A spry 65-year-old who’s looking to the future
Krekula & Lauri Såg reaches 65 in 2018, and the believe in the future is great.
“I am proud of the company and we will continue to develop,” the CEO, Gunnar Lauri, says.
It was in 1953 when Gunnar’s father, Eino Lauri, and his two maternal uncles, Samuel and Albin Krekula, founded the business. In the winter of 1952, they hauled timber by horse and for the money they could invest, among other things, in a forestry tractor, tools and saw bench. They started sawing planks and building houses; a large part of the timber sales went to LKAB and Norway.
Had to take up the reins on short-notice
At the start of the 1970s, Eino Lauri as still running the sawmill by himself, and the business grew more and more. In October 1987, he suffered a heart attack, and Gunnar Lauri had to take up the reins of the business on short-notice, together with Leif Hallgren “I had almost completed my forestry officer studies, I only had a couple of months of the course remaining, when it all happened,” Gunnar says.
Invested in the future
Taking up the reins went well and is just one example of the motivation and believe in the future that is always to be found in the company, in prosperity and adversity. Krekula & Lauri Såg has experienced both boom and bust as well as fires, but has always looked to the future and continued to invest in the business.
“We have always grown through our own strength and have had the ambition to acquire better machinery and equipment or extend the plant when it was possible.”
What would you like to be known for?
“We want to be known for good quality. We are Sweden’s most northerly sawmill and can offer genuinely excellent timber. Thanks to the climate, there are good forests here. No other can offer such slow grown timber as we can,” Gunnar says.
The Torne Valley pine has a very high proportion of heart wood and, for this reason, it is very strong, maintains a high quality and is almost indestructible. It is in great demand on the continent as timber for small houses or for manufacturing windows. The timber from Krekula & Lauri Såg is also used in the building trade, as furniture wood and glued-joint timber.
“Our timber must be well-sawn, well dried and provide something extra. We obtain a higher value thanks to our raw materials and because we cleave, plane, dry and saw special sizes with a high degree of quality.
How does the future look?
“The vision is to continue expanding, to be a stable workplace even in the future and to adopt new technology. Things are moving very quickly on the technology side just now.”
“We will increase the speed on the saw line and increase the capacity in order to increase the efficiency of the production. It is a part of what makes us competitive,” Gunnar says.
Today, there is more being built in timber than before.
“Timber is a material of the future, a smart choice for the climate and a renewable resource. There is a great demand in the market, which I believe will last.”
Krekula & Lauri Såg is important for the community and the community is important for the sawmill.
“It is difficult to recruit competence for the future if there aren’t any basic service is in the village. Already now, finding competence is a challenge. We are working with internal training and internal recruitment all of the time. The surrounding villages are important for gaining access to labour.”
“It is also important that we attract the young who have different ways of thinking than the older generation. They are usually better educated and can see other aspects.”
Will continue for a long time yet
Gunnar has run the company for 30 years and has no plans to slow down.
“The sawmill will remain and continue to develop. I will remain in the company for as long as I can make a difference.”