He builds a Barco Fredrikstad for the future
After a long career with management and missions in about every region of the world, Lars Lemhag considered retirement. But the longing of a day filled with people and business was just too strong. Last autumn he took on the job leading Barco Fredrikstad through a demanding reorganisation process.
The Projector factory in “Plankebyen”
(Fredrikstad is often referred to as the city of wood)
When Barco, in 2012, bought Projectdesign (est. 2001) and established Barco Fredrikstad, it was a new chapter in the local regions industrial history. This history goes back to 1984, when the development and production of advanced projectors for commercial use started.
The state-of-the-art visualisation products are, amongst others, used in the simulator- and home cinema market, as well as in the light setting of concerts. Have you seen the Nobel Peace concert? There, the light setting is set up with the help of technology and displays from Barco.
Barco is present in over 90 countries and has more then 3500 employees. Around 160 employees are working in Barco Fredrikstad. Barco Fredrikstad is a center of Excellence for visualisation products, with R&D and final assembly performed here.
A divided assignment
In the late summer of 2017, Barco contacted Interimleder AS, looking for an experience and senior top manager who could lead the Norwegian part of the company through a reorganisation process. The Swede, Lars Lemhag, was the chosen candidate. He had already completed two interim assignments through Interimleder AS and was operational at Barca at the end of August 2017. Today he is fully employed as General Manager. In thick dialect from Skåne, (Southern Sweden), Lars is saying:
“My assignment was divided in two. I should lead and follow through a change project which involved to move the production from Norway to a new and larger factory in Belgium. Barco saw this as crucial to ensure continuous competitiveness. At the same time I should structure Barco Fredrikstad for the future and strengthen the division to be continued in Norway.”
One third of the production has already moved
Today, one year after Lars walked through the doors of Barco, one third of the production has moved to Belgium. When the relocation is complete in the middle of 2019, there will be 80 employees remaining to build Barco for the future in Fredrikstad. Lars continues:
“It is never easy to receive news about cuts in staff. Therefore I have been concerned about the communication of the restructurings all the way. Quite simply we are ensuring everyone understands what to do, and why it has to be done. We are also offering outplacement services for the departing employees, and we will do what we can to help them on in their careers.”
Building the future Barco Fredrikstad
Parallel with the relocation, Lars and his team are working with the plans for the future Barco Fredrikstad. The company will continue with R&D, and the demo center where customers can see the products in action. This will be revamped and expanded, and the company will keep its strong production automation competency, a strong resource for the whole Barco group. Lars Lemhag finishes:
"I will spend a lot of my time on identifying the future Barco Fredrikstad. We have exciting and long-term plans, and one of them is setting up a service center for Barcos customers in Scandinavia. We are not only cutting down, we are also building. This is a job I am looking forward to being a part of and to manage.”