Ovako Imatra Oy Ab
Steel bars for the Swedish market
Ovako is a leading provider of the highest quality engineering steels in Europe. The company develops high-tech steel solutions in cooperation with its customers in the bearing, transport and manufacturing industries. 99% of the steel bar deliveries from the Imatra plant to Sweden are carried out using trucks. "Ahola Transport has already been a significant transporter of steel for decades; they’re our go-to partner," says Ovako's Logistics Manager Vesa Kukkonen.
Delivery Process Planning Manager Markku Huhtiranta from Ovako also praises Ovako and Ahola's collaboration as a long-standing relationship and interaction that is based on understanding the business partner: "Genuine and straightforward interaction that works both ways." Ahola keeps customers informed so that Ovako and its customers always have real-time information about the cargo's location. The fact that Ahola's operations are so well-organised was something that Ovako paid particular attention to when significantly reducing the number of logistics services suppliers it works with. In a conversation with Kukkonen and Huhtiranta it becomes clear that the trust between the companies is partly based on a good interpersonal relationship; Ahola is personified in Hans and his team, and they keep their promises.
The steel manufacturer and transporter jointly launched a new logistical procedure in May 2014 that further streamlines the steel bar's journey from plant to end user. The development project first concerned trailers, and when it was completed, it was named Trailer Park for the international market. Great ideas are often simple. Ahola's truck tows an empty trailer to the loading area at the plant and returns with a pre-loaded one. As a part of the co-operational project, Ovako started using forklifts instead of bridge cranes to load trailers. Trailer Park has proved to be beneficial to all parties concerned, and it is a great example of the solutions based on the Ahola Online concept that relies on steely skills.