The rock-solid heads of Elematic


The rock-solid heads of Elematic

Easter Island in the Pacific Ocean is considered to be the world's most remote inhabited island. All around its volcanic perimeter the now treeless slopes are bedecked with huge stone heads that have gazed at the sea unflinchingly for hundreds of years, neither caring nor feeling. Finland, the home country of Elematic, may be considered by some to be almost equally remote, far up in the cold north. But the rock-solid heads of Elematic are definitely alive and kicking - piloting their industry leading company with an intensity that could shake the non-volcanic Finnish ground.

The management team of Elematic is no light-weight assembly in any respect: together they possess a hundred years experience in the precast concrete industry. This experience is put to good use every day both at the home office, implementing the principles of internal partnership, as well as around the world, where the management team in all spends over 300 days a year meeting with customers, committed to providing continuous satisfaction. Although generally Finns are considered rather demure and untalkative, these men have broken the ice, or should we say cracked the concrete, in every corner of the globe - Elematic has a reference of business in nearly 80 countries, of which Ghana is the most recent newcomer on the list. It is no coincidence, that the forecast for Elematic's next annual period is around 50 million euros!

Success starts at home

Managing Director Mr. Leo Sandqvist believes in firm leadership and the creating and maintaining of strong internal partnerships, where skills and knowledge are shared and motivation as well as competence is kept high. "Our success is the result of companywide teamwork", describes Mr. Sandqvist. "Every year our entire personnel participate in development discussions, which lay the grounds for our development plan as well as plans for training of the personnel. Language training and computer skills are provided in-house, and customer service training is given to all, including Elematic offices in other countries, such as the US. As for advancing us management team members, the most important factor is continual contact with our customers!"

IIP: Investors in People

Elematic uses three main means of staying alert and in front. These are customer satisfaction surveys, internal atmosphere studies, and IIP-auditing, which is part of the company's quality system. IIP-auditing aims at measuring the competence of personnel administration and the implementation of the development plan. Mr. Eero Virtanen, Director of Finance and Administration, explains: "We are all professionals in a continuously developing society. We need to expand our knowledge along with it and combine this with a good understanding of our company's values, brand, and customer service principles."

Wanted: ideas and feedback

Elematic has an employee magazine and an initiative and feedback system, which means that anyone within the company can suggest something new. This can be to improve a process, or be a technical solution, which if good, is rewarded and can even be patented. The feedback gained is a good means to handle problems quickly.

Refreshing body and mind

"Many of us are kept on the move by our work. The sales people travel extensively as do the project managers, erection supervisors and Customer Service people. They exercise regularly with their laptops and 30 kg suitcases! To keep the rest of the Elematic people vigorous and frisky in mind and body, the company supports a wide assortment of leisure activities", says Director of Sales and Marketing, Mr. Esa Enqvist. "In addition to theatre trips and other cultural excursions, which may not be every stonehead's cup of tea, we have plenty of sports going on, such as badminton, gym, fishing, canoe hikes and what not. With shock-proof team spirit we have also participated in many inter-company matches, playing ice hockey and floor ball. Did somebody say the main thing was not to win but to have fun?" Every year a big party is arranged for the entire personnel and the different divisions also have their own get-togethers. "We are probably on the right road with our personnel policy, as people seem to want to stay - 48 years with the company is the record so far", says Mr. Lassi Järvinen, Techical Director. "Speaking about years, our average age is around 40, and we have a good mixture of newcomers and more experienced people". Says Mr. Sandqvist: "Yes, with the team we have behind us, we have the best of possibilities to hold on to our principle management philosophy: to be leading, where present."