Proud to be making a difference
SVP Sales and Marketing at Kalmar Mobile Solutions Seppo Heino considers himself a lucky man. “Kalmar is making a difference, globally. It’s great to be a part of it,” says Heino.
Heino names three areas in which Kalmar is acting as a game changer in logistics: cutting emissions, improving safety, and enhancing customer productivity.
“The logistic sector currently accounts for an estimated 7% of the world’s emissions. We are changing that. As a part of Cargotec, Kalmar is committed to the UN Global Compact principles, which outline science-based targets aligned with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels,” he explains.
“Electrification, automation, and improving productivity and safety are areas in which our R&D and strategy have a huge impact on the logistics industry globally. The advances we are making make our customers' businesses run better – all the while making the world a better place,” he continues.
A good feel of the global pulse
Heino’s career at Cargotec has already spanned nearly two decades. Throughout the years, he has worked with sales, service and different product divisions at both Kalmar and its sister company Hiab.
“I have been lucky to have had such a versatile career. It has been great to get such a holistic look at our business,” notes Heino.
“In my current position, I get a remarkably good feel of the global pulse – what is happening with our customers around the world,” he remarks.
Heino affirms that at present, predictability is on most customers’ wish list.
“We are the industry leader in connected machines and using analytics to improve efficiency and remove risks in our customers’ businesses. It is value based selling at its best. Our Eco Reachstacker is a great example. Analytics on connected machines’ data allows us to guarantee fuel consumption for new Eco Reachstackers,” he points out.
From weekly travels to working from home
As the COVID-19 pandemic seized travel nearly overnight, Heino’s work changed quite dramatically. In mid-March 2020 he went from travelling abroad almost weekly to handling everything remotely.
“COVID-19 fundamentally changed my everyday work, as it did for most everyone at Kalmar. I was setting up my home office within hours of returning home from my last business trip on March 13th,” he describes.
“In hindsight, connecting with customers and colleagues via video conferences has worked surprisingly well. It saves time, money and most importantly, the environment,” he says.
Heino admits that the force majeure opened his eyes to possibilities that have been around for years, just underused.
“Connecting from afar has somehow made it easier to reach out to a larger group of colleagues to help customers. If I have sensed that a customer halfway across the world might benefit from talking to a Kalmar expert from R&D or maintenance, for example, it has felt easier to arrange straight away,” he ponders.
“I hope once we beat this pandemic, we will find a happy medium in how we connect. Homeworking works well, but one needs face-to-face interaction as well. I miss seeing my colleagues and customers in real life,” he adds.
Keeping up with the demands of the job
When asked how he keeps up with the demands of the job, Heino names two things especially: relying on his peer’s expertise, and regular exercise.
“Our people make Kalmar stand apart from the rest. No matter what kind of question I face at work, I know I can always rely on my fantastic colleagues from all over the world to help me out in any way they can,” he emphasises.
To stay in shape, Heino’s favourite option is skiing.
“Cross-country, Telemark, ski-tours, alpine skiing – I have been doing these all most of my life and I try to get on skis every chance I get,” he remarks.
“Thanks to passionate runners among my close co-workers, I also started running a few years back. It doesn’t beat skiing – but the upside is that you don’t need snow, and you can do it most anywhere,” he says with a laugh.