Joni Koskinen in the spotlight: “Our maintenance and commissioning services are unique — even on a global level”

A manufacturer's responsibility for a fire truck doesn’t end when it leaves the factory. Quite the opposite, and that's where Customer Service Manager Joni Koskinen's work begins. In the 25 years since Koskinen started at Vema as a Maintenance Electrician, much has changed, including spending about half as much time on the road.

“Solving problems and helping the customer is the best part of my job,” says Koskinen. “Working with rare technical devices that only a few companies in the world manufacture is a pleasure. It keeps me interested in business, even after many years.”

Over the course of his Vema career, Koskinen has worked as a Maintenance Foreman and Aftersales Manager for several years, too. Prior to that, he graduated from the technical college in Turku. Currently, however, he’s responsible for the entire aftermarket.

“My work involves everything to do with aftersales, and actually things prior to that,” says Koskinen. “That is, we'll travel to meet a customer in their own country to get them familiarized with the secrets of their new device. We maintain it, we're responsible for technical support, we deliver spare parts, and sometimes we also work as a sales assistant in representative tasks.

“There are only a handful of us whose professional skills practically cover the entire globe,” he continues. “There is no generic training for this job. You learn by doing. It's good to be open to learning and to know a little bit about everything, such as hydraulics, electricity and mechanics.”

Fire trucks put Finland on the map

Vema’s domestic trade has become surprisingly high lately—usually most of the fire trucks the company manufactures in Kaarina get exported. The European market has become familiar to Koskinen, as has Asia. In the Persian Gulf area, there’s some new business in Qatar and Kuwait, among other countries.

“Some Chinese cities already feel as familiar as my own neighborhood,” says Koskinen.

Earlier this year, NRG entered Latin America for the first time. Entering new destinations requires practically years of training and support before local representatives can operate independently.

“I've noticed that a firefighter is a firefighter anywhere in the world,” says Koskinen. “In all rescue services, problems must be solved and a fire must be extinguished straight away.”

Handling common errors with virtual reality

Scheduling and fitting his workload into the calendar poses the biggest challenge of Koskinen's work, but new everyday aids and opportunities for virtual training are constantly being developed.

The coronavirus pandemic challenged NRG to find solutions that allow it to act remotely. One solution the company has experimented with is real-time virtual glasses, whereby a camera gets placed on one’s temple and a screen under one’s eye.

“In this way, we can see in real time what our representative is doing and, if necessary, also advise him at the same time.”

Saying ‘no’ to incompleteness

Reliable and innovative maintenance and commissioning services are NRG's most valued competitive advantage for customers.

“I believe that the good cooperation and sense of humor that prevails within the aftermarket team will find its way to our customers, too,” says Koskinen. “As a customer service manager, I strive to put actions into words and be productive. I want to avoid half-finished things or leaving things hanging.”

And Koskinen wants to keep fit. He starts his workday by cycling 18 kilometers, followed by a gym workout. His free time belongs to his family; that’s his number one priority in life.

“I have a three-year-old son and whenever possible we go and enjoy a cabin on the Rymättylä archipelago.”

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