April 30, 2012

Beams build to last

In Toledo, Spain, I had the opportunity to visit a nice restaurant, El Palacete.  http://www.restauranteelpalacete.com/ The food and surroundings were good, I can well recommend it.

The building had been made already some 900 years ago and interestingly, the current owners claim that e.g. the wooden beam that holds up the roof/ceiling structure, is the original one. Not bad work.

Sometimes structures work for a long time! I wish some of the 7000 buildings now done with Peikko´s Deltabeam still exist year 3000, and somebody is looking at them and wonders how they are still working after 900 years...

April 17, 2012

Business can be very windy

I am this week visiting EWEA exhibition, an event organized by the European Wind Energy Association in Copenhagen, Denmark.

It is interesting to see the type of companies and organizations working in this sector.

First, I am totally amazed about the amount of governmental money involved. There are many stands where some regions are promoting themselves to be the best one ever for an investment location. Please come to our area, it is very windy here! Please come to our area, we have nice harbor for your off-shore platform repair ships to park! Please come to our area, I do not really know why, but please come anyway because I am paid to say so!

Secondly, it is nice to see so many companies that have just started in this area of wind. The CEO of the company had made a decision that the company brochures needs some wind towers in it - it looks very good - and that is why the company needs to be in this sexy wind business. To my surprise Peikko is already a very experienced player, only being less than 5 years in this business!

Thirdly, the best visitors are the private investors. It is just awesome to see some person that have done some farming business before and are now coming to the exhibition stand developing their hectars in a bit different way - getting wind farms on-going. They are not men in black suits, they are persons with passion. Great !

Last but not least, I am happy about Peikko and our offering. It seems that we are one of the very few companies to provide a real solution for the wind tower foundation. Our solution is unique and it is just so nice to meet a customer at the exhibition stand to thank us for what we have done. This is the reason to be at the exhibitions, hear genuine thanks from customers! This shot of energy drink lasts weeks!

Have a look at Peikko´s solution at  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7k-ayGWfh4&context=C4e31628ADvjVQa1PpcFNkw3QNxutpuy30xkdThbClDkp_fBLnUqY=

April 11, 2012

Trip in the ghost town of Sesena

During the Easter time I had the opportunity to visit the Spanish capital Madrid for vacation. For the fun of it I also visited a nice monument of the boom 2006-2008 – a ghost town of Sesena about 25 minutes south of Madrid.
Built by one rich man (supposedly now not anymore so rich) it is symbol of the boom – more than 80% of the apartments are still empty.  And oh dear, the statue of the man with his wife was cute, reminded so much of Lenin statues of the Soviet era. All best for Francisco and Hernando !
I felt sorry for the Spanish people, however, this kind of case can happen in any country. Two weeks before I had seen a similar area in Dubai. The difference there was that no house had been finalized whereas in Spain the buildings had been at least made ready.
Want to buy an apartment in Sesena? Will be very cheap and I can quarantee  one thing - neighbors will not bother you.

April 1, 2012

Even the best ones can go bankrupt; if business in wrong country

Construction business is in many ways a volatile business because it is entirely based on investments: somebody is investing to build something. If it is residential, somebody has to invest in houses.  If it is hospital, government is investing in public health. If it is new factory, somebody is investing in new production. It is investment related business. And in many parts of southern Europe we see that nobody is investing – not people, not government, not companies.  
Peikko has had in one European country a very good customer for almost a decade. This precaster has been technologically advanced, open for new solutions and looking for new ideas to develop the industry. It has been run by a family which has acted modestly, putting money into business and not on fancy cars. The factories have been running efficiently. The sales and marketing has been effective and well-managed. And yet, this company is about to be closing down now.
Why? If e.g. the cement consumption of this given country is this year of 2012 in the level of 1967, something is fundamentally wrong - there is just no commercial activity in this sector. And one single company just cannot do anything for it. Period.
What could be the message to the owners of this company? You have done a good job, but fighting against windmills is impossible.  Remember to have an American view, bankruptcy is merely an opportunity to learn for the future. Let´s not act in a “normal” European way where failure in business is making a bad mark for the persons involved rest of their lifes.
To see companies to bust without any reason of their own makes me angry. But this is the life of construction in certain countries in Europe at the moment.