There is a need for change
– The industry needs to adapt to new demands related to environment and sustainability, says Merete Berdal, Managing Director of Jotron.
We wanted to learn more about Merete Berdal, her thoughts on leadership and the way forward for Jotron as well as the maritime industry in a rapidly changing world. So, we have asked her some questions.
Q: What type of leader are you?
A: I am a very people-oriented leader, and my main focus is to build a skilled organization wit the right competence, but also with the right attitude and spirit. Enthusiasm is an important value in Jotron!
Q: What do you find most inspiring in your job?
A: To create lasting values both for the company and for the society together with my employees.
Q: What future vision – related to leadership, competence development and sustainability – do you have for the company?
A: The Jotron vision is to be a World Leader and we need to have the best people to succeed. All people in the organization must have both the ability and willingness to continuously grow their competence. The most important way to grow the competence in the organization is to have a culture of sharing competence without any sharp elbows.
Q: What is the most important experience you have had last year during the Covid-19 pandemic? How has the pandemic affected the company and the organization?
A: In Jotron, we have full control of the whole value-chain, and this has been a competitive advantage during the pandemic. Already in January, when we experienced long lead times and difficulties in the electronic component market, we secured materials for our products. By this, we have been able to deliver in a period where many other companies struggle.
Another important experience is the way we have been able to create good digital solutions for our customers. They have been very satisfied with the way we have accommodated digital ways of doing training and FAT (Factory Acceptance Test). This was in place very fast after the close-down last March.
Q: On a personal level, what are you most looking forward doing when the pandemic is finally over?
A: To have all colleagues back in the office and to have different social events. Everything from common birthday celebrations in the canteen to our October party and Christmas party. The social life in the company is an important part of the company culture!
Q: How do you think working life will change in the future, and how will it affect your management?
A: I truly believe that we succeed better as teams than individuals, and I want all colleagues back in the office as soon as possible. That said, we will utilize the experience we have gained in digital platforms during the pandemic both internally and towards our customers.
Q: What do you think about the future prospects, challenges and opportunities for maritime companies and the maritime industry?
A: The industry needs to adapt to new demands related to environment and sustainability. We need to use our long history and experience in the Norwegian maritime industry to make this change happen.
Q: How have you benefitted from the NME membership?
A: NME is a good network for sharing experiences within the maritime industry in our region.
About Merete Berdal
Merete Berdal is the Managing Director and majority shareholder in Jotron. She has a bachelor’s degree within Electronics from USN (Porsgrunn) from 1986.
Merete has 35 years of experience in Jotron within many different fields; quality, documentation, purchasing, logistics and organization. After some years as Chair of the board she took over as the Managing Director in 2014.
Jotron develops and manufactures professional products and communication systems for use in air, on land and at sea. Jotron was incorporated in 1967 and only three years later produced and released the world’s first Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB). Today, Jotron is regarded as a world leading supplier of high-performance safety communication equipment. The company headquarters is located in Larvik and the company has 300 employees on three continents.
Read more about Jotron on: www.jotron.com