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Tampereen Messut

Subcontracting 2014: Finland offers fertile soil for competitive networks

Media release.
Published: 08-Sep-2014 11:09 pm
Publisher: Tampereen Messut


Finland's leading industrial trade fair, the Subcontracting Trade Fair, will take place from 16 to 18 September 2014 in Tampere. The international trade fair for the subcontracting industry will bring together almost 1000 exhibitors from 21 countries. This year the theme of the event is mechanical engineering. The trade fair will be opened by Matti Vanhanen, Executive Director of the Finnish Family Firms Association, and the theme speaker will be Ponsse Plc's President and CEO Juho Nummela. LOGY will also present the awards for the contractor and subcontractor of the year.

There will be over 200 new companies among the 1000 exhibitors in comparison to last year. Approximately 120 companies will come from abroad. In addition to Finland, the exhibitors come from the Netherlands, Spain, Hong Kong, India, the UK, Italy, Austria, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Poland, Sweden, Germany, Slovakia, Denmark, Turkey, Ukraine, Russia, Estonia and the United States.Measured by the number of visitors, the Subcontracting Trade Fair is also the second largest trade fair for the industry in Europe. Some 17,000 industrial executives and specialists will visit the event over the period of three days. This year the theme is mechanical engineering, which can clearly be seen in the program. Other major topics will be the economy and the effects of the global situation, export and internationalization, methods to improve competitiveness and improving your marketing skills.

Matti Vanhanen, Finnish Family Firms Association: Each competition has to be won at company level

The trade fair will be opened by Matti Vanhanen, Executive Director of the Finnish Family Firms Association, who says that the international Subcontracting Trade Fair will bring together the most important subcontractors. Vanhanen calls for a realistic attitude from among those operating in the international market as mere images are not enough to achieve success.

“We may often exaggerate the appreciation of Finnish expertise abroad. I do believe that in general Finland is associated with positive images, but business decisions are ultimately based on the actual products and the experience of the company. We have lost our global market share and our export is at a lower level compared to 2008. We should not lull ourselves into believing that being Finnish is enough as a sales pitch. Each competition has to be won at the company level,” says Matti Vanhanen, Executive Director of the Finnish Family Firms Association.

Juho Nummela, Ponsse Plc: Finnish expertise affects our success

Ponsse Plc's President and CEO Juho Nummela, the theme speaker on the opening day, is happy that mechanical engineering was selected as the theme of this year's Subcontracting Trade Fair. Ponsse is one of the world's leading forestry machine manufacturers and a major contractor in Finland with 90% of the subcontractors in the company's distributor network being Finnish. Finnish expertise is of great importance to Ponsse.

“Finland needs the manufacturing industry to be able to keep product development here and to improve the service business created around machines and equipment. The cost benefits of outsourced manufacturing are questionable as they will disappear in countries with low labor costs due to the increase in other costs. If we outsource, we will also lose our expertise. It is possible to be successful using Finnish subcontractors. If a company's processes are efficient, their operations will be competitive. If a Finnish company has good products, competent personnel, a competitive network and the courage and skill to sell and market their products, they will be able to succeed in the international market. The export industry is the backbone of Finland's prosperity, so we should focus on improving its competitiveness,” says Juho Nummela, Ponsse Plc's President and CEO.

Juho Nummela: "Finnish expertise contributes to our success" (Subcontracting column)

LOGY: Contractor and subcontractor of the year will be announced at the opening

The opening of the Subcontracting Trade Fair will be held on Tuesday 16 September at 10 am. As part of the opening, the Finnish Association of Purchasing and Logistics (LOGY) will announce the Contractor of the Year and the Subcontractor of the Year. The awards will be presented by Pekka Orne, chairman of the board for LOGY, and Kari Sorjonen, chairman of the jury. The awards have been given since 1987 and the aim is to promote networking that supports the competitiveness of the Finnish manufacturing industry. The aim is to acknowledge companies that have been exemplary contractors and subcontractors. In 2013 the Contractor of the Year was Pemamek Ltd. and Subcontractor of the Year was ATA Gears Ltd.

Lenita Toivakka, Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade: Team Finland boosts export

The theme of the Team Finland seminar on Wednesday 17 September will be The changing industrial market and Team Finland services. The seminar will be opened by Lenita Toivakka, Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade. Pekka Soini, Director General of Tekes, will talk about digital technology as a game changer of the industrial sector. Finpro CEO Markus Suomi will speak about international business opportunities. The seminar will be hosted by journalist Tuomas Enbuske.

“The most effective way to increase Finland's export business is to promote the export activities of small and medium-sized enterprises. Last year SMEs accounted for only 14 percent of the total value of export. The crucial question is, how can we manage to create favorable conditions for growth to enable Finnish companies to turn into new international success stories? The strong internationalization of Finnish companies in recent years has been a positive development. It is, however, alarming that the growth in the level of activity and number of export companies seems to have come to a halt. Companies have high expectations of the Team Finland network as its job is to help companies find the necessary services and take concrete steps towards internationalization. The aim is to bring together different public organizations,” says Lenita Toivakka, Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade.

Lenita Toivakka: “Team Finland boosts exports” (Subcontracting column)

Anne Sulling, Minister of Foreign Trade and Entrepreneurship for Estonia, will visit the trade fair and seminar

On 15 September, the day before the trade fair, Enterprise Estonia will hold a seminar entitled Finland and Estonia – our mutual path in the center of Tampere. The speakers will mainly focus on practical experiences that Finnish companies have had in regards to doing business in Estonia. In addition, specialists will discuss the development of business environments in Estonia and Finland. Anne Sulling, Minister of Foreign Trade and Entrepreneurship for Estonia, will speak about the economic outlook and investment atmosphere in Estonia. She will also visit the Subcontracting Trade Fair on the opening day.

Mauri Heikintalo, Sitra: Global changes affect all companies

Sitra's leading specialist Mauri Heikintalo states in his Subcontracting column that global changes affect all companies. According to him, this is particularly true for the Finnish subcontracting industry.

“Customers have left Finland and they have not been replaced by new ones. Competition from other countries has also become tougher. The old times have not come back. Instead, new winds are blowing. What this means in practice is that companies have to change the way they operate. This change requires new resources, possibly more funding and it has to be done quickly, otherwise you will fall behind. Companies have to go out into the world to find their customers, know how to build global networks to enhance their purchasing activities and consider how to improve their own operations. The challenge for companies is to understand how to do this and where to find help. The greatest challenge, however, probably is to find new managers and international talents,” Sitra's leading specialist Mauri Heikintalo says.

Mauri Heikintalo: “Will jobs be saved?” (Subcontracting column)

Tarja Virmala, MTL: Paying attention to engineers’ achievements

Finland's Most Marketing-oriented Engineer competition, now held for the third time, will be launched as part of the Subcontracting Trade Fair. The winner will receive a prize of 10,000 euros. Tarja Virmala, Managing Director of the Finnish Association of Marketing Communication Agencies (MTL) highlights the importance of marketing among industrial professionals.

“Finnish engineering expertise is highly valued abroad. Digitalization offers incredible opportunities to create new products and services that are in global demand. This kind of expertise is now needed. It will allow Finland to recover and Finnish companies to succeed. The aim of the competition is to introduce engineers who have figured out how to combine their technical skills with an understanding of their customers, engineers who have utilized this combination to create new products or a new kind of business,” says MTL's Managing Director Tarja Virmala.

Tarja Virmala: "Let's raise engineering achievements" (Subcontracting column)

The subcontracting Trade Fair will introduce the entire Finnish industry and the top companies. Every year there are over 2000 new innovations. The event will showcase all products, services and solutions of the subcontracting industry ranging from metal, electronics, plastic and rubber industries to industrial ICT solutions and related design and consultation services. The event will fill up the 15,000 square meters of the Tampere Exhibition and Sports Centre. Tampere Trade Fairs Ltd. arranges the annual Subcontracting Trade Fair together with its main partners: the Federation of Finnish Technology Industries, the Rubber Manufacturers' Association of Finland, the Finnish Plastics Industries Federation and the Finnish Association of Purchasing and Logistics (LOGY).

Further information: www.alihankinta.fi

Follow the Subcontracting Trade Fair on Twitter @Alihankinta and take part in the discussion #Alihankinta

Tampere Trade Fairs Ltd, www.tampereenmessut.fi

Jani Maja, Product Group Manager, Tel. +358 50 356 1325,
Tanja Järvensivu, Communications Manager, Tel. +358 50 536 8133,
tanja.jarvensivu(a)tampereenmessut.fi, @TanjaJarvensivu
Meri Mattila, Communications Assistant, Tel. +358 400 914 877,


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