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Working with new challenges

Time flies, and I am already halfway through the trainee programme. This summer, our “old” trainees Heidi and Marie moved on to new and exciting tasks within Elkem, as Bård, Sofie, Marthe, and I took their place as second year trainees.

Trainee Blog 30.08.2017

There are always new and interesting challenges to take on in Elkem. For my second trainee period I was charged with improving maintenance in EBS. EBS is an acronym from Elkem Business System, and is, in short, the strategy after which Elkem runs its business. But EBS is much more than a business strategy; it is the way we develop our people and foster our culture to reach continuous improvement, a learning organisation, and an optimal way of doing business.

EBS is deeply anchored in Elkem’s business values: involvement, respect, precision, and continuous improvement. It follows four basic principles; the customer is always the main focus, and we should therefore make to use; empowered people is the driving force in our value chain, and every success can be attributed to at least 70% human effort; we strive for perfection by eliminating waste; and we need processes in control, i.e. predictable and consistent processes, in order to meet customer demands.

The EBS centre is a catalyst for supporting the different divisions in use of EBS principles and systems. The centre consists of six very competent and sympathetic intellectuals who travel the world to train, evaluate, support, and develop EBS at different Elkem locations. To be able to learn from them for eight months is an amazing opportunity.

My task at the EBS centre is to bring more focus to maintenance in EBS. I have been reading up on maintenance strategies like Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), travelled to different smelting plants both within and outside Elkem to learn best practices, and participated in numerous EBS training sessions. Through the EBS centre I have met many new and interesting people, and started to build a quite unique network.

This summer we had the pleasure of welcoming five new trainees. Tradition true, all nine trainees gathered close to an Elkem plant along with our trainee coordinator, Rolf, and a representative from HR, Claudia, to get to know each other. This year the location was set to Kalvåg, Bremanger. Kalvåg is renowned for their world class kitchen and fabulous customer service. We enjoyed a week of excellent food and exceptionally good weather (except for the day we tried to climb Hornelen, Europe’s largest sea cliff; that day we got proper west coast weather with rain, wind and fog). Now each of the new trainees have started their first trainee period in different divisions and locations. I wish them the best of luck, and look forward to another year as an Elkem trainee.

Picture from a beautiful view point above Kalvåg.
From the left: Svein, Otto, Andrea, Åsmund, Bård, Marthe, Sofie, Anne-Laure and Adam.