Pintos: Corporate responsibility implemented through development

Text: Kreetta Haaslahti, Photos: Julia Hannula

Niilo Pere and his wife from Laitila purchased a farm in Eura in 1936. After WW2, Niilo thought that farming is not enough. There has to be something more to complement it. The industrious man tried tar production and cleaning mop manufacturing before nail production began with Pintos in 1956.

“When I was a young boy, I remember there was a chicken house on one end of the wooden building in the yard, and a nail factory on the other,” reminisces Tuomas Pere, Niilo’s grandson.

Tuomas Pere started work with Pintos officially in 1997. First, he was Exports Manager and, since 2005, he has been the Managing Director. The first years of the company reflect well its values that are still alive and well.
“We have always been a farming family and it is still apparent – in good and in bad. We are used to working hard, no matter if it is rain or shine.”

Tuomas Pere, Pintos © Julia Hannula

Tuomas Pere at the Pintos production facility in Eura. Both the production facilities in Eura and Lappi use wood chips for heat energy.

Investment after investment

In addition to hard work, the operations of Pintos have always been characterised by the desire for development. All the profits from the firm have been invested.
“Even back in my grandfather’s day, the machines always had to be top of the line. As soon as money came in somewhere, a new machine was purchased to make work easier. These values were adapted by my father when he joined the company in 1969. He started making reinforcement mesh in 1983 and, in 1996, the company acquired a major competitor Jäki, located in Lappi, Rauma. There was a bit of luck involved in the acquisition and it was successful. With the acquisition of Jäki, the turnover of Pintos doubled in a couple of years’ time.

You can only get by in this sector if you invest in the most modern technology and machinery.

Lapin tehtaan uusin investointi © Julia Hannula

At the Lappi factory, the investment was made to install a new reinforcement mesh production line in 2014.

The years and the new generation have not slowed down the pace. The most recent investment in Eura was worth €4 million in 2013 and it meant changes in the entire structure of the production facility. In 2014, another €4 million was invested in the Lappi facility. Pintos still believes that you can only get by if you invest in the most modern technology and machinery. Another key aspect is employee satisfaction.
“We cannot get new people to join us if the work conditions do not continue to develop and improve. Thanks to automatisation, some of the strenuous work stages are now history. That is how it goes today. Efficiency and competitive edge were also improved significantly in the process.

Pintos © Julia Hannula

Barbed-profile nails have a good grip of wood in particular.

Hiring the best people

Pere thinks that a company must be an attractive employer to appeal to the best people and to keep their motivation up.
“It is easier for us to find new employees when our product concepts are carefully developed and we make smarter reinforcement products. The people stepping into working life from school realise that this is a place where they can find something that they can take further.

"There are great people in this region with a great attitude towards work."

Our recruiting processes have been very successful.
“We have a great team at the moment and the word spreads quickly. There are great people in this region with a great attitude towards work. I believe we will succeed in finding highly skilled professionals in the future, too.”

Toni Leino ja Tuomas Pere © Julia Hannula

Toni Leino and Tuomas Pere checking barbed-profile nails at the Eura production facility.

 

“Our starting point has been to do things in a smarter, more sensible manner at our factory.”

Smarter operations

At Pintos, construction is considered a logistic operation and particular attention has been paid to a smooth workflow.
“Our starting point has been to do things in a smarter, more sensible manner at our factory.”

Pere picks out an example: balcony slabs with rounded corners for which Pintos manufactures the reinforcement mesh ready-made in the appropriate size and shape.
“The concrete element factories used to receive rectangular mesh and it was cut to fit the shape of the balcony at the factory. It took enormously long, the occupational safety was poor and up to 30 per cent of material was lost. With the added transport and fuel expenses of material being first transported to our factory, then to the element factory and then bringing the extra 30 per cent back.”

Raudoitusverkkojen raaka-ainetta Lapin tehtaan pihamaalla © Julia Hannula

Reinforcement mesh raw material at the yard of the Lappi production facility.

Another example of modern machines, production control and process management is the ongoing pilot programme in which the customer can view on the screen screen of a tablet computer in their own concrete factory industry software that shows what is the state of their order at Pintos production.
“They can schedule their own production accordingly. With the synchronisation of production schedules, waste is not generated and no-one has to do pointless work.”

The smart operations correspond to one of the definitions of the circular economy, as it saves resources and transport expenses.
“Green thinking is highly practical.” 

Good business citizen

Pere believes that companies’ responsibilities in the development of their operations and products will be emphasised when today’s children grow up and enter the working life. They will seek more ethically sustainable solutions.
“Green values and ethics are intrinsic for them. Companies must be capable of changing management and operational ideas to correspond to these values. You will be no longer able to hire people and then say this is the way we have always done things. Employing operational methods that are against employee values will not work.

Pintos also regards it very important to take the surrounding community into account.

Pere speaks of the role of a good business citizen. This is what Pinto has tried to achieve by making investments in the well-being of its employees. Cross-country skiing competitions have been organised with other companies, there has been a company rinkball team, sports benefit vouchers and other opportunities for keeping fit. When the present foreman of electricians joined Pintos in the early 1990s, Tuomas Pere’s father asked him at the job interview if he plays rinkball.
“Hannu was silent for a moment before giving his reply: ‘No, but I am a very good electrician.’”

Pintos also regards it very important to take the surrounding community into account.
“Local junior sports are a number one cause for us. And we do not expect in any way for the money we invest there to return to us or bring us nationwide visibility. Giving children the opportunity to play sports is in line with our values.”

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