Dear Friends in Paper & Board industry,

I am very happy and proud to officially publish the born of a new micro company in the industry. It is named in the Finnish Register of Trade as ”IM-prove Paper Board Oy” (Oy means Ltd) – a name which is a combination of google motivated practisism, personal vanity and strick formal demands of Finnish authorities – but I’d rather call it simply Improve Paper and ask you to do likevise. The company took its first steps already in the Winter but this period was so busy in trying to keep up and going without much falling and pain that it is only now that there was enough time for the proud parent to introduce the new born walker for the whole paper making family !

Mission of the company is to (in its small niche) maintain, utilize and further cultivate paper making knowledge, experience and paper web structural know-how that was cumulated during past decades in the Finnish paper industry, for the benefit of all persons involved in Improve Paper directly or in the network, and the whole industry. In more practical terms, the target is to be able to utilize old skills in a new way to make a decent living personally and to help our clients, the paper makers to do the same by improving the quality of their products and profitability of their processes. After leaving Metso Paper I thought this was much better choise intead of just to surrender, accept the idea of loosing a couple of decades of personal work experience and start from (close to) zero in a new profession.

I guess the whole industry faces the same dilemma: wheter to surrender for the obvious triumph of electronic media and decreasing markets and margins, close more mills and the communities surrounding them, convert traditional mills as server halls and proud paper makers as random job seekers. The alternative is to use old know-how but in a different, smart way, to launch new products and services that could perhaps be a solution for some problem of our polymer filled days. There is no reason why a high quality, multipurpose, safe packing & information carrier material of pure renewable bio materials could not be a success even today if it just was tailored to challenge its electronic or polymer rivals and their weak spots, of course with low enough production cost. In this tailoring Improve Paper wants to be involved.

Deep know-how is the key of this kind of service offer, and therefore a good network of experts is a must for the company. At the moment there are lots of very experienced and skilled professionals of different paper and board making operations and unit processes ”free” in Jyväskylä area. Improve Paper  has already utilized this asset in its operations and continues to do so. We also actively are developing contacts outside Jyväskylä area, and continue network building of both individual experts but also other small companies serving paper industry. This way of operation – to build up a temporary expert group from a wide talent network to be a resource in a customer project – makes it possible to offer top know how in flexible way and minimum fixed cost and is an obvious scenario for the future in forest industry generally.

In order to succeed, this kind of working concept, i.e. expert network serving many customers simultaniously, even competitors for each other, of course requires that a special attention is given for confidentiality in each project. It is crucial that customer information must not leak and also results of the work made in projects by Improve Paper are primarly utilized in the customer company that pays the project. Therefore all necessary NDA and other such agreements are made in each case between Improve Paper Oy and its customer, and also with Improve Paper Oy and its project group members. We recognise that forest industry is a small business in terms of people involved, after all. Most of the key people know each other, and any leaks or other inappropriate use of information sooner or later would be revealed and turn against possible leaker. We target for a long term succesfull operations in the business instead of short term profit and value high all confidentiality aspects, accordingly.

This also means that Improve Paper must have considerable amount of neutral knowledge to be used as support and marketing material. Therefore we use very much open sources – internet, libraries, earlier open studies etc.- that luckily can be found quite well. Surpricingly much new knowledge can be created simply by combining results from existing open studies. Also we plan to run some very selected own R&D activities to combine open infomation and give material needed for general purposes and company visibility.

One of the plans is to actively keep this blog site that you luckily have found. Here you can find updates of the company issues but also the industry in general. Also very selected results, presentations, videos etc. will be published in this site. I hope you visit the site often, find it useful and perhaps put it in your Bookmark/Favorits folder.

Thanks for interest and hope we keep in touch,

Ismo Mäkinen

In Jyväskylä, June 27th 2014