Our new sales manager emphasizes the importance of expertise and people skills

Sales manager Ari Hurskainen answer the phone at his home in Saarijärvi. Like many others, also Ari has been working remotely more than usual during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Phone calls, emails, teams", he lists the content of a typical working day.

Ari works as a sales manager in Laitila Coating. Before Laitila Coating he worked in Estonia at the sheet metal manufacturer as a sales manager, account manager and CEO.

"In my early working years, I was an entrepreneur in the silk screen printing industry for 16 years. However, I ended up selling my business and continued my career path in the sheet metal mechanics industry instead."

When speaking about education, Ari says that running his own business and a wide range of job experience have been the best school to obtain the skills needed in the industry.

Experience and networks

For the past 20 years, Ari has been working within the sheet metal industry. At Laitila Coating, Ari's responsibilities cover sales and sales development of sheet metal mechanics.

So, how would he describe a typical workday of a salesman?

" Well, it´s about preparing quotations, negotiations with clients and prospects and planning the manufacturing of new products".

Ari tells that he enjoys both independent work and interaction with colleagues and customers.

" I am kind of a shuttle which commutes between both ends".

It is easy to listen Ari, as he is an expert but speaks in a leisurely manner. He stresses the importance of listening both with colleagues and customers. "Listening is a key to the successful negotiating". It´s is vital to know your industry, technologies, materials and pricing. But it is equally important to know how to interact with people. " Good people skills are a must in this job".

Building confidence and chopping wood

Ari needs time to think about his answer when asking what the most challenging part of his job is. "I think the most important is to be able to build confidence with the customers. Naturally, the pricing is one of the most challenging parts because competition is tough", Ari says.

He believes that the customers of Laitila Coating will benefit from his know-how. He brings new expertise and experience to Laitila Coating.

"I know the markets and I have a wide network of contacts."

Ari is keen to bring new ideas for how to improve further the methods for cost-efficient contract manufacturing. How does Ari view the future of contract manufacturing services?

"Competition is quite fierce in our industry. For example, manufacturing in Estonia used to bring cost benefits but nowadays manufacturing there won´t create a significant competitive advantage. Finland, and Laitila, are good places to manufacture because we have the know-how and comprehensive set of technologies that enable the production of a variety of products. For instance, our in-house coating facility is a major advantage for us when compared to co our competitors."

Ari says he felt very welcome when he started to work at Laitila Coating.

"I like the atmosphere that we have here. I want to do my best to develop our sales."

But life is more than just work. Are relaxes in his summer cottage, by playing in a rock band and doing sports.

"I have played guitar and bass all my life. Every now and then we have small gigs with the band."

During winter Ari does skiing and ice hockey. Summer, in turn, is reserved for golf and chopping wood in the summer cottage.