Novozymes: Company at the forefront

An organization with innovation in its DNA doesn't choose tired old standard solutions. The path to development for Novozymes's facility management (FM) goes via a unique partnership with opportunities that will spell profits for the company over time.

Novozymes’s motto is ‘Re-think tomorrow,’ and that also describes our ‘Hard FM’ (facility management) concept,” says René Jacobsen, Facility manager at EMEA & Global Security Officer at the biotech company Novozymes. “Many organizations look at ‘Hard FM’ as a way of cutting costs, but for us it’s about using forward-thinking technology and planning to add values that will result in greater profit for the company. Like the perfect indoor climate and more laboratory time for our researchers.”

Novozymes in briefInvisible to the naked eye, Novozymes’s products are an important part of our everyday quality of life. Clean, spotless laundry, the cheese on your sandwich, and a frothy beer on a Saturday night all have one thing in common – enzymes. In nature, enzymes are found in fungi, and each has unique qualities that power different chemical processes. In industrial use, these same substances can get out tough stains like sweat and blood, and the single-celled yeast fungus is a necessity for brewing beer, just to give a few examples.

With some of the world’s biggest companies as its clientele, Novozymes offers products that are not just necessary for good hygiene. These days, enzymes are at least as much about sustainability. The company’s researchers are developing solutions for things such as clean laundry at lower temperatures, which may lead to energy-efficient solutions in a world where washing machines in the EU alone represent 6% of households’ power consumption. Enzymes can also reduce the need for products from palm plantations and the petrochemical industry. No wonder that René Jacobsen is proud of his employer.

“When I meet new people, they may not be familiar with our company, but everyone knows our products and thinks it’s interesting to hear about how our researchers travel the world looking for plants with special properties designed for the environment they live in.”

To develop "Hard FM" with a focus on the future, Jacobsen chose a different solution than the traditional customer-supplier relationship.

"To me, the great challenge is to stay at the forefront of development. That's why our collaboration with Coor is designed as an equal partnership. I don't want to risk things being forgotten and hidden because something went wrong. As partners we have a dialogue based on trust and transparency; we can bring up every question with full confidence, and jointly develop clever solutions. It only makes our relationship stronger."

Hard FMEven in the first year, the partnership resulted in a couple of companywide changes. One was a new matrix organization for service and maintenance.

“Previously, our electricians, carpenters and plumbers were divided into their own professional categories,” Jensen says. “But there was a recurring problem in the organization that people had to make several calls before they got hold of the right professional. Now we have ‘building maintenance coordinators’ instead; they make up a single point of contact for all service and maintenance questions. It’s about getting the right assistance, but also at the right time and in the right way. We work in a variety of environments, for example laboratories that require special protective clothing and are only open at specific times. So we’ve also introduced an afternoon shift for the maintenance staff. The result is that we can now maximize the researchers’ work hours, which greatly enhances our business.”

76 millon tonsIn collaboration with Coor, Novozymes is also mapping out the opportunities for preventive maintenance using machine learning and artificial intelligence. With data from existing control systems – for example, drops in pressure and spikes in energy consumption – the company is expanding diagnostics step-by-step with the goal of being able to prevent disruptions in production altogether.

Reducing power consumption is another top priority for Novozymes.  The partnership with Coor has led to good results in this area.
“We initiated a project for energy-saving, which demonstrated that we previously had incorrect information about various installations. For example, it turned out that the fans in the restaurant area ran 24 hours a day, even though the restaurant was only used in the daytime.”

The project involved going through the systems in four buildings, which has so far resulted in savings of 612,000 kWh per year in electricity and 868,000 kWh per year in heat. These savings correspond to the annual power consumption for heating, household electricity and hot water for 60 average homes in the Nordic region. Soon, Novozymes will be opening a new 30,000 m2 R&D department in Lyngby in Denmark. So Jacobsen is a busy man, but also an optimistic one.

“Our partnership with Coor has been good for both companies. With great openness and good leadership in both organizations, we’re elevating ‘Hard FM’ to new levels.”