Industrial doors going all over the world

3/2/2015
Champion Door, a manufacturer of industrial doors, is pursuing international-level growth in the current challenging and competitive climate through the Team Finland LetsGrow financing programme. Through Tekes financing, the company has been able to speed up commercialisation and spread the risk involved in product development.

Located in Nivala in Northern Ostrobothnia, Champion Door was established in 1992. Its main products are upwards-folding fabric doors for aircraft hangars, industrial halls, warehouses, docks and shipyards. The company also supplies special doors for agricultural purposes, fire doors, and division walls for exercise halls.

Doors coated with PVC fabrics have several benefits over traditional industrial doors. They are light, they do not require large support structures, and their need for maintenance is low. Fabric industrial doors are also very well suited to cold or grimy conditions.

‘Our most important customers are large companies in Finland and abroad that need industrial and hangar doors. Approximately 80% of our revenue comes from export activities. Our largest and most challenging door projects are carried out abroad. We have customers in the Nordic countries, Central Europe and the Middle East, to mention a few areas’, says Tiina Karjalainen, Financial Manager at Champion Door.

On average, Champion Door’s turnover has increased by 20% per year. Over the last accounting period, the growth was an unprecedented 62%. The number of employees has also risen steadily, and the company currently employs 49 people.

Breaking into new markets with the help of Team Finland LetsGrow

There are many similar and alternative door solutions in the market, and competition is fierce.

‘We are utilising the LetsGrow programme to pursue international growth. It is important that we strengthen sales in our current markets and establish the company in new market areas. In addition, we strive to improve our internal processes and operating methods and to develop the technical properties of our products to ensure that they meet international requirements.’

The Team Finland LetsGrow financing programme is based on the premise that Finnvera grants an unsecured loan, Tekes provides grant for innovation services and Finpro provides advice on growth and internationalisation.

Digitalisation is vital to the company.

‘Electronic tools and tailor-made software are currently the company’s most important instruments of business advancement. Thanks to online marketing, we have been able to globalise our operations quickly, and the importance of the Internet as a marketing channel keeps increasing.’

Help from Tekes financing and Growth Track services

Champion Door has made use of Tekes financing to develop new upwards-folding fabric doors, a new fire door, and a strategy for expanding into several new international market areas.

‘Tekes financing has played a significant role in the success of these projects. It has reduced the risks, sped up the development work and helped us to develop our business operations.’

Through the Growth Track service, Champion Door has had access to training and expert guidance in many business areas. The information and outsider opinions received have helped the company to improve its business operations.

‘In five years, Champion Door will be the world’s leading manufacturer of large doors’, Karjalainen promises.

Picture: Champion Door

Kaj Nordgren
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