Investment in production and product development plays an important role in maintaining company's competitiveness and attractiveness in the market. At Vexve, this work is done systematically and over the long term.
Vexve's success over the past 60 years is based not only on its skilled staff and quality products but also on the company's desire to develop its activities. Juho Rentola and Pasi Nieminen (in the main picture), the directors of Vexve's business units, see that investment plays a major role in the company's competitiveness in the market.
"Investing in more modern machinery has a direct impact on keeping production competitive through better cost price, quality, reliability and delivery performance," Pasi explains.
In addition to machinery, investments also include product development. This applies to the further development of existing products as well as adding completely new products to the product portfolio.
"At Vexve, product development supports the existing product portfolio, but new ideas are also needed on a regular basis to keep the company alive and competitive," Pasi continues.
Investing ideas all the way from production
Whether it's investments in machinery or product development, Juho and Pasi believe that the most important thing is planning. Big steps in this regard started to be taken when Devco acquired Vexve in 2016.
"About four years ago, we did a process mapping. Now we have a systemic approach behind the development, whereas before we walked into the CEO's workroom. Now the proposals are collected together every autumn, reviewed, budgeted and the responsible person appointed," Juho explains.
Investment proposals are not only made by management, but the ideas come from all parts of the organization, also from production. Overall, Vexve spends around 4% of its turnover on investments.
"Of course, we could always invest more, but it's great that the desire for development has been recognised and is being invested in,” Juho laughs.
Recent investments have included the launch of a completely new product line of trunnion mounted valves and the acquisition of a new automatic cell in Laitila. The investments have paid off, as sales of the trunnion mounted valves have started even better than expected and the new automatic cell has enabled a significant increase in the annual volume of ball valves in sizes DN 15–50.
Vexve Heavy Valves Business Unit Director Juho Rentola
An attractive employer
In addition to competitive production and product offering, investments also have perhaps somewhat surprising effects on the rest of the company's operations.
"Investments also have an impact on the attractiveness of the company in the labour market. This is increasingly coming up in recruitment. The employer needs to be lucrative and the working environment needs to be safe, clean and modern," says Pasi.
The impact is also reflected in the motivation of existing employees. Modern equipment gives reassurance. Pasi also sees it as particularly important to involve employees in discussions when new machinery is being considered.
"It makes sense for the company to talk to its employees because they are the ones who will be using the new machines. At Vexve, the employees are involved both when the specifications of the machine are defined and when it is being commissioned. This clearly increases the motivation to use the machinery," concludes Pasi.