Springfield is the company’s regional headquarters, and much of the training the company provides to its employees is offered here. The company manufactures and services overhead cranes and other products that are used in shipyards, ports and the automotive and steel industries, among others.
RELATED: What's happening with the long-proposed wind farm in Champaign County?
“Long story short, we’re anti-gravity people,” D’Ambrosi said.
He credited the company’s local workforce with much the the company’s success, arguing that getting workers to cooperate toward shared goals is more important than the firm’s policies and business plans.
DETAILS: Manufacturing company to hold hiring event for new Clark County facility
“Frankly, we have used Springfield as a competitive advantage for quite some time,” D’Ambrosi said.
Like many companies, Konecranes has been challenged in finding and retaining skilled workers, he said. In response, Konecranes is increasingly working to identify workers with general technical skills, and devoting more resources to training to provide the specific skills needed. He described the labor market as the company’s primary challenge.
READ MORE: Speedway acquires 80 new stores
“We need to take good, quality people who want to learn and develop crane technicians that we think have potential,” he said.
The goal is for Konecrane’s training program to be the gold standard across the industry, D’Ambrosi said.
MORE: Volkswagen execs indicate possible takeover of Navistar
The company also plans to use data analytics from its equipment and from inspection reports provided by technicians to catch and prevent problems with the company’s products in advance, he said. He said the company seriously began collecting more data a little more than two years ago and uses predictive analytics to improve Konecranes’ products.
Last year, the company’s global headquarters in Finland finalized the acquisition of the material handling and port solutions business from the Terex Corporation under the Demag brand. D’Ambrosi said Konecranes’ board of directors provided three years to integrate the companies but instead the North America operations were integrated within six months.
The Springfield News-Sun will continue to provide unmatched coverage of jobs and the economy. For this story, the paper spoke to officials from Konecranes about the company’s impact in the region.
By the numbers:
450 — Estimated workers in Springfield
$3.9 billion — Estimated worldwide revenue in 2016
17,000 — Estimated employees worldwide
600 — Estimates offices worldwide