110 Years of Machinery Trade

In the early 1910s, the whole world was going through a period of rapid growth, and the developing industry needed machines. This presented an opportunity for profitable business, and on March 7, 1911, Aktiebolaget Machinery Corporation was established.

Machinery has been involved in the machine trade from the very beginning, which allowed it to witness the changes that have occurred in the machine industry over the past 100 years. We interviewed our long-standing sales representative, Kari Pirttilä, about his experiences with the history of the machine trade, as he has been in the industry for 40 years, witnessing the changes firsthand.

The most significant change has undoubtedly been in the operational environment of the industry, which has become more demanding. Previously, investments were made very quickly, often directly from one’s own funds, and deals were sealed in person with the sales representative. Nowadays, investments require more time and background work, as they often involve more complex solutions.

Customer visits have reduced, and instead of face-to-face meetings, video conferencing and email communication are more common. In a way, the importance of meeting the customer may even be forgotten. The world of the Internet has brought both positive and negative changes to the industry. Today, it is easier to search for information and make decisions based on it, but the information overload can be overwhelming. This is why trust between the sales representative and the customer remains at the core of business, and long-term cooperation is always the goal. The role of the sales representative is still important, even though it has undergone changes over time.

The future is not in 2100; the future is now

Machinery’s metalworking department went through changes this year when Kari Pirttilä stepped down from the role of business area manager, and Kalle Louhimo took over the leadership. This change gave us the perfect opportunity, right in our anniversary year, to look back on the long journey we have traveled and also to focus on the future. Louhimo shared some of his insights into the future of the machine shop industry.

The future looks promising. The industry is evolving continuously, and the level of automation is increasing. In Finland, machine shops are typically divided into two approaches: there are machine shops that focus on narrower sectors and produce in large series, and there are machine shops that handle larger assemblies with smaller batch sizes. These different approaches allow for versatile offerings in the industry, ensuring that there is an excellent provider for all needs. Of course, the future may also bring challenges, such as a worsening shortage of skilled labor. However, the future will bring more opportunities than challenges, as new technologies will undoubtedly enable more efficient production.

Machinery’s future in the industry also looks strong. By becoming part of the ever-growing Boreo Group, the large conglomerate brings opportunities with it. The support of the group helps in developing our own operations, enabling the realization of even larger projects in the future.

Part of the development in the metalwoeking industry

Even though changes have taken place in the industry, both Pirttilä and Louhimo are content to praise the machine shop industry. They both particularly emphasized the rewarding nature of long customer relationships. Clearly, the industry has not changed so much.

“For me, the most important thing has been building good customer relationships and the diversity of work. I have met hundreds of entrepreneurs, negotiation partners, and ‘personalities.’ It’s extremely rewarding to get to know different people and get along with them or, conversely, have them get along with me. It has also been great to work with numerous principals from different countries and their cultures,” Pirttilä summarizes the positive aspects of the industry.

“An evolving industry and machines are intriguing. You get to establish long customer relationships and be part of a company’s development, possibly even from the very beginning. It’s especially wonderful to follow and be a part of the development of the machine shop industry up close,” Louhimo adds.”

| Metallintyöstökoneet


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