Since the future in the construction industry seems blurry in Finland, TSR-Elsite wants to focus more and more on international sales. Prior to this, the company’s own processes need to be in shape. Business Finland’s Talent funding helps in putting things in order.
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.
The distress of the construction business in Finland is not left unnoticed in the Turku-based company TSR- Elsite. The company specialises in the lighting, heating, and power supply of construction sites. Now the company looks more heavily on business possibilities outside the Finnish borders.
The company headquarters in Turku does business to European countries, for instance the Benelux Countries, Germany, France, and Spain. The daughter company in Sweden, called TSR-Elsite Ab, started a couple of years ago and does business also to Norway.
– We have a lot to win in international business. We have the kind of know-how and solutions that are not in use and not necessarily even on offer in the European market, TSR-Elsite’s Marketing Director Kati van Heerden says.
TSR-Elsite manufactures and imports lighting and heating equipment and power supplies for worksites. Their customers include for instance equipment rental companies and industrial retailers and wholesalers. Last year, a major part of their over 14-million turnover came from Finland.
We knew that if something happened in the construction business, like in Finland now, we would have to strengthen our business also elsewhere.Kati van Heerden, Marketing Director, TSR-Elsite
– We performed very well last year. Many equipment rental companies made big investments. There was a lot of sales, but it came from a very narrow customer segment. We knew that if something happened in the construction business, like in Finland now, we would have to strengthen our business also elsewhere, Mrs van Heerden says.
Clarification of Company Processes
According to Kati van Heerden, the last few years have been very busy for TSR-Elsite. The company was born through a fusion in 2021, when two rivals EL & Site and TSR Group joined forces. In addition, the Swedish daughter company TSR-Elsite Ab was formed from two Swedish companies in the business.
After big changes, the company needs to be reshaped. The company’s own processes and organisation need to be clear before TSR-Elsite can invest more heavily on international sales, Mrs van Heerden says. Business Finland’s Talent funding supports this work.
Thanks to the funding, we have been able to take time to focus solely on our own organisation and think about how everything is done in the best way possible.Kati van Heerden, Marketing Director, TSR-Elsite
In the Talent project, the company has for instance done a customer survey, which investigates customers’ views on the good and the bad in the company and which aspects should be developed.
According to Mrs van Heerden, one aim of the process clarification project is to make sure that the daughter company in Sweden would operate independently. The company has for instance recruited a specialist who takes care of the after-sales support in the daughter company.
– This way we have more time to focus on internationals sales here in Finland, van Heerden says.
Turku Is a Natural Homebase
TSR-Elsite has approximately 30 employees. The company’s head office and manufacturing are situated in the Oriketo industrial area in Turku. The company also has offices in Tampere and Helsinki.
Van Heerden says that Turku is a natural homebase for the company since the key personnel come from here. Turku’s assets are low rental and living costs and easy logistics compared to the Helsinki metropolitan area.
– Saying that, it is important to us that Turku is close to Helsinki since most of our customers’ headquarters are there. Luckily it is easy to get to Helsinki from Turku.
Mrs van Heerden looks towards to the future with a positive attitude, even though the market situation in the construction business is insecure in Finland, building permits are left unused and construction projects are postponed. She thinks that a quieter time also opens possibilities for product development and enhancing the operations of the company.
I see the Talent project only as a starting point for continuing development of our company’s processes.Kati van Heerden, Marketing Director, TSR-Elsite
Text: Heidi Pelander, Images: TSR-Elsite