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Finnish energy wood tree shear manufacturers JAK-Metalli Oy and Farmikko Oy are seeking strong international growth through a new cooperation concept. Despite the corona virus, the sales volumes of both companies will increase this financial year. The next goal is to conquer the North American market.

At the turn of last year, JAK-Metalli, which manufactures energy wood tree shears, changed ownership. The cooperation with the minority shareholder ended in a mutually agreed manner.

According to Ville Eklöf, CEO, and Markus von Bonsdorff, Export Manager, this change will enable JAK-Metalli to utilize its strengths more efficiently than before and develop cooperation with customers and other companies in the same industry. At the same time, the company’s products will be updated to a new decade.

“We wanted to create a more open operating model that would allow both us and our partners to make better use of our own core competencies. Our strengths are a refined production process, sales and export expertise, and a strong European dealer network. We also want to offer our strengths to other Finnish companies that produce quality products in the same industry”, Eklöf says.

A new concept developed rapidly

The implementation of the new strategy gained momentum when Farmikko Oy’s Mikko Junttila contacted JAK-Metalli. Junttila was looking for a subcontractor for the manufacture of Farmikko energy wood tree shears. Immediately at the first meetings in the winter of 2020, the ideas of cooperation fell into place so well that cooperation began to be tuned in a deeper direction than subcontracting.

“I was interested in JAK-Metalli’s open way of operating and the clarity and systematic nature of its work. The most crucial thing was the good atmosphere of the work community and attitude towards work. Here, the team is serious about making quality products. In the past, when looking for subcontractors, the cooperation has failed due to quality problems”, Junttila says.

JAK-Metalli’s and Farmikko’s product repertoire and expertise complement each other perfectly. Thus, the companies developed a new kind of cooperation concept, in which the strengths of both companies can be utilized to the maximum. However, both companies remain independent.

New products and strengthening knowledge capital

Farmikko’s production will be concentrated at JAK-Metalli in Mänttä, where there is plenty of room to increase production. JAK-Metalli will also sell Farmikko’s products under the JAK brand name on the international market. In Finland and Sweden, the Farmikko brand name will be retained and Farmikko Oy will be responsible for sales in these market areas.

For Farmikko, cooperation will enable a strong increase in production and exports. JAK-Metalli, on the other hand, acquires Junttila’s strong product development and design expertise and is able to expand its product repertoire with energy-collecting and pruning energy wood tree shears designed for cranes.

“Farmikko shears are suitable for multi-tree handling and equipped with an excellent hydraulic system and bring a great addition to our product range. They enable us to serve our extensive international customer base even better. In addition to managing Farmikko, Mikko will continue to work as our product specialist. The importance of Mikko’s expertise and cooperation between companies is concretized in our first joint product development project related to JAK’s products, in which a valve model is developed. Thanks to that, our shears will be twice as fast and more efficient”, Eklöf praises.

In addition to Junttila, Henri Rantala, a forest industry entrepreneur with long experience and who has tested and developed JAK products for years, will join JAK-Metalli’s operations. In the future, Rantala will, in addition to increasing testing work, work in sales at JAK-Metalli as well as an advisory expert in the forest industry, mechanical engineering and shear products.

In the near future, JAK-Metalli is also launching a new truly modular shear collection suitable for excavator use. The wishes and needs of the customers have been taken into account in the design of the new model. We have added a number of new features to the product, and it is also much more versatile and easier to add accessories to. It is currently in endurance testing and the new collection will come alongside the existing shear collection.

Conquest of North America about to begin

According to Eklöf, von Bonsdorff, and Junttila, the aim of the cooperation is mutual success in the long run. Profitable growth makes companies a strong partner for domestic and foreign partners. Positive signs of growth are already visible in both companies.

“Despite the coronavirus, our sales volumes are rising sharply. Approximately 80 percent of our net sales come from exports, but now our domestic market in Finland is also growing strongly. This year, sales in Finland have increased by approximately 50 percent. Our goal is to sell approximately 1,000 products in this financial year and double our production. This seems to be coming true. As sales volumes increase, we have recruited new employees for production and we will also increase the number of employees in sales. We are currently in recruitment negotiations to hire another sales clerk for exports. We can also expand our business cooperation network with new companies and utilize this concept started in cooperation with Farmikko”, Eklöf says.

Both companies have a strong position in Finland, and JAK-Metalli also in Europe. The aim now is to deepen existing sales networks and conquer new markets.

“In Europe, we are deepening our cooperation with our resellers and starting to export to North America. In March, before the corona-imposed travel ban, we were at the Conexpo trade show in Las Vegas. We were able to make important contacts in North America. Based on them, we now have several partnership negotiations underway”, von Bonsdorff reveals.

Mänttä-based JAK-Metalli Oy is a company owned by active management that specializes in the design, manufacture, and sale of JAK energy wood tree shears. In addition to the domestic market, the company exports its products to several different countries around the world. Farmikko Oy is a Kuopio-based company that designs, sells, and markets Farmikko energy wood tree shears for cranes.

*This article was originally published in a Finnish-language magazine called Konepörssi

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