Brandal and Hvidsten are in 1981 employed as service technicians at Strømsnes workshop in Bergen. When Strømsnes choose to close down the workshop business, the two of them decide to continue in their own company. This marks the beginning of the company which today is a leader within photo- and videocamservice in the Nordic countries.



Magne Hvidsten in front of the entrance to C&V in Ytre Arna in 1984.

The two patners take over instruments and stock from Strømsnes, employ one of their colleagues and move to their own premises in Ytre Arna just outside Bergen. On the 1st of January 1982 the new firm is established and registered. The first years there is about as much service for photo and film products as for traditional brown goods. Most assignments are from their old employer, who have photo and brown goods stores all over the country.

Chinon are at this time big within photo and cine, and it is service for photo and cine equipment as well as projectors that stand for the growth of the business the first years. In 1986 C&V get a deal with Kodak who at the time have some models produced by Chinon. Simultaneously an agreement is entered with Eklöw, the present Fujifilm, about service for Fuji cameras and videocamcorders.

In 1989 C&V have 6 persons employed, and are gradually growing out of the premises in Ytre Arna. The business therefore move into 350 square meters at the present location in Liaveien in Åsane outside Bergen.

Gradually more and more brands and types of equipment are serviced. A steadily increasing need for service for videocams resulted in formal cooperation with Canon in 1992. The same year the company for the first time introduce computers in the administration of all service, using the workshop application Elfo.


The photo and video section in 1990 had room for four service technicians (two on either side of the work bench) and was virtually free from data equipment.



The same section in 2002 has room for nine service technicians, here represented by three of them. The others sit at the other side of the work bench and along the opposite wall.




In 2011 the section has grown to 21 workplaces.

I 1993  the trade magazine Elektronikkbransjen has an article about the company. (Norwegian only)

The next years a booming development follows, with a steadily increasing number of suppliers and brands involved. In April 1996 floorage is expanded to 450 square meters. At the same time the TV and video department is upgraded to top level to be able to meet with the requirements in connection with service for the latest equipment. The business now have 10 employees.

In the autumn of 1997 C&V take in their first apprentice in accordance with the school reform of 1994. The next year some more are accepted and since then there have always been one or more apprentices in the business. Many of them got a permanent job in the firm after finishing their apprenticeship.
Digital photo and video is introduced on the market and C&V take an active part from the very first moment.

In March 1999 there is a need for additional innovation and expansion, customer reception is moved and extended and new storage rooms are put to use. The overall floorage thereby amounts to about 700 square meters. In this connection an article was printed in Elektronikkbransjen - the Electronic Business Journal.
The company now have 16 emplyees.

In the autumn of 1999 the firm work closely with Bleken Data on the development of their alternative to Elfo, MAB2000.

In December 1999 the very first apprentice within photo service sits for the apprenticeship examination according to Reform -94, and Fujifil Denmark move parts of their servicefrom Germany to C&V. While many others in the trade think more and more service will go abroad, C&V prove that the opposite is possible.
Coverage in the trade magazine Elektronikkbransjen.

In February 2000 C&V take over the company Åsane TV- og Elektronikkservice.
In May 2000 the relations with Canon are extended so that C&V become a fully assorted workshop for this supplier and the only workshop outside Canon that offer service for their DV products.

In January 2001 the firm scraps Elfo and switches to the new and much more modern system MAB2000. In July the same year the collaboration with Bleken Data has led to the development of a new freight module in the program. The logistics for the products from when they arrive till they have been returned to the customer is for the first time integrated in the same system, with internet tracking all the way. Coverage in the trade magazine Elektronikkbransjen.

 


Today Camera & Videoteknikk is situated in modern premises in Åsane in the outskirts of Bergen.

January 2002 marks the 20th anniversary of the company. C&V have now 23 emplyees, among them18 full time technicians. The company are leading on service within analogue as well as digital video and photo, but also go seriously in for itraditional brown goods and professional equipment. Service on digital video and photo products is growing quickly, and digital still now makes up the second largest product group. Through deliberate aiming at apprenticeships the company educate young people of both sexes for the trade. The possibility for new markets is constantly being evaluated.

The next two years activity is steadily on the increase, and the number of employees reaches 25, among them 19 full time technicians. In the sales trade some chains start to import their own brands, or they import well known brands outside the Norwegian brand dealers, so-called gray import. Thus they themselves become importers and must stand for guarantee service on their own. I July 2004 C&V make a deal with Elprice about service on such equipment, in addition to the products that the dealers already are responsible for through the companies' agreements. 2004 is also the year when C&V seriously enter a new market for the company, namely service and installation of advanced conferance and control systems onshore and offshore. With that Statoil, Hydro and Odfjell Drilling are among our customers. In the new year the service deal with Fujifilm Denmark expires, since the customs clearance bureaucracy between Norway and the EU eventually becomes a too time consuming element in the service process.

 

 



In 2005 a short introduction video is made by one of the firm's employees. The recordings are made after the customer reception and the audio/video section moved in January the same year.

In the course of 2004 activity within sound and picture shows a substantial increase, and in January 2005 the department move into new and bigger premises on street level. At the same time the customer reception move to the same place, which eases reception and service on big and heavy TV sets. In March 2005 PQB, the importer of Konica Minolta, move all service for camera, filmscanners and binoculars to C&V. Only three months after this, somewhat surprisingly, the deal is revoked, since Konica Minolta in Europe decide to transfer the management of the Norwegian operation to Sweden. At the turn of the year 2005/2006  Konica Minolta withdraws from the photo market. The increase in the activity around photo products lately, and the flat screens' entry into the market, reveal problems related to damage to the prodducts during transportation to and from the workshops. The reason is the charterers' poor knowledge about how the equipment is to be handled, and what weak spots the products have that need to be taken into consideration. This makes the two partners, Jostein Brandal og Magne Hvidsten, in August establish a new business, C&V Logistikk, to be able to deal with transportation in the best way, with a staff that know how to handle the equipment. Towards the end of the year the number of emplyees mounts to 29, of which 21 are full time technicians.

 

In the beginning of  2007 Casio make a deal with C&V implying that they are to service Casio's telephone support.
At the same time Nikon agree with C&V about service on all their consumer products, and the 1st of March the agreement is materialized, pleasing many  dealers who have wanted C&V also to service this brand. The combination of an increase in orders within the professional market, even more service assignments from municipalities in Hordaland and Sogn (possible due to transportation using C&V logistics) and the deal with Nikon, make a staff increase imperative. Towards the end of the year the number of employees has passed 40.

Many apprentices and pupils from vocational schools in work placement visit C&V, and in the course of 2008 the total number of staff members mounts to 50. But 2008 is also the year when the financial crisis in the USA in the fall also hits the international financial market with a deep recession in most industrialized countries. At the same time one is surprised by the news that Canon will discontinue their agelong collaboration with C&V, and at the turn of the year will move all their service to Oslo.
The discontinuation of service on Canon has a substantial impact on C&V's profit. The financial crisis has not yet had its effect on service turnover. This is connected with the fact that a reduction in the sales of new merchandise among the dealers have an influence on service only some time after this. The same applies to service assignments for the oil industry, since already existing contracts are still valid for a certain period of time. C&V adapt their resources to limit the harmful effects of the new situation.
From October 1st 2009  Camera & Videoteknikk take over all service on Pentax in Norway, and establish themselves on the old workshop premises of Fovi Service AS in Gjerdrumsvei 10d i Nydalen, Oslo. C&V og Pentax importer Aronsen AS have collaborated well for 15 years on warranty service on Samsung brown goods. The same month C&V take over service on white goods for Samsung. Det economic operating result at the turn of the year is positive, but for the first time in the history of the company both turnover and operating result is down compared to the previous year.

 


The TV section after the move in January 2010

In January 2001 the ground floor just below the premises on the first floor that C&V always have had at their disposal, become vacant  The sound and picture department, customer reception and storage rooms move "sideways" and get a more sensible reciprocal location. In February C&V are certified as a Kongsberg partner, and are now part of their Global Support System. The effects of the financial crisis catch up with the service trade and the company must downsize. The employees contribute with reduction of their own working hours and pay over a period, and in addition to natural wastage in many positions it suffices with the dismissal of half a position. In October C&V take over Samsung laptop service. While recession in the sales business seems to have culminated, it seems to stick with the service trade. 

When FotoVideo Norway AS open their new photo center covering 2200 m2 in Møllergaten in Oslo in February 2011, Camera & Videoteknikk AS move their department in Oslo  from Nydalen to their new "inhouse" FotoVideo premises. This solution for in-store service is the only of its kind in Norway, and customers can have Check & Clean and service on most brands carried out while they wait. The collaboration entails an increase in service turnout in this department and in March a new technician is employed. Fujifilm make a deal with C&V about telephone support. The same month Elprice declare themselves bankrupt and warranty service on their own imported products lapses. In June C&V take over warranty service on Sanyo still and video cameras.

The road ahead
In spite of tough challenges, Camera & Videoteknikk believe in the future.  Skilled co-workers, determined collaboration with suppliers and dealers and respect for basic goals has in the course of many years resulted in a rock solid company able to cope with the challenges the company have experienced the last two years. Evaluation of new business fields, creative thinking around already existing activity and dynamic co-workers who can step in where it is needed , all this creates new possibilities.


Accessible
If a product is flawed it is important that the customer does not suffer. We therefore concentrate on minimal delivery time and quality execution of the service assignment. Through ample telephone and reception opening hours and 24 hour access on Service-Web we ensure info and communication concerning your order. With good transportation deals all over the country at reasonable prices as well as our own transportation to the neighbouring districts we are open to our customers.


Elesco
C&V is a member of Norway's biggest union of service workshops, Elesco Norge. The chain was established in 1995 under the name of Servicekjeden by Camera & Videoteknikk AS, Moer Radio/TV-Service AS, Service-Eksperten AS and Service Elektronikk AS. During the following years the chain took in new members all over the country. In December 2004 the chain chose to  become a member of Elesco Europe, and change their name to Elesco Norge. The chain today consists of more than 30 highly qualified workshops. You can read more about  Elesco Norge here.

 

 


References:

Elektronikkbransjen 5/1993

Elektronikkbransjen 10/1993

Elektronikkbransjen 3/1999

Elektronikkbransjen 3/2000

Elektronikkbransjen 4/2000

Elektronikkbransjen 10/2001

Elektronikkbransjen 1/2002

Elektronikkbransjen 4/2002

Elektronikkbransjen 5/2002

Elektronikkbransjen 5/2004

Elektronikkbransjen 7/2005

Elektronikkbransjen 2/2006

Elektronikkbransjen 2/2007

Elektronikkbransjen 7/2009

Elektronikkbransjen 10/2009

Elektronikkbransjen 2/2011


Camera & Videoteknikk AS - Liaveien 1 - 5132 Nyborg - 55 39 38 80 - service@camera.no

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