The city of Växjö, the year of 1995. Rally fan Kenneth devotes a large part of his free time to motorsport and saw a need to protect his car against fire and overheating. At this point he worked with high-pressure products and realized that the same type of technology could be used here as well, and the foundation was then laid for Fogmaker’s main product. The solution consists of a cylinder that is installed in the vehicle, and in the event of a fire, the system releases a water mist under high pressure. The water mist suffocates and cools the fire and settles like a “carpet”, which avoids re-ignition. The company was mostly a hobby business at first, but as demand grew and the brand became more and more well-known, the rate of growth really picked up. The product is described today as a fire extinguishing system adapted for closed spaces in the automotive industry; above all trucks, buses and forest machines. It is still in Växjö that Fogmaker has its office. There are 85 employees here, and around the world Fogmaker has partners and dealers who help with installation and support.
”We started out small and have grown larger, but we have managed to hold on to the feeling of being a smaller organization.”
In recent years, the industry has changed in many ways. Fire protection devices are no longer classified as an optional product, but something that is required to be in every bus. In line with increased volumes, competition has also intensified. However, Fogmaker continues to be the market leader and looks positively at the future, expecting to double its turnover within five years. One reason why this goal could be set is that the processes have now been streamlined.
One important figure behind the streamlining of the warehouse processes is logistics manager Mattias Gunnarsson. He started his journey at Fogmaker in 2016 as a warehouse worker, and soon after became a team leader. This experience gave him a broad, but at the same time deep, understanding of how the flow in the warehouse works and what needs to be changed in order for those processes to support future growth.
Some of the challenges Mattias noticed were that all of the production teams needed to run and pick up from the same warehouse, which became crowded and messy. A decision was made to start working with local warehouses so that the production staff could focus on just producing, and not searching for materials. At the same time, warehouse locations were introduced, so that each production group could have its own warehouse and its own stock balance, something that was seen as a requirement for flows and production to be managed in a good way. However, there was no solution in the business system that could manage this in an efficient way. A new department was also established, Inhouse Logistics, whose task is to move materials internally. Here, a need to be able to move material in a systematic way was quickly identified, as it is not sustainable to run to a computer and do the hundreds of rearrangements that need to be done every day. In other words, there were several challenges and elements in the warehouse work that made it difficult for the business to scale up.
Mattias says that, with his experience from the grocery store where PDAs have long been used for inventory and order goods, he contacted his SAP partner SEIDOR Nordics and told them about his ideas for making warehouse work more efficient. The proposal he put forward was based on hand-held devices, in order to manage the warehouse processes in a much more flexible way. The market was researched to find a suitable solution, but when we at SEIDOR Nordics saw a great need for such a product as Fogmaker requested, we decided to build the application ourselves. The result was ScanOne, a mobile scanner solution that integrates with SAP Business One.