”A company needs the desire for healthy growth and development”
The row of excavators and wheel loaders attracts the attention of passers-by in Kärsämäki, at the intersection of Highway 4 and Kajaanintie. The company operating in this prominent place is Konesilta Oy, which turns 20 this year.
Konesilta Oy imports and sells new and used small construction machinery. The company is the official importer of Kubota machines and also provides maintenance and spare parts service. In addition to Kärsämäki, the company has had another office in Tampere since 2010.
Over the years, Konesilta Oy has purposefully increased its operations and expanded its product range. This year, another big leap is ahead, as the company opens its third office in the capital city area.
“It has actually been a dream for the last ten years. We still have machine loads going to the Helsinki area every week. When we continue to operate there locally, it will strengthen the company’s accessibility, credibility and service capability. The sale of new machines in particular requires local maintenance and spare parts services,” says Ville Kyllönen, CEO.
The business idea was born abroad
Kyllönen became an entrepreneur already during his college years, and before that he practically grew up in the middle of the machines. His parent’s company, Koneselkä Oy, which sells used earthmoving machines, has been operating since 1990, and Kyllönen worked there during the summers. Interest in the field led to studying to be a mechanical engineer, and the business idea was born during an internship in the Netherlands.
“Mini excavators were popular there, but they were not used as much in Finland yet. When my parents encouraged me, I started my own company,” Kyllönen says.
Kyllönen bought and sold his first machine in 2001. A couple of years later, he graduated, and at that time he was fully employed running his own business. In the beginning, best sales were a dozen machines a year, today the number is about 600. According to the entrepreneur, there is still no reason to be satisfied and just look around.
“The company must go ahead and take risks if necessary. It is a healthy desire for growth and development. If left in place, the arrows on the sales graph will easily go downhill before long.”
Konesilta Oy employs 15 people in Kärsämäki and 7 in Pirkkala. With the expansion, the number of employees will increase to about 30. Kyllönen himself is still closely involved in the company’s daily work and still bears a large part of the sales responsibility.
“Staying close to everyday life keeping your feet on the ground makes it easier to assess the future and make decisions. It also provides insights into how the company should be developed.”
Long customer relationships create a good foundation
Konesilta Oy’s customer base consists mainly of domestic land and forest owners as well as small and medium-sized earthmoving companies. The customer groups also include property maintenance and landscaping companies as well as machine rental companies. One of the cornerstones of success is building long, confidential customer relationships.
In Finland, Konesilta Oy has about fifty main competitors. Business is carried out in large volumes, as the company has a wide range of almost 200 used machines. Kyllönen also raises committed personnel and good service as important competitive factors.
The location of the company at the intersection of main roads in the middle of Finland is also of not little significance. As of today, the majority of sales have been made in Kärsämäki.
Konesilta Oy has acquired services related to the company’s growth and development through NIHAK. Training projects have sought to boost sales and marketing, and help has been given on how to apply for investment grants. Kyllönen thanks the business services for their active and entrepreneurial approach.
“NIHAK works closely to the everyday life of an entrepreneur, and that’s how it should be. As the experts step out into the field, they also have knowledge of how companies in different industries operate in the region.”