The founders of 3 Step IT invest in Elcoline: “Hunger for growth unifies”

26.04.2019

The Elcoline Group launched an issue of shares addressed to potential new investors in April 2019. Jarkko Veijalainen and Marko Sjöman, the founders of 3 Step IT, were among the new investors. Their company is a Finnish trailblazer in the circular economy. This issue of shares supports Elcoline’s strategy for growth and provides the company with new business competence.

– Elcoline is a company with a solid service expertise and the will to develop their customer relations and personnel competence in a high-quality manner, which reminded us of our own successes and challenges during the various phases of growth on our entrepreneurial path. It was the conversation we had with the founding entrepreneurs and the new CEO that confirmed our intention to participate and assist in Elcoline’s grow, says Jarkko Veijalainen, one of the founders of 3 Step IT and the company’s board chairman.

Investors support the five-year strategy

The new investors are a concrete step towards the implementation of Elcoline’s five-year strategy that was published in the autumn of 2018. The company’s objectives include providing jobs for 1,000 employees and achieving a turnover of 100 million euros within the next five years.

– Mr. Veijalainen and Mr. Sjöman are truly experienced business experts who will provide the company with new expertise, in addition to their capital investment. Their competence will help Elcoline reach its objectives for growth, and develop the company’s business and the board’s activities, says Leif Backman, Elcoline’s newly appointed CEO.

According to Elcoline’s observations, the clients’ acquisition behaviour is changing within the industry, and companies increasingly want to centralise their service acquisitions.

– We want to be an active player that develops state-of-the-art operating models and entirely new digital solutions for the needs of industrial clients. Investors provide us with new resources that enable us to offer an increasingly comprehensive service palette with a single point of access.

Hunger for growth unifies

3 Step IT and Elcoline have similar elements in their development stories. Both started as small-sized enterprises, have met with difficulties, and have set demanding objectives for their growth and development. Mr. Veijalainen says that one of his rules of thumb is to always have the courage to take a risk that could consume the entire annual result if everything failed.

He is also one of the founders in Growth Collective Finland. Growth Collective Finland is a movement that consists of globally successful Finnish companies, such as Supercell and Kemppi, and its operations are based on peer sparring teams. Elcoline is a member of this collective.

– We have received support from the collective for this demanding growth objective of ours – to increase our turnover fivefold within the next five years. We have faith in ourselves, and it appears that so do the others as well, since a number of leading edge investors have joined Elcoline, Mr. Backman is pleased to say.

Leif Backman Leaving Kesko to Become CEO of Elcoline

10.04.2019

New Elcoline CEO Leif Backman, who will be transferring from Kesko in mid-April, is already firing on all cylinders. Despite the change in industry, Backman, who led Kesko’s K-Kampus project, is still focused on creation and building. The bar has been set high at Elcoline, and the journey to 100 million in sales means that there will be no shortage of hard work. Backman trusts that Elcoline’s future will be a bright one, thanks to the exceptional drive and team spirit within the company.

Backman has followed Elcoline’s journey with intrigue for the last five years.

“I met Jere Räisänen at University of Jyväskylä, where we were both EMBA students. I was impressed by Elcoline’s goal-driven approach, enthusiasm, and determination.”

According to Backman, the road to growth requires the whole team to adopt new ways of operating in order to make everything work on a larger scale. In addition to organic growth, business acquisitions will play a key role in the new strategy. Backman has 26 years of experience in entrepreneurship and international business over a range of different vantage points. One of his strengths is his experience in mergers and reorganization of business.

People Are the Number One Factor in Achieving Success

Backman believes in methodical planning and systematic execution in his work. Once a plan is set in place, committing to its execution is essential.  However, people always come first.

“People are by far a company’s greatest resource and factor in achieving success. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to a successful merging of operational cultures during reorganization. The staff at Elcoline is highly competent. The atmosphere and spirit are excellent, and this field is rife with opportunity. There are also many processes that we can develop further. Through an innovative workplace culture and teamwork, we can achieve a great deal together.”

Backman describes himself as a fair, goal-oriented, and delegatory leader. As a person, he is analytical, innovative, and a visionary of sorts.

“One of my main motivators is constantly developing operations further. I want to—and know how to—inspire people to reach common goals.”

Backman’s plan for the (in)famous first 100 days of leadership is to get well-acquainted with the people and the operations.

“When I’m well aware of the operational culture, I can assess which operations and leadership procedures should be improved. My approach is participatory, meaning that I want to include people in developing our work. I hold careful task prioritization and clear roadmapping in high regard.”

In his spare time, Backman can often be found at the sidelines of a football field.

“Our 16-year-old son plays football competitively, so we, the parents, are naturally there to drive him around, cheer him on, and cover the expenses. Exercise is important to me as well. I like to play golf, jog, and hit the weight room. I’m also quite social, and my friends mean a lot to me. Traveling and spending time with friends and family are good ways to invite positive energy into your life, I think. I also like to read as much as I can, often about personal development and leadership. My interest in people might explain why I tend to gravitate towards biographies. I think the last one that I read was Elon Musk’s—it was truly an inspirational read.”

Leif Backman
leif.backman@elcoline.fi

Proper Communication Skills and a Cool Head Make a Great Supervisor

04.12.2018

Nikolai Vagapov is a supervisor at Elcoline. Nikolai, who left St. Petersburg in 2000 and moved to Finland, has over 10 years of work experience in the service and maintenance field. Over the years, he has worked with former employer and now Elcoline Piping Oy’s Business Director Maxim Helle all over Europe. Even back in the day, work meant traveling, for example, to Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. That is not to say that Finnish power plants aren’t a familiar setting to Nikolai. Because of his background and language skills, Nikolai, while a supervisor, often ends up working as an interpreter for clients and some employees as well.

“Proper communication is extremely important if you want to have successful projects. Otherwise things just don’t run smoothly—you get all kinds of distractions and extra hassle, which is a waste of time. You need to brief and train your team well and make sure that crucial information is available to everyone. It is a great asset in this job if in addition to your professional skills you have a cool head and a friendly attitude.”

When working with industrial clients, there is often a bit of haste involved, but that is exactly when the ability to remain calm comes to play. Every now and then, cultural differences need to be addressed.
“A lot of my non-Finnish coworkers have a different mindset from the Finns. You need to be able to read people and assess the situation to have everything running nicely.”

Hard work and the right attitude turned an apprentice into a supervisor

Nikolai got a sense of what it means to work hard at a young age when he traveled alongside his father, who was a metal worker. A stand-out project for Nikolai was his first big job working for Neste in 2005. It was a perfect setting for an 18-year-old who wanted to show that they knew what it means to work hard.

“This profession calls for diligence, perseverance, and teamwork skills. You need to be able to work with a crew. Right now, I have 24 people working with me on our current project. A supervisor has to be able to plan ahead, prioritize between different tasks, and hand the right duties over to the right people.”

According to Nikolai, the best part about his job is…well, everything. What makes him especially happy is the feeling he gets when a project has been completed as well as planned, without any extra difficulties.

“I really enjoy my job and the different projects we get. I also want to keep developing my professional skills, especially in leadership. At times, it’s also nice to do some ‘real work’ and squeeze into a tight spot to do some welding. You really get to see how your work turned out there, quite literally.”

National Entrepreneurship Award Winner Elcoline Group Aims for The Number One Spot in Industrial Maintenance Services

25.10.2018

Maintenance and contracting service provider Elcoline Group has received the Federation of Finnish Enterprises’ national entrepreneurship award. Elcoline has steadily gained momentum over the last few years as a result of its assertive growth strategy. The company now employs close to 200 professionals at various contract sites across the globe. The hunger driving this growth is still not satiated: later this autumn, Elcoline will announce its new strategy, under which the goal is to quintuple the current turnover over the next five years, making it an even 100 million euros.

The company, which was founded in 2002 by two young men from Varkaus, Finland, Jere Räisäsen and Jouko Juvonen, has grown organically during the last five years and reached a turnover of 20 million euros after several acquisitions. Elcoline’s workforce has also grown by over a hundred new employees over the last few years. The coming years will show the same trend, and the company has set its next milestones at new acquisitions and a turnover of 100 million euros.

The entrepreneurial spirit of Räisänen and Juvonen is still going strong, and the national entrepreneurship award is a truly humbling accolade for the two men. In the past, enterprises such as Ponsse, Genelec, Harvia, and Marimekko have received the same award, so it is an honor to join such an esteemed group.

“We have our dedicated key personnel and everyone at Elcoline to thank for this and for being there first-hand to ensure that our clients—who are essential to everything we do—are satisfied,” Räisänen comments.


Skilled and Dedicated Personnel Are Held in High Regard

Räisänen and Juvonen were two twentysomethings when they founded Elcoline to provide electrician services. The path of an entrepreneur felt like a natural choice to both. Now, after 16 years, the company cannot be categorized as a small business anymore, and its operations have expanded towards every branch of the industrial maintenance and contracting sector, including electrician and automation services, both mechanical and machine installations, certified welding, and HVAC contracts. The company also offers IoT-device maintenance and fittings. Elcoline serves, for example, nuclear power plants, oil refineries, companies in the forestry-, maritime-, and chemical industries, as well as mines.

But the road here has not always been easy. There have been disappointments and hard times along the way, and the future of the company has even been uncertain. In 2013, Elcoline lost its biggest client and a key member of the Elcoline team with them, which left the company hanging in the balance. By making bold moves and through perseverance, the company dug its way out and resurfaced, stronger than ever.

“In hindsight, those hardships were the best thing that has happened to us. It forced us to evolve. After that, the whole core team were made partners in order to have a truly committed group of key personnel, we began working as a board, we made a real effort to diversify our client base, and our project-centric business was reshaped to contract-based operations.”
The Best Maintenance Partner for Industries

Elcoline Group strives to become a household name as a maintenance partner for industries. The secrets to Elcoline’s success include a wide range of services, a strong focus on customer satisfaction, and proficient utilization of new and innovative approaches and digital solutions. The company wants to stand out with its colorful visuals, genuine enthusiasm, and a wholehearted can-do attitude.

“Our main guiding principle will remain the same: we want to provide excellent technical contracting and maintenance services for the industrial field. We also want to come together to build a company that has the happiest employees and the most satisfied clients. In other words, a company for which people want to work and to which they want to commit for the long run. A place of work where everyone can be their true selves, reach the next level on their own path, and receive support and encouragement in doing so.”

 

Photographer: Esa Siltaloppi

For more information:

Jere Räisänen
Director of the Board
tel. +358 44 5599 144
jere.raisanen@elcoline.fi
www.elcoline.fi

 

Elcoline Group is an industrial maintenance and contracting enterprise, which was founded in 2002. The company provides, for example, electric and automation installations, HVAC installations, instrumentation, welding services for pressurized pipelines, mechanical maintenance, and design and consulting services for the aforementioned fields. The group’s operations are divided into four operative subsidiaries: Elcoline Plant Service Oy, Elcoline Construction Oy, Elcoline Piping Oy, and Elcoline Oy. Our clients include international industrial enterprises in mining, the chemical and petrochemical field, pulp and paper, electricity generation, the maritime industry, metal, and construction. We employ around 200 professionals at our contract sites across the globe. In 2018, our turnover will be approximately 20 million EUR.

 

Valtakunnallisen yrittäjäpalkinnon saanut Elcoline Group tähtää teollisuuden kunnossapidon ykköseksi

22.10.2018

Teollisuuden kunnossapitopalveluja tarjoavalle Elcoline Groupille on myönnetty Suomen Yrittäjien valtakunnallinen yrittäjäpalkinto. Elcoline on kasvanut viime vuodet määrätietoisen kasvustrategiansa tuloksena. Yhtiö työllistää nyt jo lähes 200 ammattilaista ympäri maailman olevissa asiakaskohteissaan. Kasvunnälkä ei ole sammumassa: Elcoline julkistaa syksyn aikana uuden strategiansa, jossa tavoitteeksi on asetettu viisinkertaistaa nykyinen liikevaihto seuraavan viiden vuoden aikana 100 miljoonaan euroon.  

Kahden varkautelaisen nuoren, Jere Räisäsen ja Jouko Juvosen vuonna 2002 perustama yritys on kasvanut viiden viimeisen vuoden aikana orgaanisesti ja useiden yrityskauppojen myötä liikevaihdoltaan 20 miljoonaan euroon.  Myös henkilöstön määrä on kasvanut yli sadalla muutaman viime vuoden aikana. Tahti ei tule hidastumaan tulevinakaan vuosina, vaan seuraavina etappeina ovat uudet yrityskaupat ja 100 miljoonan liikevaihto.

Yrittäjähenki palaa Räisäsessä ja Juvosessa edelleen vahvana ja valtakunnallinen yrittäjäpalkinto onkin heille merkittävä tunnustus, joka vetää mielen nöyräksi. Saman tunnustuksen ovat aiemmin saaneet muun muassa Ponsse, Genelec, Harvia ja Marimekko, joten porukka on kova.

Suurin kiitos tästä kuuluu meidän sitoutuneelle avaintiimillemme ja kaikille etulinjan elcolinelaisille, jotka viime kädessä vastaavat siitä, että asiakkaamme – jotka mahdollistavat kaiken tekemisen – pysyvät tyytyväisinä, Räisänen kiittää.

 

Osaava ja sitoutunut henkilöstö arvossaan

Räisänen ja Juvonen olivat parikymppisiä keltanokkia perustaessaan Elcolinen sähköalan yritykseksi. Yrittäjyys tuntui molemmista luontevalta. Nyt, 16 vuoden jälkeen yritys on kasvanut isompaan kokoluokkaan ja toiminta laajentunut kattamaan koko teollisuuden kunnossapitopalvelujen kentän sähkö- ja automaatiopalveluista mekaanisiin- ja laiteasennuksiin, luokkahitsauksiin ja lvi-töihin. Palveluihin kuuluvat myös muun muassa IoT-laitteiden huollot ja asennukset. Asiakkaita ovat muun muassa ydinvoimalat, öljynjalostamot, metsä-, meri-, metalli- ja kemianteollisuus sekä kaivokset.

Tie ei ole aina ollut silkoinen, vaan matkan varrelle on mahtunut myös pettymyksiä ja vaikeita aikoja, jolloin koko yrityksen kohtalo on ollut vaakalaudalla. 2013 suurin asiakas lähti aiemman avainhenkilön mukana alta ja yritys tippui hetkeksi tyhjän päälle. Rohkeilla ratkaisuilla ja sitkeydellä kuopista on kuitenkin noustu entistä vahvempina.

– Jälkeen päin ajateltuna vastoinkäymiset olivat parasta mitä meille on tapahtunut. Se pakotti uudistumaan. Sen jälkeen mm. koko avaintiimi sitoutettiin osakkuudella, aloitettiin hallitustyöskentely, panostettiin asiakaskunnan hajauttamiseen ja muutettiin liiketoiminta pääpainoltaan projekti-bisneksestä sopimusluonteiseksi liiketoiminnaksi.
Teollisuuden parhaaksi kunnossapitokumppaniksi

Elcoline Group hakee vahvaa jalansijaa teollisuuden kunnossapitokumppanina. Menestyksen avaimina Elcolinella pidetään kokonaisvaltaista palveluvalikoimaa, asiakas- ja henkilöstötyytyväisyyteen panostamista sekä uusien innovatiivisten toimintatapojen ja digitaalisten ratkaisujen tehokasta hyödyntämistä. Yritys haluaa erottua massasta värikkäällä ilmeellä ja innostuneella tekemisen meiningillä.

– Toimintaamme ohjaa jatkossakin sama johtoajatus: haluamme tuottaa erinomaisia teknisiä urakointi- ja kunnossapitopalveluita teollisille asiakkaillemme. Haluamme myös luoda yhdessä yrityksen, jossa on tyytyväisimmät työntekijät ja tyytyväisimmät asiakkaat. Yrityksen, johon halutaan tulla töihin ja johon halutaan sitoutua. Sellaisen, jossa jokainen voi kehittyä polullaan aina seuraavalle tasolle ja saa siihen kannustuksen ja tuen, Räisänen summaa.

 

Kiinnostavaa:

  • Yrittäjät, silloinen sähköasentaja Jere Räisänen ja insinööriopiskelija Jouko Juvonen perustivat Elcolinen 19- ja 21-vuotiaina ja tosi köyhinä (pojilla ei ollut varaa osakeyhtiön aloituspääomaan, joten yhtiömuodoksi oli otettava Ky)
  • Yrittäjät saivat vuonna 2007 valtakunnallinen Vuoden Nuori yrittäjä -palkinnon
  • Elcolinen oli pakko uusiutua ison kriisin kautta vuonna 2013, jolloin tehtiin päätös myös voimakkaan kasvun strategiasta jatkuvaan palveluun pohjautuvalla liiketoiminnalla
  • Vuonna 2015 Elcoline julkisti edellisen liiketoimintatavoitteensa: vuoteen 2020 mennessä viisinkertaistetaan yrityksen kokoluokka 4 Meur à 20 Meur
  • Tavoite saavutettiin 2 vuotta suunniteltua nopeammin jo 2018
  • Uusi strategia 2019 – 2023, jossa jälleen tavoite viisinkertaistaa nykyinen kokoluokka 20 Meur à 100 Meur vuoteen 2023 mennessä julkistetaan vielä tämän syksyn aikana

 

Lisätiedot:

Jere Räisänen Hallituksen puheenjohtaja
Puh. +358 44 5599 144
jere.raisanen@elcoline.fi
www.elcoline.fi

 

Elcoline Group on vuonna 2002 perustettu teollisuuden urakointi- ja kunnossapitoalan yritys, joka tuottaa muun muassa sähkö- ja automaatioasennuksia, LVI-asennuksia, instrumentointia, paineenalaisten putkistojen asennusta, mekaanista asennusta, sekä edellä mainittujen alojen suunnittelu- ja asiantuntijapalveluita. Konsernin liiketoiminta jakaantuu neljään operatiiviseen tytäryhtiöön: Elcoline Plant Service Oy, Elcoline Construction Oy, Elcoline Piping Oy ja Elcoline Oy. Asiakkaitamme ovat kansainväliset teollisuusyritykset muun muassa kaivos-, kemian- / petrokemian-, pulp and paper-, energian tuotannon-, meri-, metalli- ja rakennusteollisuuden toimialoilla. Työllistämme noin 200 ammattilaista sopimuskohteissa ympäri maailman. Vuonna 2018 liikevaihtomme tulee olemaan noin 20M€.

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