Close co-operation with Finnair for more than 30 years
In the early 1980s, Finnair contacted Fiblon’s founder Pertti Ekberg to order some airline seat headrest covers. Instead of copying old products, Pertti developed a new cover fastening solution for Finnair. This innovation marked the start of close co-operation, which has now been going on for three decades and one generational change.
In line with its mission statement, Fiblon has thoroughly acquainted itself with Finnair’s operations and catering services. Members of Fiblon’s staff regularly visit Finnair to see how the production chain works. Hearing employees and seeing the products handled in practice have given rise to a number of new ideas.
In-depth co-operation is possible thanks to mutual trust. Inko Jansson, Head of Materials Management at Finnair Catering, appreciates Fiblon’s active approach. “You can really see that Fiblon’s business idea emphasises listening to and valuing the client. I appreciate the fact that the company gets to work instead of just talking about what should be done. If something is impossible, Fiblon says it out loud, leaving nothing unresolved. There aren’t too many suppliers like this,” Jansson says approvingly.
Finnair Catering has wanted to involve Fiblon in product development, and Fiblon has shown initiative in making several suggestions for new products and practices. “Although the products are simple in a sense, Fiblon’s product development is highly active. They are also able to respond to our wishes very quickly. Innovation is Fiblon’s key strength.”
Economic efficiency guaranteed by logistics chain management
Fiblon supplies Finnair with seat headrest covers, tray covers and a wide variety of table napkins. Product volumes are high, so optimising the logistics chain is essential for overall economic efficiency.
All products, packages and logistics have been customised to meet Finnair’s wishes. Product packages have been developed continuously, helping to increase both the smoothness of logistics and comfort of end-users. “Fiblon has taken a great deal of responsibility for the entire process. The optimisation of order quantities and transports really helps in terms of supply chain management. Product volumes are huge – we are talking millions of products annually – so a steady product flow is really important,” Jansson says.
In addition to Catering, Fiblon co-operates with Finnair’s visual design unit as necessary to ensure that the appearance of the products is in line with the Finnair brand. The latest brand update involved, for example, changing Finnair’s F logo, which appears in the headrest covers. “Headrests are small things with high visibility in planes, so we wanted to start using the new logos immediately. Fiblon provided us with new covers almost on the fly.”
An important part of Fiblon’s mission is taking account of environmental concerns at all stages of the production chain. This is also important for Finnair Catering. “We put increasing emphasis on environmental issues, striving to make the majority of our products recyclable. Fiblon provides us with sufficient information on materials, printing chemicals and their treatment. They are highly up-to-date with these issues,” says Inko Jansson of Finnair Catering.