Customers are the spice of my work
We interviewed sales manager Kari Rimpisalo about his long career at Neles. At the beginning of his career, Kari ran our service center in Kemi, Finland, by himself. Today, this well-rounded individual has a team of colleagues around him. What is the best thing about his job?
What is your name, job title and location?
I am Kari Rimpisalo. I am a service salesman at our Service Center in Kemi, Finland. I also develop new maintenance services and our service business.
What is your background at Neles?
I started at Neles-Jamesbury in early 1996. I established a service point here in Keminmaa by myself. In the beginning, I did everything by myself. I was responsible for sales, service and invoicing. Since then, we have expanded our operations; we currently employ five mechanics and several work supervisors.
For most of my career, I have been developing the maintenance services to establish service agreements and working with customers to improve the services so that they meet the needs and requirements of the customers’ own processes.
What kind of team do you have?
I feel that we have a sense of community. We have the same goals; our work has proceeded as planned and have achieved results. Two of my colleagues left to pursue new opportunities, but both returned.
What is the best thing about your work?
The customers are the spice of my work. I must admit that we have the nicest customers. They I keep in contact with them daily, and we work together to solve any problems.
The customers are the spice of my work. I must admit that we have the nicest customers. I keep in touch with them on a daily basis, and we work together to solve any problems. They are fair in the sense that they will give us feedback if something has not been done correctly. But, they will also comment on our success. In this way, we have created a trusting relationship enabling us to work together and to help the customer achieve the important results for successful plant operations, at least in terms of our equipment. I also meet our customers in our mutual free-time activities.
Our customers are located here in the north, in the Lapland and Oulu regions. We operate within the mining and metallurgy industry, as well as the wood and paper industry. Our customers are heating plants, as well as pulp, mining, and metal industries. They use our equipment in challenging control applications, such as for gas control. Our equipment is also used by the pulp and paper industry. We account for approximately 95 percent of the installed base within the paper industry. With each customer, we have concluded warehouse service agreements, confirming that we will take care of our customers’ valve equipment, maintenance, and storage comprehensively.
What motivates you at work?
As for service and project assignments, every time a long-term project starts or a major shutdown is completed successfully and on schedule, it is a pleasant accomplishment. It reinforces our confidence in our job, our team, and our products.
This also applies to new product launches. An example of this is the Neles ND9000 digital valve controller. I have been involved in its development since the beginning. Taking the ND9000 to the customer interface has led to a large-scale maintenance process. This has given me an opportunity to review the digitalization of technology and its benefits directly at the customer interface.
How would you describe Neles culture?
Our work community is not passive in any way. We keep going forward, we search for new and better solutions, and we take care of our customers and witness their success.
Our work community is not passive in any way. We keep going forward, we search for new and better solutions, and we take care of our customers and witness their success. If the customer does not succeed, we don’t either. This is what puts the daily bread on our table and gives us confidence in our product and the company’s development.
How do you see the future of Neles?
We have walked this path for 65 years now, and I believe that we have the possibility to continue like this for the next 65 years as well. We have new products and services that our customers have requested and that we have been able to produce. As for service products, we can consider ourselves as the pioneer of valves in Finland. It roots our belief in our operation. There is a clear demand for our solutions in the customer interface.
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I started my career with Jamesbury in September 1982 in Finance role. When Neles merged with Jamesbury in 1988 I was assigned to handle a sales role. I have served our key account customer, a leading manufacturer in the paper and pulp industry in Asia Pacific from 1992 till today almost 30 years. Due to the long term business relationship with the company, I am almost like part of their family. My contacts with them ranges from top COO to the end-user. Earning their respect and trust helped a lot to secure all those past projects even for China and Brazil. Herewith my thoughts on key characteristics of a successful customer relationship.
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