaged. It’s key that you show your face.

Third, our company was built on relationships. It´s essential that we have great quality, top-of-the-line equipment and good after-sale support. But the most important factor of all — our trust account — was built by people who are recognized.

Build an organization where all your co-workers proudly show their faces,and I assure you that you will have a prosperous business — and you’ll be surrounded by great, professional people!

It's not them - It's You and I

10th June 2019

The future belongs to the world’s youth, so the big question is how to be attractive to the Millennials?

I have the privilege to do what I love for a living. I am growing an old, trustworthy company into a world-leading position in a global market. And I love every minute of it. NoroGard has its feet in two industries. We are machine manufacturers, and our business is in the agriculture industry. To me that’s the best of two worlds and since I have passion and engagement, I can achieve almost anything.

Taking over a family-owned company that has been in the business for more than 50 years, and making it world-leading, requires a change in mindset, in order to gain new and improved results.

Although NoroGard has a great history, my focus is on the future, since that’s where we are going to spend our time. Of course, I cannot do this by myself: I need the best co-workers. And if you want to attract the best people, you need to step up and become attractive.

The future belongs to the world’s youth, so the big question is how to be attractive to the Millennials? Lately, I have noticed that our industry uses social media like a defense to explain seed breeding and to promote understanding, in general, for agricultural processes. I sense the industry is desperately trying to create public understanding for genetics and seed treatments and the innovations that have been made.

Never before has public interest in agriculture been higher. The demands for biological and organic is enormous. We also have a generation who has access to all the information they want—but no experience whatsoever. The result is they interpret the information as they (or the media) pleases.

The world’s population continues to grow, but the acres don’t. We need to increase yields at harvest, in order to put food on the table.

The Millennial generation, in general, doesn’t know farming, but they google everything they are interested in. You can curse it, or you can choose to adapt and work it.

The Millenniums are engaged and passionate, as well as demanding and spoiled … 

Instead of telling them why we do what we do, we should challenge them to do it better! But only if you dare, because the risk is that they will do a far better job—if you let them.

Due to climate change and the growing population, the industries with the brightest futures are involved in clean water, clean air, and agriculture. That’s where you want to invest and buy some shares. 

We need to clean out social media from a lot of useless crap and fill it with valuable engagement. I don’t care what you had for breakfast and I don’t want to see your outfit of the day. I want to see influencers that provide clean water, food and education in developing countries.

I want to see all YOU agronomists writing a blog about your passion in order to engage the next generation to find new, organic, biological seed treatment solutions. We need more science and knowledge regarding the soil, bacteria and the environment for germination, and YOU need to make it attractive. 

I want all YOU farmers and seed processers to make use of your Instagram account and encourage the next generation of farmers to put food on the table. If the public, in general, doesn’t understand the complexity and charm of agriculture, it’s because they haven’t heard it from the proper source.

YOU & I need to make the public’s interest in agriculture creative and meaningful, and we need to do it on social media, starting today!

5 Keys for Growing Stronger

3rd May 2019

Running a business is an art. It’s an everyday struggle, and every business has its own challenges. I think I speak for most business owners when I say that most of us want to grow our business, and there are some key factors to do so.

First of all, a golden rule is if you do the same thing every day, you will most likely get the same result. So, in order to achieve growth, you need to step up and make some improvements.

Be Lazy

To grow your business, you most likely need to increase your turnover — sell more. Most of us have experienced the eager salesperson who just won’t give up, and when hiring sales

People, we often talk about finding “hunters.”

I claim the opposite. Make it easy for your customers to choose you. Be very clear with the advantages and why they will benefit from choosing your products. Selling something the client wants is easier than trying to sell them something you want to sell. And there is one way to make it easy for you: listen to the customer and find the mutual win-win opportunity.

Be Attractive

If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your customers. Having a great team with skilled people makes a world of difference. And in order to have access to skilled people and make the best people work with you, you need to be attractive. This is more true than ever, as millennials enter the market.

They are not just looking for a job… They don’t even want a job. They want to make a difference, and for a workplace they might consider you if your brand adds value to their self-image. For us, as a machine manufacturer, it’s a challenge to attract young people to enter the production line, we need to be more attractive than game developers and real estate agencies.

Set Standards

Scaling up your business doesn’t just affect the sales department. It also puts your production on the spot. Everybody in your organization needs to focus on the delivery. If you have set the standards, it’s much easier to introduce new co-workers, and to keep track of quality control and time management overall. You as a manager also gets a clearer overview of where you need to put your resources to improve your performance.

Be Innovative

As mentioned above, doing the same thing over and over is just keeping you in old patterns. If you’re not growing your business, you’re most likely decreasing it.

It’s highly important that you have a good business intelligence and stay innovative. The only way to stay interesting, both to customers and employees, is to be adaptive to change. Always seek to improve what you are already good at, and look for areas within your organization that could be a prospect for an upgrade. Still whilst only providing what the customer is looking to buy, but in a way that ensures your business is in it for the long run. Constantly ask the question how you can do what you do, but better.

Stay Authentic

The importance of staying authentic can’t be stressed enough. Nothing gives you better marketing than a good word from a customer, co-worker, bank or supplier. Keep your promises and stay authentic to yourself, your vision and your stakeholders.

Discovering Common Ground

20th March 2019

Providing high-quality products in an economical manner is
a challenge we all face.

One of the challenges of working in the global seed industry is the great distances we must travel to cover our vast territories—it’s an extensive marketplace involving most countries around the world. Add to that the differences in culture and core values between countries.

However, from my travels to North and South America, the Baltic countries, India and within Europe, I’ve realized there are more similarities among people and businesses than there are differences. The people I meet and the businesses they own and operate have much common ground, including an aim to provide high-quality products, pride in those products they produce, and prudent resource management.

We have a direct connection to the food industry, so we’re all very quality-minded and we aim for the highest standards in our work and our products. We are also mindful of providing cost-effective solutions for our customers and, ultimately, for the farmer, who is also running a business and must make a profit. Providing high-quality products in an economical manner is a challenge we all face.

Another reality for our industry—and a challenge for most stakeholders—is regulatory compliance. In Europe, products must meet European Union requirements to protect human and animal health, the environment and consumer rights. We must also provide detailed risk analyses for the products we produce.

However, as a European seed treatment equipment company, the regulations we must comply with also provide many business advantages. To sell equipment in Europe, you must be a Certified European manufacturer. The letters “CE” signify products sold in the European Economic Area have been assessed to meet high safety, health and environmental protection requirements.

What this means for our business is all processes, from delivery and installation to handling chemicals and operating equipment, as well as unit disposal, must meet EU regulations. Most importantly, by buying CE-approved equipment, operators know all risks have been considered and they won’t be exposed to chemicals or hurt in any way, no matter where they are in the world.

In fact, European seed companies must buy Certified European equipment in order to install it. However, given the opportunity, I believe the industry would continue to choose equipment made to meet these rigorous standards because businesses want machines to be safe, easy to clean, while operating at minimal risk to health, safety and the environment.

For example, in Europe, seed treatment equipment must operate within closed systems: from the barrel all the way to bagged seed, the operator does not come into contact with the seed treatment chemicals. One dosing system is connected to each slurry or chemical. Chemicals, or products, are mixed in the machine before application.

This also goes hand-in-hand with product quality because machines are easily cleaned and dosing rates are managed within the system, increasing application accuracy. Additionally, the equipment’s sophisticated and regulated system provides statistics on everything from dosing rates to cleaning records. It’s also easier to attract and retain equipment operators for closed systems.

The demand for seed treatments in North and South America, Africa, China and the Baltic countries, to name a few, is large and increasing. There is also an upward trend toward high-volume mobile trailers.

What I’ve discovered from traveling to the countries that make up our markets is the businesses in those countries are actively seeking out equipment that meets the high standards set by EU regulations—yet more common ground across diverse geographic and cultural backgrounds. I believe we will continue to see our industry striving in this way for the protection of human and animal safety and health and the environment.

The sky's the limit

20th January 2019

By spending time devising the seed’s characteristics, you will develop a
unique product for the marketplace.

What if you could create the perfect seed? What would its characteristics be? In what ways would you enhance that seed? What if you could choose the characteristics that add value to that seed? It’s important to take time to dream about—to conceptualize—your perfect seed.

You can choose and develop the characteristics of the seed end-users will value. For example, what do you want to add to the seed, how do you want the seed to behave, and what kind of value are you offering your customers and why?

Also, what do you want to do with the seed—do you want to make it easier to plant with planting equipment by developing a harder, more durable pellet? Or, do you need to add weight to a vegetable seed, so it can’t be carried away by the wind when seeding?

If you want to add color to the seed, what color should you choose, how shiny do you want it and why? Do you want to add micronutrients to the seed to help it grow faster and stronger? In short, what value do you want to add to the seed?

By spending time devising the seed’s characteristics, you will develop a unique product for the marketplace.

A useful tool to help you make one-of-a-kind products is a sophisticated seed coater. By owning your own equipment and finishing your product in-house, you have creative control over your goods—and the sky is truly the limit for your market development.

If you process your seed in-house, you can decide how to develop the value of your product. You also have control over processing and delivery schedules. Your seed processing costs will be lower, and you’ll experience increased efficiencies.

In addition, you will own your equipment, seed processing methods and recipes, and there is a high and rapid return on investment. At NoroGard, we see the future in seed innovations and now also provide the knowledge and expertise required to train your staff on site and to develop methods and recipes for your unique products.

With these tools to hand, you can make the most of your product and create a seed no one can say no to.

How to Easily Benefit from, and Gain Expertise

11th December 2018

It’s not rocket science, but it’s close. Applying today’s seed treatment technologies requires sophisticated equipment and know-how. Additionally, competition in seed processing is fierce, the products are expensive, and customers are demanding more value added to the seed with consistent quality year-round.

Seed treatment equipment operators must be up on the latest seed enhancement technologies and understand how and when to apply a number of products, such as pesticides, fungicides, nutrients, biologicals, inoculants, functional coatings and colorants. Also, budgets are shrinking, and staff turnover is increasing, so expertise is seldom found in-house.

How do you learn the skills necessary to unlock your equipment’s potential and optimize seed treatment technologies? There is a way.

Now, independent consultants can bring training and expertise to the companies that require them, anywhere in the world. These specialists can train staff, troubleshoot application issues, test products, customize recipes, methods and equipment, and provide impartial advice on all aspects of seed treating and equipment, no matter the seed treatment brand or product.

In fact, an independent consultant can examine the whole seed treatment process at your operation. Whether you’re new to seed enhancement technologies, have identified areas to improve in your existing processes, or want to build expertise in-house, a consultant is the most economical and efficient way to go about it.

These professionals are always testing new products, technologies and equipment, and they know what’s in the pipeline; they’re at the forefront of science—and they can help you get there too. You will get more value out of your equipment investment as well as gain a competitive edge in the industry.

I believe if you’re only competing in the marketplace on price and product you won’t last because today’s consumers want value. Improving your processes or technologies can produce that value.

Providing a consulting service to our customers was a natural step for NoroGard. Our in-house expert, who specializes in the application of all types and brands of seed treatment technologies, methods and applied products for coating and pelletizing has been working in all areas of seed treatment for 25 years, and travels around the world helping seed processors.

After all, there’s no point selling top-of-the-line seed treating equipment if operators can’t use it to its full potential.

An independent consultant can ensure your equipment serves you, and not the other way around.

Seed Certifications will Save you money, and this is why

16th April 2018

More than 60% of the world’s population is relying on the agriculture industry for survival. Which means that its technological advancements have been a significant contributor toward better living standards and personal interdependence and making the world a better place. These technological innovations include automated calibration of dosage systems, integrated scales, accurate application even at small dosages, along with all other features that comes with sophisticated seed treatment. However, an improved standard of living and increased profitability within the agricultural economies around the world, they are dependent on the seed produced to hold a high quality and growth rate.

Because the seed will be purchased without knowledge of whether it is dead or alive, seed certifications are established to ensure the set growth rate. Certified seed will, in turn, both minimise cost of seed and improve profitability. A seed certification means that an official examination has been carried out regarding the quality, salubrity, indentity and purity. Furthermore, certified seed ensure that the seed fulfils all the set requirements of the seed, as well as safeguarding that you receive the right type of seed. You are also insured to purchase seed that is healthy and treated appropriately for it to grow successfully, without bearing pathogens.

The seed certificate can only be assigned once the seed fulfils all aspects of the controls carried out. These includes; Each unit of seed must be test-grown before sowing, as well as monitored throughout the entire growth cycle. This to ensure that the seed is growing accordingly and that no other varieties are involved. The production plant is also monitored to determine how seeds are sowed and grown in the facilities. The purpose is to ensure that weed, diseases and other varieties does not exist in the production of a particular seed. The certification also secure that the test-growth of a seed is representative for the entire seed unit. Lastly, the seed unit is analysed in a laboratory to assure that it is the right variety of seed, that no other varieties occur, and that the rate of pure seed is high enough. The germination and water level of the seed is also examined, as well as determining whether the seed is carrying any pathogens.

The seed treatment applications therefore ensure that each seed sold has been equipped with products that provide advantages when growing. The NoroGard seed treaters are designed in a way that even the smallest dosage rates perform top quality treatment of each individual seed. Seed certification as well as the seed treatment procedures operating with high quality yet low dosage rates results in minimised costs and improved growth profit.