Ndgps ten years china

Ten years of NorDan in China

On average, we ship a new container of fittings and components that make up all the small details in a finished NorDan window every week. This would not have been possible without Edvin Dahlen and the 15 employees at NorDan Trading in China.

What could have just been a two-year project to develop the TopTech reversible hinge has – ten years later – become an indispensable part of the international door and window group NorDan. Through ups and downs, most recently in connection with the coronavirus pandemic, Edvin Dahlen and the team in the city of Ningbo have delivered a steady stream of fittings and components of market-leading quality.

400 products

“We couldn’t know our China operations would be as crucial as they have been,” says Dahlen.

“After asking my wife and two children if they wanted to make the move, we travelled to China in 2010 with a short list of priority tasks. At the top of the list was the production start-up of the TopTech reversible hinge,” he says of the project, which initially had a time frame of two years.

“It’s been ten years now, the list of products we purchase is over 400 lines and both my family and I really enjoy being here,” says Dahlen. At NorDan’s premises in Ningbo, Dahlen and the other 15 employees work primarily on procuring and quality­checking products before they are packed and shipped to Europe.

“The main principle is to do internally what we in many cases used to buy from others. It allows us to further develop solutions while at the same time retaining full control of both quality and deliveries. Among other things, we have our own logistics centre where we receive goods from all our suppliers and where we perform an additional quality control of the products,” he says.

An important cog in the machine

Although NorDan Trading can be seen as a small cog in a large machine, it is nonetheless a gear that the entire international machinery of sales offices and factories is totally dependent on.

“We procure everything from small cover plates to the most complicated fittings, such as TopTech ironmongery. We have very strict quality requirements, whether for small plastic products that can be produced by the thousands every day to the most advanced hinges,” he says. And it’s clear that the business is completely dependent on Perfekt Samspill with both the rest of the NorDan Group and our suppliers.

“There are two major manufacturers in China that are mainly responsible for the majority of our products, and we have focused on long-term partnerships based on mutual trust. It’s almost a perfect example of Per­fekt Samspill, where one of our partners built a separate factory to meet our needs,” he says.

Norwegian windows in China

Over time, NorDan’s operations in China have evolved into much more than just procurements. In 2016, “NorDan Windows & Doors” was established as a pure sales company.

“This was a whole new challenge for us, and it has been an exciting and interesting project. We now have professional agents in 15 different cities in China, each of which has a population of five million or more. And while you might not believe it, importing wooden windows from Europe to China has great potential.

“In China, Norwegian wood products are considered to be of very high quality, and customers demand the kind of quality solutions we can offer through our agents – where we are also the only supplier of wooden windows,” he says. Dahlen also emphasises that succeeding in China requires both time and hard work.

“There are many people who start up a sales company, but few who are particularly successful. You have to be here for a long time to get to know the culture and to understand the market. We had already been here for a while when we established our sales operation, making it a natural extension of the organisation,” he says.

Facts about NorDan Trading

  • Established in 2010 in Ningbo, China
  • 15 employees, led by Edvin Dahlen
  • Responsible for procurement of fittings and components for NorDan’s window products
  • Responsible for the production of ID Lock
  • Works closely with suppliers to ensure the best possible quality and predictability

Aug 02, 2020
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NorDan Group · A leading window and door company