Captures customers with charms

Published: 13.06.05

Haugesunds Avis (Arne Frøkedal)

This is the boss with the most favorable wind in Haugaland. And the largest travel budget.

Petter Aalvik (40) continuously sends his Omega employees out and about the world. Coming into last year the company had 125 employees. Today you can add another 99 to that number.

– We are in the middle of a very good and active period. Recruitment is the only limitation on how many jobs we can accept, says the Operations manager. Omega fascinates Norwegian and international customers with their idyllic red headquarters in Ølensvåg. They have their own tennis court and marina, in addition to a wishing well by their entrance – to symbolize the good times. Aalvik rather puts emphasis on Omega's services, competence and skilful staff when explaining the business boom.

No sales department

– Our vision is to add value to the benefit of the customer. When many people ask about us, we know that we have succeeded, says the 40-year old.

Omega is a company serving the oil business. A group of friends in Ølensvåg working for HMV and at Kårstø saw the need for systematizing and for project management of large construction developments. The entrepreneurs were the Lunde brother, Sigmund and Tor Erling. They founded Omega in the early 90's, and developed their own computer-based solutions for doing things in a smarter way. They combined this with sending personnel out to the customer.

– Omega has no sales department, marketing or presentations at oil fairs. The company survives and develops solely by their own reputation, says the smiling boss and graduate engineer in a white dress shirt and dress pants.

180 people on the move

The business concept calls for large-scale traveling for about 180 of the employees. The annual travel budget is between 10 and 15 million NOK. You can find them wherever the oil industry operates. On Melkøya (Snøhvit), in Aukra in Møre (Ormen Lange), on Kårstø (KEP 2005) and in Canada. Their biggest customer is Statoil. The company's distinctive stamp is their drive, internal unity and the ability to deliver useful solutions for their customers. Last year that yielded many new prestigious names on the customer list. Aalvik came into the company through his chairman duty. The 40-year old, with strong ties to both Ølen and Etne, was born in Stavanger, raised in Høyanger and went to high school in Ølen. Around that time he came in contact with the group of friends who later built up Omega. Now he is married to an Etne girl, but he resides in Sola and works in Ølensvåg.

Bright future

The company turnover last year increased by 34 per cent, and might pass 200 million NOK this year. The manager is pleased with the development. The net profit before taxes of 12 million NOK is saying that many people are doing many things correctly.

– This shows that we have the ability to handle the challenges. And with a slightly larger volume the margins could look even better.

And the future?

– With today's oil price the future looks bright. The oil business is up and down, and another decline will come, but with the foothold we have created nationally and abroad we are optimistic, Petter Aalvik concludes.