The name ‘Kaukomarkkinat’, well known to Finns for the past 70 years, will become a thing of the past.
As of May 17, 2016, the company’s name will be Kauko. At the same time, the company will shift its focus to mobile IT in demanding working environments. In addition to industry and logistics, a focal area will be healthcare technology – tailored software and equipment solutions for hospitals and healthcare centers. In addition to changing its name, Kauko is revamping its entire look.
The business of the Finnish company Kauko is transforming. In the future, it will focus its efforts on mobile IT in demanding conditions, healthcare, industry, trade and various logistical applications.
Driven by healthcare technology markets
In the future, Kauko will focus its business especially on healthcare technology; its special expertise in this field includes various care environment and mobile solutions designed for healthcare that are tailored together with the customer.
The decision was based on the position that Kauko attained within a short time-frame as one of Finland’s leading suppliers of healthcare technology both for care environment technology and mobile applications.
“Our healthcare business started up in 2012. By last year, the business had expanded many times over and now Kauko is one of the leading suppliers of mobile care environment and mobile IT solutions in Finland,” says Sami Koskela, Kauko’s Managing Director.
New markets in Europe
Kauko is seeking out growth in Europe. This year, the company has opened a new unit in Germany, which is focused on manufacturing and selling hospital ICT. The objective is to reach all of the industry’s operators from hospitals to medical device manufacturers.
“Hospital environments in both Finland and Germany are very similar. For Kauko, Finland’s market is already limited but Germany’s markets are only just waking up to using mobile care environment technology and mobile IT in healthcare,” explains Juha Alasaari, Kauko’s Product and Sales Manager.
In addition to Germany, the goal is to take over the broader European markets.
“Our goal, in addition to Germany, is to increase our sales elsewhere in Europe, with a particular focus on the other German-speaking countries, Italy, Holland and the other Nordics. We have pre-existing distribution networks in these countries,” says Alasaari.
Using mobile IT in logistics, industry and trade
Kauko is the leading supplier of mobile knowledge work in Finland. In addition to healthcare services, mobile knowledge work solutions are widely used in Finnish logistics and industry.
Mobile technology is integral to Finnish logistics. Tailored mobile knowledge work software and durable devices are used daily for the real-time monitoring of, for instance, railway and flight traffic.
“The logistical benefits are sizable just in terms of managing information and work supervision. In logistics, mobile knowledge work has enhanced the efficiency of logistics management, the speed and quality of goods handling and, in the future, these solutions will be expected to offer improved flexibility regardless of the location,” says Sales Director Kyösti Ollila.
In industry, mobile knowledge work has come to be a key component of installation and maintenance work. In Finland, applications and (rugged) laptops or tablets tailored to suit each companies’ needs are well-suited to the needs of each industry sector. The best efficiency is achieved when the applications are developed in tandem with their users.
“Industrial processes require suppliers to understand customers’ processes. When building mobile knowledge work solutions for industrial customers, the supplier must know the user’s needs and operating conditions, the company’s IT infrastructure and to ensure the reliability and ergonomics of the entire package,” Ollila explains.
Mobile knowledge work also offers excellent options for trade. With the revolution taking place in trade, mobile knowledge work has been able to offer fast, cost-effective solutions, including information retrieval, scanning barcodes and making payments.
Kaukomarkkinat name moves into the history books
Alongside the revamping of the company, the Kaukomarkkinat name will move into the history books. Starting on May 17, 2016, the company will be known as Kauko.
“We changed the name of the company to Kauko because, as part of our renewal process, we wished to create a new, more modern name suited to the global markets,” says Koskela.
The historic Kaukomarkkinat was founded in 1947 to open up trade relations in a country recovering from the Second World War. It focused on markets untapped by other Finnish companies. Kaukomarkkinat’s first order was for a 60-tonne delivery of sodium silicate shipped from Belgium to A. Ahlström Oy’s Karhula plant. The payment was made in Finnish paper.
In 1952, Kaukomarkkinat established a unit in Indonesia. The same year, a trade agreement was signed with China and, in 1956, with Japan. For Finnish consumers, Kaukomarkkinat has become familiar over the years especially due to its imports of electronics, clocks and sports equipment.
In the 1990s, Kaukomarkkinat became part of the retail group Kesko. The earlier imports shifted towards devices required by professionals, radiophones, safety technology, TV production equipment and plasma screens. Kaukomarkkinat and Telko were merged into one under the name Kauko-Telko.
In 2008, Kaukomarkkinat was sold to the conglomerate Aspo. Aspo brought back the traditional Kaukomarkkinat name at the beginning of 2009. The previous subsidiaries were split into independent companies and Kaukomarkkinat became the supplier of solutions to boost energy efficiency, solutions to improve efficiency of operations in the process industry, and professional electronics. Last year, Kaukomarkkinat sold its process industry operations in a management buy-out.