Strong year in both contract manufacturing and project-driven business
The Power Utilisation unit had a successful year in both contract manufacturing and project-driven business. Perhaps the single most positive item was the record number of orders from the oil & gas industry.
When Kari Lehto started as the Sales Director at VEO’s Power Utilisation unit in February 2019, little did he realise what was about to come. Within two months, he would step in as Vice President for the business unit and guide it along a tough road towards a more profitable future. Kari Lehto and his teams succeeded in their mission and the result of their common endeavours can be seen in the fact that both VEO’s contract manufacturing and project-driven business finished the year 2019 with a lot of positive news to share.
A year of big projects
2019 was certainly a year of big projects on virtually every scale. One of the most substantial projects was Neste’s expansion project in Singapore, which represented a major upswing of commitment between VEO and Neste after 15 years of cooperation. However, the oil & gas industry was not VEO’s only business area to exceed expectations. In the mining industry, VEO significantly improved its position and confirmed its potential for more intensive partnerships in the future. Meanwhile, some substantial ship orders rolled in from the marine industry. Projects for the paper & steel industry did not bring any surprises, and the order book was filled in 2019 as planned.
Intensified cooperation in contract manufacturing
What truly highlighted the year was the ever-closer cooperation being built with VEO’s long-term partner Danfoss Drives. Both companies were working intensively together to create a model and criteria for a premium level partnership deal, which now enables VEO to enter Danfoss Drives global Integrator Expert Program, IEP.
“The deal expresses continuity and a mutual commitment to cooperate now and in the future.”
“For our customers, a premium level partnership between VEO and Danfoss means enhanced performance and better service, as both companies now apply identical tools and common working methods. VEO will participate in Danfoss partnership trainings and enjoy their partnership services, and Danfoss will have the opportunity to participate in significant project opportunities”, says Kari Lehto, Vice President, Power Utilisation.
(VEO joined Danfoss Drives IEP premium level in March 2020).
What made the difference?
Looking back, there are many reasons to explain why 2019 was such a good year in this business unit. Firstly, the market situation in 2019 was favourable for VEO. Several large-scale electrification and automation projects were initiated during the year. The major difference compared to previous years, however, was that VEO was invited to bid in most of the projects, alongside the biggest actors in the business.
“Only a few years ago, VEO was considered more of a contractor with its own switchgear products. But 2019 showed that VEO’s role as a notable actor in turnkey deliveries has been consolidated”, explains Kari Lehto.
Moreover, VEO’s TOP3 development projects to enhance profitability and increase efficiency throughout the organisation were successfully implemented within the business unit in late spring 2019.
“The employees in VEO’s Power Utilisation unit were the ones who were most satisfied with their work.”
“Thanks to the new profitability strategy and revision of processes, we were able to shift our focus to our most relevant businesses by reducing distractions. By defining our action models, investing in team leadership, revising our product structures as well as clarifying each employee’s areas of responsibility, the level of engagement and employee satisfaction in our unit rose to a whole new level”, says Kari Lehto.
In fact, an annual employee satisfaction survey that was completed at the end of the year revealed a pleasing result: the employees in VEO’s Power Utilisation unit were the ones who were most satisfied with their work. Kari Lehto confirms that the company has a strong will to invest in employee satisfaction.
Employee satisfaction, action and result
After witnessing VEO’s turnaround in 2019, Kari Lehto is convinced that the success of a business unit depends on a delicate balance between three factors: employee satisfaction, action and result.
According to Kari Lehto, there is also a clear connection between clarity and the newfound upturn in everyone’s mood.
“People are excited, and they believe that we are all doing the right things.”
“All of us, especially the team leaders, have worked hard to clarify the responsibilities and to make it clear to everybody what our targets are and how we are going to get there. Now, people are excited, and they believe that we are all doing the right things. This is an excellent starting point for the year 2020.”