November 30, 2011

Let´s hope it is windy, but not too windy

During the last days there have been big storms throughout Scandinavia: winds have been blowing and again there have been thousands of households without electricity. But because of wind there is also more and more electricity available, there are a growing number of wind turbines visible where ever one travels. 

I have had the privilege to visit a number of companies involved in constructing wind turbine towers and the general growth of the business is very visible. The new towers are become higher and higher, more than 150 meters high, and thus the usage of this form is energy is become more and more efficient. It is interesting to see how the development of technology is really making a difference – and has put the pay-back calculations of investors´ excel sheets to show plus instead of minus.

There are also nice new things I have learned – why for example fog is very bad for the business. It took me a while to understand this: in central Europe all special large transports on highways is banned if there is fog around and thus no installation of new towers is possible during foggy season. So if one wants to wish good for the companies in this business, it better be sunny or just rain – fog is not good.    
Peikko is also happy to be part of this business community, by being a supplier to many great companies already. Have a look e.g. our real time webcam on our Hamina site, where the company is responsible for the foundations for a small windpark.

Let´s wish that the winds give more energy than take from us !

November 8, 2011

Can business be done only in one country?

Some years ago I was contacted by an investment banker. His client wanted to buy one of Peikko´s unit in central Europe. This was not the first contact of its kind, and that is why took a deep breath, relaxed in my chair and had a laid-back conversation.
With a smile I patiently listened to the inquiry, and started to ask questions. Why would the potential buyer be interested in buying just one unit, one factory and sales team of Peikko? What financial and commercial sense would it make for them? How would they perceive customers to react if this is done? Is it really so that in the buyers´ company there is absolutely no interaction beyond the boundaries of this given country?
From what I gathered, the potential buyer company was only interested in buying out their competitor in its local market – and really honestly thought we would be willing to sell and continue with a “white spot” in Peikko´s service map. This deal would have been a great benefit for the customers J  
I have been preaching about the effects of internationalization for a long time, but am I doing that only because of some selfish reasons? Or is our construction market becoming really more international?
After seeing a team of 50 persons of Peikko last week in our annual meeting and hearing all kind of customer stories on projects with involvement on multinational companies, I became again convinced that construction industry is dynamic, and international. This is fact, not science fiction.
My conclusion - the investment banker that called me was fundamentally wrong. I am happy if his client is happy to keep their business in one given country, unfortunately our customers and Peikko have selected another approach.  Future will show which approach is better.