Slagelse-Based Company Slips Unscathed Through 2020
Things are cracking again at ODIN Engineering A/S in Slagelse, and all employees are back to work. But in a somewhat different way and bearing lots of gratitude to the corona aid packages.
The wage subsidy scheme, combined with a subsequent steep digital learning curve, means that ODIN can again accommodate its regular international clients’ high demand for service and assistance worldwide.
Many of ODIN Engineering’s employees start as mere interns or trainees, in order to subsequently develop into pure ninjas: mechanical engineers, design engineers, industrial technicians, metal workers, industrial electricians, mechanical workers or service technicians. Or “NIDOs”, as they are referred to at ODIN.
The employees’ competencies and experience enable ODIN to design, build, install and service business-critical special machinery for production purposes at large international companies.
“Our most important resource are our extremely competent, creative and committed employees, and we are dedicated to being on standby to render assistance whenever such is required by our clients,” says ODIN Engineering’s CEO, Mads S. Rasmussen, and explains:
“It can be a new machine that has never been built before or an outright indispensable spare part for a machine we have previously supplied to their production. Or they could need us to set up production or create a batch of prototypes in our own test centre.”
And so, the list goes on. Fortunately. But without the aid packages, ODIN would not have been able to retain its highly specialised key work force.
“We are willing to go a long way to retain our employees, but in the spring of 2020, we were prepared for the scenario that this would perhaps be impossible,” he says, and clarifies: “It was not nice, but we drew up an action plan for bad, worse and worst-case scenario.”
The aid packages made it possible to keep the team together
Mads S. Rasmussen is glad that the plans from the spring were not put into motion; hence, he is a warm proponent of the aid packages for the business. He thinks that the wage subsidy scheme is a prime example of what can be accomplished by an advanced social model:
“ODIN Engineering and other companies that are normally a breadwinner for Danish society have been given the aid necessary to make it through the shutdown. This has been absolutely crucial, as it has made it possible for us to quickly rearm for the current situation, when our clients urgently need us and all our employees to be in top shape and at the top of our game,” he says.
Five years of technological development in five months — and some new habits on top
Even if Denmark is right in the middle of yet another harsh shutdown now, in 2021, ODIN Engineering are really busy. The entire staff are fitted out with corona safety in mind, which means hand sanitiser, masks, division of the team into “units”, where employees work together in fixed sets, combined with traffic regulations for the factory floor, the canteen, and the offices.
The extraordinary circumstances all over the world also mean that ODIN has also realised an additional technological development at near-lightning speed.
“We have gone through five years of technological development in the space of the past five months. Clients have now fully accepted being serviced virtually, and all of ODIN’s employees have mastered our digital tools,” says Mads S. Rasmussen, adding:
“In many cases, we can render support to the other side of the globe without making anyone pack their bags and jump on a plane. This requires a different type of planning and aids but is feasible in most cases and naturally also places requirements on the client on the other side.”
Breaking even, while keeping employee skills intact
Covid-19 has affected the annual financial statements for 2019/20 but Mads S. Rasmussen emphasises that the downturn can be overcome if the team remains intact and in top shape, as mentioned earlier. During the financial year, ODIN Engineering employed 54 employees on average (versus 57 for the previous year). Gross profit stood at DKK 44.0 million (compared to DKK 60.2 million for the previous year). Profit before tax totalled DKK 8.9 million (compared to DKK 21.3 million for the previous year).
“We are happy that we have managed to come out of a year like this one unscathed. In addition to this, we have future-proofed our organisation with digital competencies and an employee commitment that is stronger than ever. But we must remember to thank society-at-large. If it had not been for the aid packages, we would not have been able to retain our employees, and everything would have looked completely different, both here and across the board,” says Mads S. Rasmussen.
NIDO stands for Nerds In Daily Operation, and is ODIN spelled backwards. It is ODIN’s mascot robot, which expresses how the company’s employees see themselves.
A NIDO can take several forms, depending on its work tasks. It is the design that determines if NIDO will be a power NIDO or an epicure NIDO.
All NIDOs are characterised by being autonomous, hard-working, goal-oriented, very communicative, adaptive, extremely knowledgeable — while also rarely touching the ground.
All NIDOs have an internal, interference-proof communication system, assembled in a top-mounted helmet antenna.
The helmet accommodates various accessories, such as a magnifying glass that can be tilted and rotated in all directions for optimal performance.
All NIDOs are equipped with the standard NIDO multitool. They can also have a drill, welding apparatus, screwdriver, voltmeter and so much more.
ODIN’s electromagnetic anti-gravity propulsion system is placed at the bottom part of the NIDO.
All NIDOs share the same bible: “The ODIN way”.
All NIDOs are generally self-rechargeable.