Today, Veljekset Ala-Talkkari Oy from Lapua in Finland exports to many countries and exporting in fact makes up about half of their sales. One of the keys for their success concerning export has been the long-term work with fairs, and according to them, cooperation with Viexpo has been highly valuable in that.
Veljekset Ala-Talkkari Oy was established in 1955. Originally the company started with manufacturing heating boilers. Nowadays they produce besides those also heating containers, which are comprehensive turnkey solutions. Production of environmental machines, such as snow blowers and sand spreaders, and working as a machining subcontractor for several actors are the two other support legs of the business.
Veljekset Ala-Talkkari’s products are sold in Finland by both big and small resellers. Besides the home market also export markets are an integral part of the company’s operations. The company exports to almost every European country and farther away, such as to the US, Canada, Australia, and South Korea. The heating systems are the most important export products, but there are also exceptions; for instance, snow blowers make up the greater part of what is exported to Norway.
The company’s customers in the export markets are both private households and companies or other organizations. There are, for instance, schools, kindergartens, churches, farms, and whole village communities in Europe that are heated up by Veljekset Ala-Talkkari’s devices. One of the most interesting new objects is found in Italy.
The Olympic village in Cortina, where the following Winter Olympics will be organized, is heated up with our devices that have been recently installed, the company’s Export Manager Marketta Järviluoma says.
To enhance their export, the company has already for several years attended fairs together with Viexpo. Fairs are considered highly important, even essential, as a great amount of people from different countries who are relevant for the business gather at those at the same time. First, it provides the possibility to concretely present one’s products to potential and existing customers.
Few come directly to the factory to look at the devices, so we gain visibility and increase credibility by going to fairs. We can present directly to the customers.
Veljekset Ala-Talkkari does, however, not directly sell their products to the customers, but all sales and services are done by resellers. Fairs provide an excellent opportunity to also meet the company’s resellers and to tie new reseller relations.
Reseller acquisition has been a very important topic for us on fairs. In addition to that, we have often also organized meetings with existing resellers to catch up.
Attending a fair is, however, not something that you do just like that, but instead it requires several activities and decisions during a longer period of time. Although one is an experienced fair visitor, there are always new questions that come up. Veljekset Ala-Talkkari are grateful for having a trusted partner for fairs.
It has been really important that Viexpo has stayed with us during the whole journey. Learning new practices has not been required, as we have gone together and been committed from both sides.
Järviluoma has many examples of how they have received relevant information and help either directly from Viexpo or from an actor who they have pointed out. These relate to everything from applying for funding and choosing the right fairs to making decisions regarding the fair stand, traveling, shipping, and overnighting. She estimates that for one fair there is ongoing communication with the person in charge from Viexpo during approximately half a year.
To get more out of the potential of export markets, Veljekset Ala-Talkkari has also utilized Viexpo’s market analysis service, which resulted in the company getting a list of potential resellers in a target market that was recognized as important.
Active communication also continues during the fair, as the person in charge from Viexpo visits them daily to hear how it is going, and the interaction continues also after the fair. Besides getting relevant information and help, it is considered as important that the people from Viexpo always remind when things should be done.
It is easy to contact Viexpo. We have had that feeling despite the fair with everyone from Viexpo. Going to a fair is much easier and safer. You know for sure that you have done everything correctly.
Looking at the results from fairs for the company, it becomes evident that it is worth going to them over and over again. The benefits are both direct and indirect from a sales perspective.
We can see sales peaks after fairs, and they can also come after some time. We have also been able to tie good reseller relations at fairs.
When we are talking about international fairs, the possibilities for making deals are in line with that, which Järviluoma has a good example of.
People from the US told us that their neighbors have these devices and that they wanted similar ones. We gave them our reseller’s contact details and after a few weeks we got an order from the US.
When asking what kind of hints Järviluoma would like to give to companies who are thinking about going to fairs, the answer is clear. One should bravely attend fairs and it would be great to see that also Finnish companies would go more in groups. She also highlights the importance of asking for help and recommends contacting Viexpo.
Everything is so clear with Viexpo. Everything works and they hold their end.
You can read more about Veljekset Ala-Talkkari at: https://ala-talkkari.fi/