Ville is a welcome new pair of hands

“Ville is a welcome new pair of hands in the team,” says Mia Brunila, Sales Director, Steveco.

When Ville Huovila, with his previous background in several forwarding and haulage companies, was appointed Logistics Manager for Steveco’s Logistics product family, he returned close to his childhood landscape.

Huovila, originally from the southeastern Finnish town of Hamina, but still living in Espoo for the moment, considers the nearby city of Kotka and the entire southeastern region of Kymenlaakso his home.

“I’ve been really happy in the casual working atmosphere here at Steveco. An interesting job is a good foundation on which to build my career and future.”

The responsibility is invigorating

Brunila has been working at Steveco since 1993. In 2005, she was promoted from forwarder to sales manager, and in September 2018, she became Sales Director of the Steveco Logistics product family.

“The new responsibilities are not weighing on my shoulders. On the contrary, they give me more energy. When you are given a wider area of responsibility, you also get a view of the entire business from a wider perspective,” she says.

Brunila is now responsible for the sales and development of the Steveco Logistics product family. Her job description includes, besides customer relations, contracts and pricing, the development of digital services.

The Steveco Logistics sales team comprises seasoned professionals, but as Brunila puts it, no one can rest on their laurels.

“Everyone here must be up to speed on how this business is developing. Training and motivation are everyone’s own personal responsibility, but I see it as my job to encourage people to develop their professional skills to meet the new challenges,” Brunila says.

From seller to buyer

The Steveco Logistics product family includes services for port operations and logistics, such as cargo handling, forwarding, warehousing and transport. Customers are both international and Finnish.

“The product can be the entire transport chain with cargo and services, or part of it,” Brunila says.

Huovila is the first logistics manager in the history of Steveco Logistics. He is responsible for the subcontracting of rail and road transport, as well as warehousing.

“I used to be on the selling side, so in this job I know what to buy.”

Long-haul transport is still predominantly on rubber wheels, but in future, rail will increase its share of tonnage.

“One of the future challenges is to develop environmentally sustainable solutions throughout the supply chain,” Huovila adds.

The importance of social media

Brunila says that sales requires an innate drive and the right attitude. In the port and logistics business, competition is tightening while customer demands are increasing, and digitalisation is an important part of today’s international transport. Brunila thinks that the use of social media should be a distinct task today.

“You can’t avoid hurrying, but if you plan your work sensibly, you can focus on the essentials,” she says.

When working with international transport, the border between work and leisure is a grey area, not least because you need to stay in touch with customers and partners in different time zones.

Huovila also admits that a logistics manager must be ready to be flexible about the working hours.

“You need to be vigilant about your working times. Work always gets done, of course, but you also need to be able to slow down when there’s an opportunity for it.”

Congratulations go to the wrong person

Brunila’s namesake is the wife of a second cousin, who is the Communications Manager of the City of Kotka.

“Mail and other messages go to her, and I occasionally get phone calls meant for her, so we get mixed up.”

Ville Huovila has a namesake on the payroll of the forest industry company UPM Kymmene.

“When my appointment to logistics manager was made public, I guess part of the congratulatory messages went to the wrong guy,” he laughs.

hobbies: open-sea kayaking, badminton

Mia Brunila
Sales Director, 48
lives in Kotka
family: partner and two children
hobbies: flamenco, carnival samba and oriental dance for warming up

Ville Huovila
Logistics Manager, 30
lives in Espoo, in the process of moving to Kotka
family: partner

Text: Ville Vanhala
Photo: Johannes Wiehn

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Mia Brunila