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ARRB Systems

What drew an international transport tech & survey company to Skåne

As ARRB Systems, a company specialised in technology and services for road maintenance with locations all over the world, was determining where to set up next, three countries stood out the most. “We needed to establish an office in Europe,” says Garry Warren, Managing Director of ARRB Systems, “and narrowed it down to Germany, Denmark and Sweden.” 

In the end, the company picked Sweden, specifically Skåne. According to Warren, there were several different factors that were conducive for bringing the business to the area, including what he notes as “the excellent support provided by the team at Invest in Skåne.”

“They thoroughly won me over!”

“I actually have a long history with Skåne,” Warren says, explaining that he’d previously worked with a company based in Höganäs and first came to the area in 1982. But despite his past dealings with the Skåne business community, Warren actually credits his work in the United States with why he initially connected with Invest in Skåne. “Having had experience in setting up our operation in the USA, I realised the value of regional economic development agencies,” he explains. So ARRB Systems researched and contacted organisations in all the regions where they were considering establishing an office.

 According to Warren, Invest in Skåne was the agency that most impressed him. “They thoroughly won me over!” he says. “This isn’t to say the others were bad, just that [Invest in Skåne] was outstanding!”

A world leader in road survey equipment and services

Spun out from a division of the Australian Road Research Board, ARRB Systems is a leading provider of road assessment technology and services. It enables roadway proprietors, both public and private, to understand the full state of their roads and effectively plan maintenance and upkeep. 

ARRB Systems manufactures and sells equipment for the survey of road condition, as well as collects and organises this data on behalf of clients themselves. It has two signature products the Hawkeye Survey Platform – a modular system that can be customised for clients’ needs, essential for assessing the condition of road networks, and the Intelligent Pavement Assessment Vehicle (iPAVe) – the first system of its kind to collect comprehensive surface and sub surface data on a major roadway’s pavement while driving at the speed of traffic. 

According to Warren, ARRB Systems’ revenue in 2019 was approximately A$21 million with 80 employees on four continents and distributors in 24 countries.

“One stop from Melbourne to Malmö...”

Once ARRB Systems had decided to make Skåne the location for their new European office, they settled on the Malmö area to focus the search for an office space of approximately 300smq, as well as warehouse space of about 300-400sqm with specifications to house and service the iPAVe.

Garry Warren, ARRB Systems

“Malmö seemed to be the ideal position for our business given the easy access to Kastrup, Europe and Scandinavia, where we are expecting the majority of our business,” says Garry Warren, Managing Director of ARRB Systems. “I appreciate the ease of access to CPH. It makes life very easy for us. One stop from Melbourne to Malmö by plane!”

Warren cites Skåne’s workforce as another advantage for ARRB Systems, which needed to fill several key operation management positions, from office manager to chief operating officer, as well as field positions, like surveyors/data collection operators and heavy vehicle drivers.  “We have been able to attract good staff and the labour market appears pretty strong,” he says. 

How Invest in Skåne helped

When ARRB systems was considering Skåne as a possible location for its European office, Managing Director Garry Warren was already familiar with both the area and working with regional economic development agencies. The former, he’d visited many times previously in his career while working with a company based in Höganäs; the latter, he had valuable experience dealing with in the United States – which helped him realize the value of such organisations. But still, he wasn’t prepared for the extent of support from Skåne’s economic development agency.

“They thoroughly won me over!” says Warren, who then explains that while similar agencies from the other regions being considered were adequate, the team he worked with at Invest in Skåne gave such extraordinary help. 

Invest in Skåne provided assistance and guidance to ARRB Systems in finding a location for office and warehouse space, as well as hiring staff, and a lot more. “They supported us by providing meeting rooms, introductions to service providers, banks, financial providers, real estate agents, etc.,” Warren says. “Their connections were really good actually.”