COLLEAGUE PORTRAIT: Nils Ahola
Behind the wheel and the desk
Nils Ahola is one of Helge Ahola's four sons who are all strongly committed to the company. The choice of profession was obvious: Nils started with Ahola when he was 18. He has had a central role in the process of making a small, local transport business into an international logistics group.
Since early 1980s, Nisse has busied himself with trucks - and this continues: The Ahola fleet includes around 400 trucks, and the combined daily mileage is 150,000 kilometres. The story of the company's growth can be read in NIsse's business cards during the decades: Traffic Controller, Transport Director, Transport Resource Director, and Fleet Trading Manager. He plays his role as the owner in the company board. "I love meeting new people", says Nisse in a way that reminds you of the English expression everybody's nice uncle. When this is combined with solid professional skills in truck technology and logistics and a keen interest in developing new things, it's easy to understand that the man really loves his job. Naturally, Nisse's wide network covers the company's concept partners (contract drivers) who - together with Ahola's own drivers - are a strategic part of the Online Concept). At least an equally interesting external contact point in Nisse's job description has evolved with the sales of the used Ahola equipment into e.g. Asia.
The Online Concept is based on constant availability, the readiness to dispatch a truck which can with maximum reliability and flexibility solve the often urgent logistics problem of a client. Today's drivers can manage their important, customer-oriented role in the hard competition; you have to understand how to get a result and how it can be affected positively. Nisse emphasises the importance of the best possible concept partners and the best possible equipment. Each driver knows their Ahola manual - which is called the Driver's Guide - and the ways in which various commissions are carried out dynamically and optimally, utilising the modern technology (the Vehco System and the Ahola Green Wheels Index) efficiently. Operation is transparent and naturally conforms to all applicable legislation and regulations. Loading and offloading are tailored around client needs and the length of the drive session; when maximum driving hours are getting full, the truck stops or the driver is replaced.
Vehicle wheeled logistics has a good future, ensures Nisse; automation, fossil free fuels, and numerically fewer but larger vehicles are all included in this industry man's vision. He likes to recount the story from the 90s, when a competitor was surprised by a labour conflict, and Ahola's reliability was severely tested. "Bunch of people from the phone company came to wonder how me and two of my colleagues had each managed 3,000 phone calls within a single business week."