World leader in the manufacture of agricultural and forest machinery John Deere found an excellent location for its new factory in the Joensuu GreenPark business park. The location has provided the company with advantages which also easily benefit other businesses in the park. GreenPark has, after all, fantastic and flexible facilities – available at least for now.
Located at the crossroads of three different types of logistics, easily adjustable facilities, the surrounding subcontractor network, the strong forest cluster in the region and schools producing graduates with solid expertise in the sector. Factory Manager of John Deere Janne Haapasalo does not have any difficulties listing the benefits the “giant of farming and forestry machinery” has gained after its factory was completed in GreenPark in 2012.
It was not a small investment, but clearly a profitable one. By moving its existing operations to the nearby factory, John Deere made its manufacturing processes more efficient while shortening, for instance, order turnaround times. The company also benefits from the modern and flexible facilities perfect for its purposes.
– Cooperation with Joensuun Yrityskiinteistöt and the city has been really smooth, and we especially appreciate the flexibility of our rented facilities. You do not have to sign long rental agreements for decades ahead, and our urgent spatial requirements have always been met, Haapasalo says.
In addition to spaces, the company also finds quick answers to its other needs nearby – in the same estate, in fact. A tight and competent network of subcontractors has been formed around John Deere in GreenPark. This has resulted in almost non-existent delivery times for machine parts, and great opportunities for innovative cooperation in product development. They do not have to go far to search for workforce, either: John Deere is popular amongst trainees from the technology campus of Riveria in Peltola. Sometimes a successful traineeship may even lead to a long-term employment contract.
Logistics as a competitive advantage
When everything you need is nearby, and the internal logistics of the region have been streamlined according to the lean approach, savings in transport costs are considerable. According to Haapasalo, GreenPark has fantastic logistics even on a larger scale, with respect to, for instance, goods going out from Joensuu. The fact that North Karelia is located next to the company’s main market facilitates the operations’ effectiveness even more.
– A lot of money circulates in logistics, and good road connections in the region are of utmost importance to us. In GreenPark, we can also use the water transport network and rail connections if necessary, Haapasalo says.
Goods are transported seamlessly, and so are people. The company welcomes international visitors to Joensuu every week. The company’s location in Eastern Finland has, however, never been a problem. Haapasalo thinks that for business visitors coming from India, it does not matter whether the company is in Helsinki or in Joensuu – from their perspective, it is far away in any case.
A lot of money is circulates in logistics, and good road connections in the region are of utmost importance to us
Born in Southern Finland, Haapasalo summarises that it is profitable for a company to operate in Joensuu – at least from the perspective of a forestry entrepreneur.
– Joensuu is not called the forest capital of Europe for nothing. We have a strong sectoral cluster here, with respected experts and high-quality research, as well as operators from sawmills to pulp factories. I have also been more than satisfied with the help and support from the city of Joensuu and other operators. At the moment, the place has a very positive attitude towards entrepreneurs. I would argue that few entrepreneurs get such good service anywhere else. No matter what it is about, it gets sorted, Janne Haapasalo states.