Story | 12/14/2023 11:39:08 | 6 min Read time

Meet our three new Sawmill Directors

Three of our sawmills, Seikku, Korkeakoski and Kaukas, have recently got new Sawmill Directors. What kinds of observations have they made so far, and what are they looking forward to in their new roles?

Jaakko Huttunen, Kaukas sawmill

Jaakko Huttunen started as Sawmill Director in Kaukas in early November. He has previously worked in the sawn timber industry outside UPM. Based on the first few weeks, his first impressions of UPM Timber and the Kaukas sawmill have been positive.

“One of my first observations at Kaukas was that the basic processes are going well, and the safety work and product quality are at a good level based on what I have seen so far. The equipment has been well maintained, so it still enables efficient production. People at Kaukas, and Timber in general, have been open and welcoming.”

What does Jaakko want to achieve as a Sawmill Director? He believes that there is always room for improvement. For example, safety can be improved even further. He also has skills that can benefit the sawmill.

“I have previously been in various positions in different places, so managing the whole package from customers’ needs to the forest is my strength. I believe that we can still develop in that. For example, I think there are good opportunities to increase cooperation and mutual understanding between UPM Forest and Timber,” Jaakko thinks.

It’s especially important to be actively involved with customers, so that new opportunities can be found and harnessed.
Jaakko Huttunen
Jaakko Huttunen joined Kaukas sawmill in November. He believes there is always room for improvement. "Managing the whole package from customers’ needs to the forest is my strength", he says.

 

What expectations does he have for the future at the sawmill?

“I would like to learn to understand the bigger picture better and grasp certain aspects of the integrated environment. In addition, I want to develop in the management of the financial indicators that also belong to the sawmill director’s job. I look forward to seeing where we will develop as Timber in the future, and I believe that a lot of good can be achieved in the next few years.”

Jaakko has also had time to get familiar with our promise “Setting the Standard”. To him it means being a forerunner.

“Operations, skills and technology must be constantly developed to keep up with the competition. Although sawing is an old industry, it has changed and developed even during my 25-year career. It’s especially important to be actively involved with customers, so that new opportunities can be found and harnessed,” Jaakko lists.

Janne Klaavuniemi, Korkeakoski sawmill

Janne Klaavuniemi started as the Sawmill Director at Korkeakoski in early April. He has previously worked in various roles in investment projects, maintenance and production.

“Korkeakoski is a small town where people work together. The cooperation at the sawmill works well, and the employees like it here. For example, last summer one employee retired after working at the sawmill for as long as 50 years”, Janne says.

He was drawn to UPM Timber for several reasons, such as getting to work with a renewable raw material.

I have done several customer and forest visits so far, because I want to understand how different stages of the process affect the final product.
Janne Klaavuniemi
Janne Klaavuniemi joined Korkeakoski sawmill in April. He is happy that the sawmill is taking steps forward with significant investments.

 

“I was attracted by the opportunity to work in a leading company in the forest industry and to expand my own expertise in production. UPM Timber is currently in an interesting phase, because the customer promise has recently been renewed, and we want to be a forerunner in sustainability. I also think it was nice to see how the sawmills are linked to the whole UPM value chain,” Janne says.

In just a few months, Janne has seen significant investments, as a new heat pump was introduced at Korkeakoski in the autumn and a new split saw is being planned for 2025.  Janne thinks it is great that the sawmill is taking steps forward. As sawmill director, he wants to, among other things, better understand the customer perspective and the end products.

Read about new investments at Korkeakoski sawmill

“I have done several customer and forest visits so far, because I want to understand how different stages of the process affect the final product. Because I come from a slightly different background, I also want to develop in change management and practical implementation and thus bring added value,” Janne reflects.

Marko Kesti, Seikku sawmill

Marko Kesti started as Sawmill Director at Seikku sawmill in early November 2022. Before the current role, he worked as Mill Service Manager at Seikku sawmill. During the first year in the new position, Marko has been impressed by, among other things, safety work and desire for continuous improvement at Seikku.

“Excellent safety work has been done here, and in August we reached another year without accidents. We also received two UPM Safety Awards in the spring of 2023, one of which came from an innovative dust removal system. We want to continue good proactive safety work,” Marko says.

Seikku sawmill received two UPM Safety Awards in spring 2023. Marko Kesti accepted the rewards, which were 20 000 euros to be used towards the well-being of Seikku's employees.
Seikku has set an annual production target, which is also a big dream for me – we want to show ourselves that we can do it so that safety and quality remain excellent during the high production volume.

In the future, Marko wants to take production efficiency to a new level. He feels that the sawmill is already well on the way with long-term development.

“Seikku has a strong spirit of doing things together, and there is good co-operation and promises are kept. I want to maintain this great co-operation. Seikku has set an annual production target, which is also a big dream for me – we want to show ourselves that we can do it so that safety and quality remain excellent during the high production volume,” Marko says.

Find out more about our sawmills.

Read the latest People Setting the Standard article.

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