Nonbye’s unique DNA is a precondition for both maintaining a vibrant workplace and functioning as a valuable partner for customers. So says Lars Nonbye, looking back over an unpredictable 2020 where Nonbye continued to grow steadily thanks to a mixture of commitment to action, team spirit and more than a little luck.
The long-term vision for Nonbye is clear. The company is committed to winning the Nordic market for the implementation of signs and visual identity, and to helping international customers around the world. The first step along the path entails taking operations to a new level on the Nordic market – where the emphasis is primarily on Sweden and Norway.
Nonbye closed the book on 2020 with more than ten percent growth both in turnover and on the bottom line. The company also succeeded in reinforcing its market position, especially in Sweden and Denmark, and in identifying new opportunities in Norway. Work can therefore continue towards achieving the strategic objectives.
Focus, luck and humility
However, the practice of showcasing growth rates and “big is beautiful” is foreign to the Nonbye culture. “Back in my father’s day, we learned the value of humility and going quietly about our business,” relates Lars Nonbye. “That said, we cannot deny that we are extremely satisfied to have enjoyed a rewarding 2020, where a lot of things went our way. I attribute this to a large extent to our highly skilled specialists, our strong DNA, greater visibility in the market and the fact that – to put it bluntly – we’ve been ‘damned lucky’. At the same time, we are well aware that the more you practise, the luckier you get. This applies equally on the golf course and in the world of business – although we haven’t had the time to practise our golf …”
It all starts with our DNA
History, culture, skills and values are the cornerstones of any company’s DNA. At Nonbye, they play a particularly important role. That is why all new employees go on a two-hour date with Lars Nonbye for a thorough “DNA indoctrination” when they join the company. “We’re well aware of the value of our strong DNA and we’re devoted to holding on to it, even as we continue to grow in Odder, on Zealand and in Sweden and Norway,” says Lars Nonbye. “Everyone who works for us needs to know where we come from and to be aware that the innovative aspect, the craft and the commitment never to compromise on quality are – and have always been – the pillars of our business. Together with space for enjoyment and to share our enthusiasm and a good laugh every now and again, this creates a peerless workplace. It has a positive effect on our customers, too, as they are keen to be a part of it.”
Specialists make all the difference
Nonbye is fully staffed by Nordic specialists, each with expertise in his/her chosen area. This provides the professional foundations beneath the business, and plays a key role in underpinning the traditional craft from Ole Nonbye’s time – but in a 2021 incarnation. “Our staff are constantly developing, at the same time as we continue to bring in new skills. This applies in Denmark, Norway and Sweden alike,” explains Lars Nonbye. “Here, too, we have benefited from the most recent addition of Swedish colleagues, as they not only bring a set of unmatched skills to the business, but also share our fundamental values.”
Lars Nonbye also highlights daring to accept consequences as a crucial factor in safeguarding the company’s DNA and generating valuable results. “This applies from both internal and external perspectives. If we find that a customer or a staff member is not a good fit for us, we are ready to cut the ties and part as friends. As a result, we are all pulling in the same direction internally and our staff are all team players, because it means a lot to them to be a member of the Nonbye organisation. For customers, it means that they can count on us being honest and telling them to their our face if we don’t think we can help them generate value. In that case, it makes much more sense to find someone else to work with,” says Lars Nonbye.
Increased focus on sustainability
When Lars Nonbye looks to the coming years, it is in the knowledge that sustainability will come
to play an ever-greater role. This is true internally within the company, where more than a few initiatives are on their way, and externally in the solutions developed for customers.
“As regards the field of sustainability, we have been on board since the start, acting as a significant partner in the development of the PVC-free films,” says Lars Nonbye. “We are now looking into completely new opportunities with the emphasis on CSR and sustainability. As just one example, we will be publishing our first CSR report in connection with the annual report for 2020. CSR is already an important part of our DNA, but it can become even more so. So we are now ready to commit to doing even more, not only in relation to the market but also internally, highlighting our status and areas of initiative.”