A day with a procurement supervisor

The wretched bark beetles have done a lot of damage, Anna Koukonen says

The wretched bark beetles have done a lot of damage, Anna Koukonen says. 

What does a procurement supervisor’s day entail? In order to find out, we spent a day with Anna Koukonen.

Based at Koskitukki’s premises in Mäntsälä, Procurement Supervisor Anna Koukonenworks at her computer, talks on the phone, sips her coffee and discusses harvesting schedules with Antti Leikas, Harvesting and Forest Management Supervisor.

The two are in charge of wood procurement in the area covering Askola, Lapinjärvi, Liljendal, Loviisa, Mäntsälä, Myrskylä, Pernaja, Pornainen, Porvoo, Pyhtää, Ruotsinpyhtää and Sipoo. Right now they are busy getting the harvesting done before the maintenance shutdown in a few weeks’ time.

- Let’s go, Anna calls and grabs the keys to her car. We move over to her second “office” with four wheels, where she spends much of her time.

Into the woods...

This time we drive just over ten kilometres to an eight-hectare harvesting area on the outskirts of the municipality of Mäntsälä. According to Anna, the site is much larger than normal and will produce about 3,000 cubic metres of wood.

Logs from the site will be delivered to Koskisen’s sawmill. Anna also accepts standing dead spruce, killed by bark beetles, which makes excellent energy wood.

- This is a typical day for me. I start my day at the office reading emails and taking care of errands, and by ten o’clock I jump into my car and drive to meet forest owners. At the meetings we normally first check out the stands, and then discuss forest issues and do business at the farmhouse table over a cup of coffee. Since my procurement area is so large, I try to arrange more than one meeting when travelling far and make an offer at the first meeting. I try to avoid haste and bear in mind that although closing harvesting deals is practically an everyday thing for me, the forest owner may deal with me only every five years.

Great degree of independence In addition to forest owners, Anna may meet Koskitukki’s harvesting contractors, lorry drivers and colleagues from competing wood procurement companies during her workday.

If the weather is poor, Anna may spend the day doing paper work, which also allows her to give advice to forest owners and contractors over the phone, take care of contract issues, arrange harvesting schedules and other practical issues. Similarly, when the weather is good, she may spend the whole day touring forests and harvesting sites.

- Diversity and the social aspects are the best features in my work, Anna says, and adds that she enjoys the independent and mobile outdoor work immensely.

We reach our destination, the lands owned by Jarmo Kiviniemi, where the harvester has broken down. Anna jumps out of the car and greets the landowner and contractor, who are examining the defective harvesting head.

- We’ll be able to continue only after Easter, but then again we’re in no hurry. The work has progressed well, says Koskitukki’s longstanding partner and contractorJuha Meronen, the owner of the company Kone ja Rakennus Meronen.

Meronen, who set up his own business in 1980, has had plenty of work in recent years – also during periods when wood trading has been less active.

- Co-operation with Koskitukki runs smoothly. I’ve been working in the region so long that I know almost every landowner and log lorry driver.

Meronen has done business with Kiviniemi earlier. Kiviniemi is a third-generation landowner, who sold his first stand to Koskitukki 12 years ago.

- We haven’t harvested such a large area for a long time. There will be additional harvesting due to the dead standing spruces. The wretched bark beetles have done a lot of damage, an annoyed Kiviniemi says. 

...and off to the sawmill

Once the situation is sorted, we get back into the car and head back to the office. On the way there, Anna agrees with Elimäen Kuljetus’ driver Mika Anttila about the pick-up schedule and informs him about the larger-than-expected volume. In the following week, the sawlogs, harvested using the tree-length method, would already be at Koskisen ready for further processing. Energy wood is delivered to be chipped via the Hankotie terminal.

- Now I’ll have some lunch followed by paperwork before I’m off for Easter holidays, Anna plans.

Anna, who has been working for Koskitukki for six years, says she also likes to spend her leisure time in the forest, although she no longer lives in the middle of the woods. - I guess it has grown on me as a result of walking in the forests with my grandfather as a child. This is the best job in the world, Anna says convincingly.

Anna and the men at the harvesting site.

Anna and the men at the harvesting site.