"The customer is demanding. Therefore, the firewood vendor must invest in quality and punctuality of delivery."
The operation of Klapukauppa began in a slightly candid manner in 2003, when I was still employed as a mechanic by Terästakomo, and the new model, the Palax 70, was introduced. As I was keen to experiment with various gadgetry, more firewood started to heap up than I was able to burn in my own fireplace.
So, I started selling the firewood. I soon bought a Palax 70 of my own, accompanied by a light log deck. My customer base increased from year to year, and my private forests were no longer sufficient for the supply, and I had to start purchasing raw wood from the market.
I then ran out of time and, consequently, decided to leave my day job. As the amount of wood to be processed increased, I found it slightly difficult to store and dry the firewood in the open air, mainly because of the shortness of the summer in Finland. In retrospect, my decision to invest in a vacuum dryer facility and storage of nearly 2,000 cubic metres was just right.
I have still had the privilege to test the new machines, as well as the improvements to the existing ones, orchestrated by the active product development department of Palax. Not all of these machines ever entered the manufacturing process, but despite that, I have bought some of the "ripest" fruit of this development work for myself.
My present fleet comprises the fast Palax 70s, accompanied by the Palax Midi deck and screen cleaner. The machinery is renewed according to needs. Today, the production volume has been consolidated on a level corresponding to the yearly throughput of the dryer facility. Increasing the production would require expanding the drying capacity and considerable extra effort in marketing, and most likely, increasing the marketing area.
At present, the firewood is primarily delivered to my standing customers. The outlook for the future is pretty stable, as almost every new house is equipped with a fireplace, and not every house owner owns a forest lot of his own or has a relative that owns one.
In the future, the customers will probably be even more picky in terms of quality. It is a different thing to take the firewood to the well-maintained yard of an extravagant residential area than to the back yard of an old farm house. Therefore, in the future, the successful firewood vendor should invest in quality and punctuality of delivery." The customer must be provided with what has been ordered and at the agreed time, and not at random with just what happens to be in stock at the time in hand.
You can compete with quality, but competing with price does not pay in the long run. The quality-conscious customers are loyal and get what they want, but those who are looking for the cheapest price, are only loyal to the price. There will always be someone who cannot count, and therefore sells at a slightly lower price, until he realises that doing so is not profitable, and then leaves the business.
The Palax machines are able to provide the extra boost required for the challenges of the future. The eye-catching result, as well as the even quality and cleanliness, are excellent sales arguments in the firewood business. It is hardly worthwhile to look into other brands, if you have already found the one that is the best. That is why Klapukauppa will also rely on the Palax firewood processors in the future.