By Mikael Kämpe & Zinaida Grabovskaia
Sharing economy gets more and more popular today. Sharing of assets safes money and frees the capital to concentrate on core competences of businesses and people. RAMIRENT is one of biggest and oldest Finnish companies that focuses on machinery and equipment, and rental of professional equipment. Nowadays, Ramirent is also famous for multiple services related to construction, industry and even to big events!
Mikael Kämpe, Executive Vice-President of Ramirent Finland, visited the Industrial Management Master’s program and talked to students about the art and craft of providing services.
Our business is making a safe construction place
Ramirent, a leading Finnish company that is now also very visible in Europe, was established in 1955. In 2017, annual net sales reached 191,5 MEUR in Finland (Group 724M€). Ramirent is a market leader in Finland, Baltics, Norway, Poland, Czech and Slovakia, except in Sweden and Denmark. The main customer of the company is construction business, as well as the companies and sites that resemble construction, for example, shipyards and big events. Our main business is to make a safe construction place. But we are not a building company. We provide equipment, know-how, services, and customized services for construction sites.
In services, our core focus is on a wide range of equipment rentals. In Finland, appr. 40% of our business relate to services, and we tend to focus more on services combined with our equipments.
We have developed a ‘One-stop-shop’ offering for machines and equipment. This includes renting the light machinery, heavy machinery, and also more complicated rental services – safety equipment, scaffolding, tower cranes (here, we are second in Finland), hoists, power and heating, lifts, renting modules for construction workers, etc. In addition, our services include planning for temporary sites, site services, training, logistics, and fuel services. These services make appr. 40% of our business in Finland.
One example of Ramirent’s recent projects is Tripla in Pasila. We are a ‘one-stop-shop’ supplier and partly run the site logistics for this project. We also provide a lot of temporary solutions, such as scaffolding and weather protection services (heating, moisture protection, etc), since we have very challenging weather in Finland. Under our scaffolding system that covers the building, the workers can do their work even in rain and snow.
Currently, construction is booming. The growth is visible especially in the capitals and big university cities. There is also a rising number of small construction companies. As a result, the competition is getting tighter. Also, the demand for equipment is changing quite fast. European regulations always tighten the level of safety and emissions and thus tell us what equipment to use. As a result, construction sites become more and more complex, especially for big companies.
Focus on people as the biggest asset
To help our customers to run a construction site, we start with (a) the needs analysis and planning, continue to (b) delivery and support, and end with (c) evaluation when the equipment comes back. Upon the machinery return, we check, refill, clean it, and also fix it, if necessary. For fixing, we send the equipment to specialized hubs. We have currently 58 customer centers across Finland and specializing hubs for different types of equipment. Based on our experience, it helps if maintenance is centralized. Another reason for the hub structure is the logistics of spare parts, and having all similar equipment in one place.
Whatever we do, we always focus on people as the biggest asset. And the general trend is that we take better and better care of people. Interestingly, equipment rental business is a unique area where Finnish companies are the biggest in Europe.
In addition to rental services, we also developed a digital platform RAMISMART. Länsimetro, for example, uses this system. One part of it is ‘Time and Attendance’ which tell how many people are on the site, and to the tax office which workers and companies are working. After having this system for a couple of years, we started thinking what else we can do with it and launched ‘RAMISMART Machine Control’. With this system, we can follow who is using the machine and authorize the access to it. The big data is not yet utilized, equipment is not yet speaking with each other, but this is definitely the future.
Big events as a new service area
Finally, big events has recently become a customer for our services. As big events require temporary infrastructure – quite like a big construction site – we started providing rental services for big events. For example, we built the infrastructure, temporary stores and shops, change rooms, fences, scaffolding, etc. for such events as Flow Festival, Tall Ships Race and Helsinki Ice Challenge in Kaisaniemi.
In 2018, appr. 150 events have been conducted this year only. This service started as a marginal activity but now has grown into a larger business. Thus, do not be surprised seeing Ramirent when going to a festival. This is not a coincidence but a new service area for a company that has know-how and competences in managing equipment, logistics and services for big sites.
The text is based on Mikael Kämpe’s presentation materials written by Zinaida Grabovskaia.
Executive Vice-President of RAMIRENT Finland Oy and a guest speaker on developing service business in Industrial Management Master’s studies
Senior lecture, Head of Master’s program in Industrial Management, Metropolia. The program specializes in service business especially for big industrial players.