“I like both our visible decorative fittings and also our technical fittings which make things run smooth as silk but cannot be seen from the outside,” points out Managing Director Hannu Rantanen, who has been working for Helakeskus since September 2011. “As an engineer, I really do enjoy these things. They are thoroughly functional and pleasant to look at – what more can you ask for?”
It seems that the customers which Helakeskus has acquired throughout its long years in the market are been of the same opinion, and the company’s commitment to small components has helped make the company what it is today: the preferred specialist for the import and wholesale trade of accessories and fittings for the kitchen manufacturing industry.
Today Helakeskus serves about 1,000 active customers. Only recently, Helakeskus has expanded its portfolio and has embarked on a new product line. “We are now following a twofold approach: On the one hand, we provide furniture fittings for the kitchen manufacturing industry. This has been our prime focus since our foundation in 1971,” stresses Mr.Rantanen. “Here, we offer hinges, knobs, handles, mechanisms for drawers, as well as halogen and LED lights. Our relatively new range for the construction industry includes opening mechanisms inside window frames, handles, door fittings, knobs and hinges, amongst others.”
In 2009, Helakeskus acquired a company that provides fittings for the construction industry. “More or less, this marked the starting point for our engagement in the construction industry,” states Mr. Rantanen. Helakeskus has become a relatively important player in the fitting and accessories market in Finland. It has experienced gradual growth over the decades and now employs a workforce 32 people. Last year, the company’s turnover amounted to 11.4 million EUR.
The company has ten sales representatives who are vital for following up the company’s customer contacts. “We need to show our new products, and the customer has to feel and see them,” adds Mr. Rantanen. “We demonstrate for him how they work and explain all the technical functions. In addition, we advertise in a few Finnish magazines; however, we do not place any adverts for the end consumer. It is funny: Many people use our products without actually knowing us.”
It is of great importance for Helakeskus to follow up trends and get an idea of what young people want at home. “We have to learn their taste,” states Mr. Rantanen. “They are the ones who invest in their home while the older generation has already got everything it needs.”
For sure, Helakeskus will continue to provide all customers with the right fittings and accessories against the backdrop of everchanging trends.