Heinolan Levy ja Lista Oy awarded the 2022 Lumber Merchant Prize – The lumber trade is all about trust

The 2022 Lumber Merchant Prize was awarded to Heinolan Levy ja Lista Oy. Run by second-generation entrepreneurs, the company has created a concept that helps them succeed in a very competitive field. This building supplies store relies on trust to serve local construction professionals and companies, and DIY consumers. Employing 16 people, it has a turnover of 10 million euro. The store offers not only lumber and construction materials but also a full range of services from cutting to pick-up and delivery, all under the same roof. Wood planing was also part of the firm’s services earlier, but this was discontinued when the machine reached the end of its lifecycle. Planed products are now purchased readymade from suppliers.

Saku (on the left) ja Samu Virtanen. Photo: Johanna Autio

– Heinola is a city with 18,000 people. The company CEO Samu Virtanen explains that growing the business became possible when they began selling more than just lumber. Saku Virtanen, Chairman of the Board, says that today’s customers increasingly want more finished and processed products. In fact, nearly all the lumber picked up at the store has been processed in one way or another. Ongoing trends also influence customer purchasing decisions, which in turn influences the company’s product selection.

The industry is known for its intense competition. Heinolan Levy ja Lista Oy’s strengths lie in its highly-skilled and committed personnel and its well thought-out facilities. In the end however, the customer
is key. It’s all about how customers are treated and guided along their individual buying process. According to Samu Virtanen, this means building a relationship of trust and serving customers in the same way as the personnel themselves would want to be treated in any speciality store.

Read the article in Finnish here.

Background for the Merchant Prize

This was the 26th time the Lumber Merchant Prize was awarded. The prize is granted by Suomen Puutavara- ja Rakennustarvikekauppiasyhdistys SPY ry (the Finnish Lumber and Construction Supplies Association), which is an association for expert wood and building supplies dealers and one of the founding shareholders of Puuinfo Oy.

Prevoius winners

  • Aulis Viitanen, Mestarin Puu ja Rauta (1996)
  • Seppo Lillstrang, Puukeskus Oy (1997)
  • Arto Yletyinen, Puumerkki Oy (1998)
  • Hannu Kallonen, Lauta Oy (1999)
  • Kalle Lindström, Oy Sahakonttori Ab (2000)
  • Ahti Kakko, Puumerkki Oy (2001)
  • Matti Paukku, Puukeskus Oy (2002)
  • Ari Koskinen, Starkki Oy Ab (2003)
  • Harri Haapala, Puukeskus Oy (2004)
  • Matti Leppinen, OP-Puu Oy (2005)
  • Jorma Ojala, Puumerkki Oy (2006)
  • Eero Kainulainen, Starkki Oy Ab (2007)
  • Tapio Outinen, Puutoimi Tapio Outinen Oy (2008)
  • Juhani Kiiski, Puumerkki Oy (2009)
  • Juha Leppäkoski, Sarokas Oy (2010)
  • Aarno Laakso, Puukeskus Oy (2011)
  • Esko Jokela, Hyvinkään Puutavara Oy (2012)
  • Timo Kokkonen, Puumerkki Oy (2013)
  • Kaj Holmén, Simolin Oy Ab (2014)
  • Juha Mönkkönen, DT Finland OY/STARK (2015)
  • Risto Heiskanen, Hattulan Puu Oy (2016)
  • Seppo Pihlava, Pintopuu Oy (2017)
  • Seppo Kouvonen, Stark Suomi Oy (2018)
  • Pasi Rautio, ET-Listat Oy (2019)
  • Matti Kaseva, Etelän Puutavara Oy (2021)