Major Finnish contractors increasingly often rely on foreign partners in their supplier network. Maybe they should reconsider this and survey the domestic, high-quality offerings? Finland needs manufacturing industry in order to keep product development in the country and generate service business around machinery and devices. The cost savings gained from outsourced production are questionable, as the cheap labour costs are compensated by increases in other costs. Outsourcing eats up domestic expertise.

Admittedly, it is not always sensible to use Finnish subcontractors. The location, industry and end-products of the main markets and customers determine, where various items should be ordered from. Competitiveness is paramount. Domestic suppliers should not be chosen for pure charity’s sake, but it is also a false belief that Finnish subcontractors are always expensive.

In the field of machine construction, Finland offers a good foundation for competitive networks. The industry is both competence- and investment-intensive. Finns are really good at making high-tech gadgets. This originates from long traditions of machine construction, the Finnish leadership style, customer orientation, the ability to make quick decisions, flexibility, punctuality, and our outstanding education system. Machine construction is one of the supporting pillars of our economy. It is great to have it as one of the main themes at this year’s Subcontracting Fair, which brings together a wide range of industrial operators.

Ponsse is one of the world’s leading forest machine manufacturers and a major contractor in Finland. Our in-house manufacture rate is significant. In addition to developing our products, production methods, and services, we have also placed a strong focus on the co-operation with our supplier network and the development of our procurement and logistics processes. A total of 90 percent of our subcontractors are Finnish, and the remaining ones are mainly from Germany. For us, Finnish expertise is a significant factor. We strive to deploy world-class operating methods with our Finnish supplier network, and this enables global success. We have an established and close-knit, well-functioning community of partners who are committed to the Ponsse way of operating and continuously develop their own activities.

Ponsse’s competitive strengths are its culture-based customer orientation, speed and agility, excellent products and maintenance services, in-house product technology and product development, advanced production technology, active sales and marketing, and, above all, the Ponsse people who have the right attitude, enthusiasm, and skills. In addition to this, the supplier network must also be in pristine condition. Our key criteria for subcontractors are their ability to produce good quality, reliability, cost efficiency, competence, and the will and readiness to develop and reform their activities and make investments. Finland is not a low-cost business environment, so you must know what you are doing, and do it well. Co-operation calls for commitment, transparency, straightforward mindsets, open communication, intense product development, and investments.  It is essential to allow all members of the network to focus on their core competencies, while they all must nevertheless, have the same pulse within their operations. As our company values state, we keep what we have promised – and we require an upstanding attitude from our subcontractors, as well.

We have proven that it is possible to succeed with Finnish subcontractors. Efficient processes translate into competitive operations. I would like to challenge other companies to think about how they could increase the appreciation and utilisation of Finnish subcontractors instead of overlooking them. With good products, fine-tuned business structures, skilled people, competitive networks, and the courage and ability to sell and market the products, Finnish companies can succeed even in the global markets.  Export industries form the backbone of well-being in Finland, so we should focus on supporting their competitiveness. Economic growth takes time, but we must keep faith in Finland and Finnish expertise. Let’s push full steam ahead together – the economic boom will come eventually.

Juho Nummela
President and CEO
Ponsse Plc

Ponsse is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and developers of forest machines for the environmentally friendly cut-to-length method. Ponsse’s extensive product range covers all forest machine sizes from first thinning and energy felling to regeneration felling, and all logging sites from soft soil to steep slopes. The product selection includes harvesters, harvester heads and cranes, forwarders, loaders, as well as forestry-related information systems. All PONSSE machines are made in Vieremä, at the same site where the company first started operating in 1970.