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What’s in a Name — and in a Company?

The team at Allu show why they embody the Finnish word "Sisu."

Mon August 25, 2014 - National Edition
Teddy McKeon

Teddy McKeon Jr.  enjoys the view of Helsinki during his week-long visit with ALLU.
Teddy McKeon Jr. enjoys the view of Helsinki during his week-long visit with ALLU.
Teddy McKeon Jr.  enjoys the view of Helsinki during his week-long visit with ALLU. Job sites are never predictable, which is a local contractor had multiple Crusher Screener buckets in the waiting. Construction Equipment Guide (CEG) was recently allowed behind-the-scenes access to ALLU’s headquarters in Finland. The Senate Square and Helsinki Cathedral was the first stop during the Helsinki tour. Temppeliaukio Church, also is known as the Church of the Rock, is a Lutheran church in Helsinki. The church was designed by architects and brothers Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen and opened in 1969. The Sibelius Monument consists of series of more than 600 hollow steel pipes welded together in a wave-like pattern. Teddy McKeon Jr. and Sari Pekkala, marketing manager of ALLU Finland Ltd. relax by the Port of Helsinki. Teddy McKeon Jr. poses for a photo at the Sibelius Monument, which is dedicated to the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. ALLU not only provided Teddy McKeon Jr. with a behind-the-scenes look at its factory and headquarters, the company also showed him around Helsinki and other local Finnish landmarks. Teddy McKeon Jr. (L) and Kauko Pylväs, managing director, ALLU Group stand in front of ALLU’s headquarters after the factory tour. Shells of ALLU’s Screener Crusher buckets await the customization process for contractors around the world. A precarious view down the ski jump at the famous Lahti Ski Club. ALLU made sure to show off some of Finland’s beautiful lake views. ALLU Screener Crusher bucket is a versatile accessory for wheel loaders, excavators or skid steers. With ALLU Screener Crusher contractors can screen, crush, pulverize, aerate, blend, mix, separate, feed and load materials all in one stage.

“Sisu” is a unique Finnish word that does not translate into other languages. The basic principle behind Sisu is to explain the Finnish spirit and the concept at the heart of all Finnish people. It embodies many characteristics, including determination, perseverance, ability to overcome, bravery, empowerment and a resiliency. This is all brought out in the face of adversity as one goes beyond his or her mental and physical capacity. ALLU embodies Sisu, as I found out personally when I was invited to spend a week with the company at its headquarters in Finland.

In just this relatively short period of time with ALLU and the great people who make up the company, I learned in a tangible way what Sisu is and how it’s instilled in all of ALLU’s employees.

Sisu was on display particularly with ALLU’s Managing Director Kauko Pylvas. I had the privilege to go on a two-and-a-half-hour mountain bike ride on one of my last days in Finland with him. I experienced the Sisu as he and I trekked up steep slopes and navigated down precariously narrow passes. I learned about a few of his injuries and how he has overcome them. Kauko may be down because of a broken back, but you should never count him out. These things correlate directly into his work ethic and his pride for ALLU. Kauko leads by example and he is world class in everything he does. He is the type of person that you want leading a company and brand into the future.

Individuals and the teams they comprise are definitely the backbone to companies, but we know that they will not succeed unless they have the products to do so. In visiting ALLU, I learned first-hand about their products and saw their amazing in-house engineering team at work. ALLU has the Screening and Crushing, Mining Attachments, Stabiliszation Systems, compacting plates and different dosing systems. The impressive part of all this is that among those four major products, there are more than 1,000 variations to choose from. The ALLU sales staff is trained to provide the right product for your job. Blades can be purchased separately and can be easily changed on job sites.

ALLU’s products have been top of the line since the 1980s and its products are constantly changing and growing as the needs and uses change for end users. ALLU takes feedback from hundreds of customers to improve their already efficient and productive products.

Each product is assembled at the ALLU Finland factory and is made to order with the specific specifications that you desire. No two customers have the same needs and no two ALLU buckets are the same. No two jobsites are the same, either, and ALLU’s equipment is easily interchangeable at job sites to reduce downtime.

ALLU’s main objective is to give the customer the best possible product with the best value. They want the customer to cut cost to increase profitability on job sites. They want the customer to be able to utilize different methods to accomplish this. Internally this is done by pioneering in all markets on which the company focuses. It begins with a high quality product that is developed and built for the end user. Then ALLU focuses on customer orientation and education of their product line to ensure the customer gets the most out of their investment.

Lastly, I want to thank everyone from ALLU who took the time out of their very busy schedules to show me around Finland. Every day was a new surprise and a new memory. You all invited me into your homes and shared your stories with me and for that I am grateful. ALLU invited me into their lives and made me feel at home in a foreign country. I made many memories with these people that I will treasure for the rest of my life.

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