October 26, 2012

How Nokia is changing the construction market?

I spent two weeks ago some three days at the Finnish construction exhibition, hold once in every two years, called FINNBUILD. For Peikko this is important show because the Finnish market is still very important for us: maybe not anymore because of its relative size for us but because of the demanding customers and challenging wheather conditions that force us to perform better.

The interesting thing I noted at the exhibition was the background of the people I met. There were several persons that had only limited experience from the construction business - many had years of background from telecommunications.

This has obviously a reason: the local telecom giant Nokia and its suppliers are not doing well and there has been thousands of people force to leave that company and its supplier base. And many of these people are reshaping the construction business now.

I met e.g. a director of an structural engineering company, now highly focused for international growth and product development. I met a person working in the precast company. I met a person working in the insulation materials company. I met a person bringing new innovative products into the market place. All with Nokia or Nokia supplier background.

The curse for one company may be a huge blessing for a another industry - so it seems right now on telecom and Finland.

October 12, 2012

Healthy and safe school project

Anybody interested in a model of safe construction project should visit the United Kingdom. Yes, this is my subjective opinion, but an opinion I have got via countless visits to building site all over the world. This time I was pleased to visit a school project by a construction company Laing O`Rourke, where things were very well in place.

First of all, as a visitor my outfit was 1) glasses, 2) helmet, 3) yellow jacket, 4) gloves, 5) safety boots and 6) identification batch.  It was not just about jumping into the site with normal "gear" J
Secondly, there were very well marked pathways for pedestrians, with all the nuts/bolts and other harmful nods covered with plastic. The safety postings were properly placed.
Thirdly, the site was CLEAN. And I mean really clean, there was no scrap and other materials lying around anywhere.
Last but not least, the construction was a full precast building. The components (walls, columns, beams) of the building came from a precaster factory and there were very few people at the building site – the headcount of some 75-80 would have been at least double with traditional in-situ method.
Based on my gut feeling the project must also be a productive one – and productivity means longer-run also profitability for Laing O´Rourke.

October 2, 2012

Introducing new techniques: floor joints in Turkey

New techniques, particularly in the world of construction, take a lot of time to penetrate new markets. This we face at Peikko all too often – our teams are totally frustrated when simple new innovations are not taken into use, however logical they might be.
On example where this happened in a very nice way is a recent project in Turkey we did for a large Turkish retailer. Like in many countries the retailer had had problems with the concrete floors, particularly in its warehouses. With a consultation of Peikko Turkey a flooring solution was designed for the new distribution center and the end result was very good. The investor specified the flooring, the general constructor supported the use of a new product and the flooring company responsible for the work did a excellent work – considering the fact that they used the products first time.
End result – crack-free, high-quality flooring for warehouse to be used for many years to come. The first Tera Joint project in Turkey for Peikko.
In many cases It takes at least 3 things to get new building technique into use: 1) smart investor to insist it, 2) good training and planning, and 3) quality team to use the product first time. All these three were in place in this Turkish project.

I hope there are many more Tera Joint projects to come not only in Turkey , but also in other countries as well.