Niko with other Caverion employees
Niko Koivuniemi,

How to create a corporate strategy for locally operated people-intensive business? This is how we launched our sustainable growth

In 2022, we were pondering: how to create a strategy that would build a bridge from the past, fit all our markets and still lead us further. Caverion’s previous strategy had been a moderate success, achieving the most important of its goals – ensuring that our business platform is healthy and ready to embark on a growth journey.

One of Caverion’s core strengths are our amazing people, distributed across ten countries and to hundreds of locations. Many of you have seen our service vans, shuttling between our trusted customers’ facilities. Or maybe you have seen one or many of our installers, installing critical building technology to both newbuilds and renovation sites, not to forget the critical industrial sites where our people help keep our customers’ core processes running.

"One of Caverion’s core strengths are our amazing people"

The fact that our business is people intensive and is not made through leveraging the assets in our balance sheets brings about a unique feature in designing a corporate strategy that is valid for all: it should be strong, concrete and unified enough to guide us in the long term, at the same time being flexible and free enough to make sure that all our people can feel ownership to the strategy.

Three voices in the background

Another key strategic driver for us is our great customer base. We can proudly call many of customers as our partners having embarked on a common journey with us. We definitely wanted to keep our customer promise of delivering what we promise.

Our choice of methodology for forming our growth strategy was to build it around listening to three distinct voices. These were:

To enable this, we collected a vast amount of information from our employees, customers and business. We consolidated all findings into one powerful differentiation statement: We create sustainable impact for every customer with the solutions we design and deliver, reliably and transparently every time.

For us, achieving this differentiation from our competitors means investing in our core business: our installation and maintenance capability, located close to our customers. In addition, we want to build partnerships with more customers. Life cycle projects in which we guarantee the conditions of a building for 20+ years is a perfect example of this kind of partnership, together with managed services type service contracts with wide service scope.

Lastly, we invest in growing in advisory and engineering business, both organically and inorganically.

It takes courage

Doing a successful strategy means also the ability to deselect some avenues of opportunity. A successful strategy should be able to answer also to the question of what we don’t do. For us, this meant moving from a more centralised operating model to giving more execution power to our core business operations. We needed to also make some tough choices in our business portfolio.

"A successful strategy should be able to answer also to the question of what we don’t do."

Starting with first preparatory steps in the beginning of 2022, and officially launching in May 2022, we have operated in the current strategy period for a bit shy of two years. The strategy has been a success thus far, with us exceeding all but one of our strategy targets communicated to the market, with an especially strong organic growth of more than 10% annually, complemented by excellent acquisitions of well performing companies to our portfolio.

One indication of our recent success was the competition between two investment consortiums over our ownership. To me, this shows that Caverion has significant potential to further improve in the path we have chosen. Our team is looking forward for the next chapter in our journey, continuing the ten years of our history as an independent company and more than one hundred years of expertise in the predecessor companies. We will continue to enable performance and people's wellbeing in smart and sustainable built environments.

Niko Koivuniemi is Head of Strategy and CEO Office at Caverion Group. He is on the left side in the image at the top of this page.