Smooth success from BOEN
Selling its engineered hardwood flooring in over 20 types of wood, BOEN AS delivers its customised products across 40 countries.
With production facilities in Russia, Lithuania, Norway and Germany, the company’s additional sales offices in Austria, the UK, France, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium and the US, have enabled it to become a major international force within the flooring industry.
The company’s product range includes a selection of strip, maxi strip, plank and patterned hardwood flooring, and can be delivered prefinished with lacquered, oiled or tailor-made surfaces. “We have two main focus areas; hardwood flooring and indoor sport flooring,” explains marketing director, Kjell Bentsen.
“Selling to wholesalers, distributors, builders and merchants, our engineered hardwood flooring is available in up to 400 different surfaces, wood covers and treatments. Mainly made for private living, our flooring ranges from an antique look through to a sleek, Manhattan apartment style. The indoor sport flooring is mainly wood, and the shock reduction is made from various shock absorption systems,” he adds.
BOEN has manufactured tailor-made sport floors since 1960. Along with its patented Boflex system, it offers a variety of solutions for sports activities and stage floors, while offering a choice of hardwood or synthetic surfaces. With its own sales and service concept, the division has been singled out as a focal area, targeting professional sports floor companies, as well as public and private installers.
The company’s history can be traced back to 1641 when two sawmills were operating at BOEN Falls in Kristiansand, Norway. By the mid-1880s the company had become an industrial enterprise with the establishment of a pulp mill and a factory manufacturing nails. “In 1940 it was sold to Johan G. Olsen AS, while production of solid hardwood flooring began in the 1950s. The manufacture of engineered floors began in 1966, and during the 1970s production began outside of Norway,” Kjell explains.
In 1976 BOEN acquired Hohns, a German company, and together the two were able to establish one of the most modern production lines for multilayer hardwood flooring in Europe. Increased international competition coupled with the desire for closer proximity to raw materials triggered the 1998 decision to move work-intensive processes to Lithuania, when the company purchased the UAB Dominga Mill from the Libra Group.
Explaining the current spread of production, Kjell says: “Sawmill and wood processing work is done in Russia and Lithuania, while our factories Norway, Germany and Lithuania, assemble, tongue and groove, mill and surface treat the wood.
“The wood itself is mainly sourced from Europe, however we are also supplied from North and South America and Asia. The environmental impact of our work is an increasingly important aspect to take into account, and we operate under a mixed sources certificate that ensures more than 50 per cent of the wood in our products comes from sustained sources or certified forests.”
Alongside the company’s strong environmental focus, Kjell explains that close collaboration with customers is one of BOEN’s key strengths: “We have made a lot of products and systems alongside the installers to ensure they are easy to ship, handle and install. We also look for new products and treatments with interior designers and architects, so we can change even the tiniest aspects. We are constantly developing our production techniques as well as the products, and the customers appreciate our consistently wide product range and high levels of quality and service.”
One of the company’s most recent developments has been a new matt lacquer surface. “The unique white-pigmented matt lacquered oil floors have become quite popular. With a special wood thickness and treatment process you cannot find an identical product from our competitors,” Kjell comments.
By regularly releasing new developments, BOEN is constantly strengthening its position in a competitive marketplace. Describing the market, Kjell says: “Wood flooring has witnessed a steady growth as the whole industry has increased. In many markets, the wood products represent around five per cent of the overall flooring market, although this is higher in Scandinavia and the US, while there is tremendous growth in China and Eastern Europe.
“As the market has been increasing, there has been a lot of competition with new factories leading to rising price pressure. The demand for any wood type is increasing, both in flooring and general construction, so the prices for spruce, pine and hardwoods are stabilising at a higher level. This will probably lead to further increases in cost and prices within the marketplace.”
Elaborating on the company’s future strategy, Kjell continues: “We intend to follow the path that we have been following, with quality at the heart of our work. We will continue offering contemporary styles, while adjusting to meet the needs of the market.”
Close customer relationships are key to future success, and the company’s commitment to meeting client needs ensures that it offers some of the highest quality products in the industry. This together with its strong emphasis on research and development means that BOEN could be coming to a floor near you very soon.
Products: Wooden flooring
Sites: Norway, Russia, Lithuania and Germany