Turku-based company Wiima Logistics solves logistical challenges of companies in various fields of business. Thanks to Talent funding from Business Finland, Wiima can gain international growth faster than on its own.
International growth has been the main goal for the Turku-based company Wiima Logistics since the very beginning. CEO Heikki Heinonen thinks that going international is what makes doing business interesting.
– We also develop faster when we operate in the international market. For instance, American ICT houses come up with new, interesting solutions in logistics optimisation all the time.
Wiima Logistics is a logistics service provider with nearly 50 employees. The company’s core business is in solving the logistical challenges of various companies, both in importing and exporting goods and material.
In addition to Turku, Wiima has offices in China, Singapore, Malaysia, Estonia, and Poland. The company also has a strong partner network globally. According to Mr Heinonen, the company now focuses on getting all small Wiima offices around the world to work according to the same principles as the parent company in Finland.
Business Finland’s Talent funding helps in achieving this and covers half of the costs of the project. According to Mr Heinonen, the procedures and processes of the company would have been standardised anyway, but with Talent funding, it can be done considerably faster.
This way we can achieve global growth faster.Heikki Heinonen, CEO, Wiima Logistics
With the funding, Wiima can for instance buy more legal and human resources services outside the company. They are needed for example in Poland, where the company is recruiting new employees from the local labour market.
Answering a Demand in the Logistics Market
But how did Wiima’s story begin? The business idea was born from a clear demand in the logistics market. Mr Heinonen and co-founder Lauri Heiliö were then working for the maritime industry company Almaco Group. They were trying to find a smart way to outsource the logistics of the company, because their logistical needs varied greatly from one project to another.
When they could not find a suitable logistics partner, they eventually decided to found Wiima Logistics in 2010. Some of their customers have outsourced their international logistics to Wiima permanently. Others buy project-based logistics services from them.
Wiima’s customers vary from industry and furniture companies to cosmetics manufacturers. Often the customers have a link to Finland. Mr Heinonen thinks that efficiency is Wiima’s key selling point. With its global volume, expertise, and networks, it can take care of logistics cheaper than many SMEs themselves.
– We can show to our customers in figures how much they will save when they outsource their logistics.
Mr Heinonen sees that neutrality is also Wiima’s selling point. Since the company does not have its own logistics equipment, it can objectively tender out the logistics services available in the market.
A Compact City for a Business
Turku became Wiima’s homebase because the co-founders come from here. Mr Heinonen thinks that Turku is a compact city, where it is easy for a company to operate and to create a strong partner network.
Business logistics education in Turku University of Applied Sciences has affected the fact that Wiima has had no trouble in finding competent workforce. Mr Heinonen thinks that versatile positions are Wiima’s asset when employing new talents: at Wiima, employees get to work globally with all types of cargo.
Turku is becoming a more and more attractive place to live in, and all services are readily available. The city logistics is easy also for an employee with a family.Heikki Heinonen, CEO, Wiima Logistics
Mr Heinonen says Wiima is constantly looking for new ways to help customers. The company co-operates for instance with the University of Turku in a project, which develops ways to measure the carbon dioxide emissions of logistics.
Currently, Mr Heinonen thinks that the market conditions seem blurry. Companies are cautious in making investments. Decision-making takes a long time because the future is so hard to predict. Still, he looks positively towards the future because the logistics market is constantly growing.
– We need to be able to change with the needs of the market. Our staff is our biggest asset, and we can constantly develop our employees’ know-how. I would like to take more and more routine tasks away from the employees, so they could focus on their core competence, which is the optimisation of the customer’s material flows.
Business Finland’s Talent Funding
- The funding is available to SMEs and midcaps seeking international growth with an own product, service, or business model that stands out from the competition.
- The goal of the funded measures should be to increase the internationalisation skills of the company’s own personnel. The main content of the project is development and piloting, not surveys.
- The amount of Talent funding is EUR 20,000-50,000. Funding from Business Finland will cover 50 percent of the project costs, which can be between EUR 40,000 and 100,000.
- The funding is a non-repayable grant. No advance is paid – the full amount of the funding will be paid on completion of the final report. Talent financing is granted to a company only once.
Read more on Talent funding here.
Text: Heidi Pelander, Images: Wiima Logistics