Attending to customers’ needs

Penetrating new markets has opened up the company’s development potential but Junttan will always prioritise its customers’ needs

Specialising in the design, manufacture and marketing of hydraulic piling equipment, Junttan’s heritage can be traced back to the 1960s. The organisation invented the concept of a fully hydraulic piling machine in 1976, and since then has been at the forefront of the development of hydraulic piling machinery for the world’s leading foundation companies. Today, Junttan piling equipment is used on every continent and in over 45 countries around the world. The company’s extensive product range comprises the world’s leading pile-driving rigs, pile drilling rigs and deep stabilisation rigs, as well as hydraulic impact hammers, hydraulic rotary heads and hydraulic impact hammers.

Speaking from his office in Kuopio, in eastern Finland, Junttan’s sales and marketing director, Ari Kuikka comments: “Junttan’s product strategy is to combine performance with the ability to adapt to different piling systems with a high concern for protection of the environment. If I had to sum up our key strengths, it’d be our ability to understand our customers’ needs and provide them with the most advanced piling solutions from our wide range of products and services. It is vital to be able to determine our customers’ needs and we carry out close product development with them to ensure this because we strongly believe that our customers are the best source of new ideas when it comes to improving products. We constantly strive to see happy customers.

Junttan Issue 4 2008 b“And because we’re all about delivering the best to our customers, we’re currently working on further improving our pile driving rigs and hammers in order to allow our customers to be even more efficient and environmentally friendly in the future. In addition to constantly enhancing our products and services, we are facing a growing demand of Junttan piling equipment and in order to meet this demand, we are building a new factory in Kuopio. This is scheduled to be up and running by the start of 2009.”

Junttan’s piling equipment is in use all over the world and its machineries have been used in several large and significant projects. “These include the Panama Canal, the harbours in China, the new terminal building at John F Kennedy Airport, the highways in Germany and the skyscrapers in Manhattan,” he states. “As we currently speak, our rigs are building the facilities for the London Olympic Games. We’ve also recently penetrated the rapidly growing Middle Eastern market, which already has a significant effect on the company’s development potential.”

Towards the end of February 2008, Junttan completed its first machinery sale to the United Arab Emirates that is scheduled to be delivered some time later this year. Worth several million euros, the deal is remarkable for both Junttan as a company, and for pile driving as a working method. Up to date, only different bored piling methods have been used but the company believes that after the first driven piling machines are delivered to the market, it will be easier to convince the local builders about the benefits of driven piling methods in the Persian Gulf. The Persian Gulf area is at the moment the largest single piling machine market area in the world.

In addition to the Arab Emirates, other Middle Eastern countries also present very interesting market areas. Although the area around Dubai seems almost entirely built, the surrounding areas, such as Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are only just beginning their bigger building projects.

Highlighting the state of the industry as a whole, Ari continues: “The industry still continues to present us with growing opportunities and we see the foundation business increasing – at least in the long run. The scenario we are faced with today is the big cities are growing bigger, new buildings are increasing in size but are being appallingly built and to top it all, soil conditions are worsening because of the lack of space in cities. So this is definitely a vicious cycle we’re seeing.

“Many countries with older foundation technologies like diesel piling hammers, are beginning to replace them with new technology from Junttan due to environmental pressure and how competitive we are.”

In the very tough current economic climate, Ari talks about how Junttan keeps a very close watchful eye on the soaring oil and steel prices, which in turn affects the company’s product costs in the short term but has a greater impact on the demand of piling machinery in the long run. “Our aim is to be stronger in our current markets in Europe, North America, Australia and Russia as well as open some new market areas in the developingcountries,” he adds. “In improving our service operations, we will also be looking to further optimise our products and there are plans to launch more new products, to not only meet the growing needs but also the ever-changing requirements. We successfully doubled our production quantity over the last three years and the aim is to continue this trend over the next three years. However, in saying that, our main priority has always been and still remains, to have as many satisfied customers as possible. The more efficient and successful our customers are, the happier that makes us – this is really how we measure our success.”