iLOQ – we are family

As we slowly come back down to earth after one of the biggest weeks in iLOQ’s history – our 20th anniversary celebrations – I would like to reflect on the one word that cropped up time and again while discussing with our customers, partners, suppliers and employees. And that word was ‘family’. While you read this article, I would like to suggest that you load up the Sister Sledge megahit ‘We are family’. It will put you in just the right frame of mind.

The iLOQ family is a familiar term to the more than 300 employees of iLOQ. That’s because we really are just like one, big, happy family.

Our founder, Mika Pukari, is the traditional ‘grandfather’ figure – observant, wise, ready to pass on family traditions to the next generation, and happy to tell anyone about the good old days. However, our grandfather is also ever-youthful, full of passion and full of ideas to continue changing the face of the locking industry as we move into our third decade of operations.

Our President and CEO, Heikki Hiltunen, is the ‘father’ figure. Nurturing, influencing and a hands-on supporter. Far from sitting in an ivory tower, he leads by example and works hard every day to ensure we fulfill our new slogan of a life made limitless.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that iLOQ is a patriarchal company. It’s not. We also have many extremely influential ‘matriarchs’ in the company. Our human resources department is headed up by Minna Tuomikoski, our legal department by Jaana Klinga and our Executive Vice President and COO is Erja Sankari, to name just a few. And, yes, we might have been ‘born’ in Oulu in the North of Finland, but we now have operations in 30 countries and a hugely diverse workforce.

Customers, partners and suppliers also belong to the family

As I said earlier, this week was very special. As well as our own personnel, we also welcomed customers, partners and suppliers to help us celebrate this milestone. The final event of the week was a gala dinner with 650 people in attendance. As I moved around the room talking to as many people as possible, the word ‘family’ was on everyone’s lips.

Our network of partners is the link between iLOQ and our customers and end users. We work in close contact with them every day. They are trained and qualified locksmiths with excellent backgrounds and experience in, for example, access management, automation and electronic locking sectors. It’s their job to demonstrate, program, install and support iLOQ’s self-powered technology and products in a professional way. And they do this every day because they too feel that they are members of the extended iLOQ family.

I also spoke to customers. Many of them said that they don’t just buy products from iLOQ. They buy into the iLOQ family philosophy. They know that we really care about them (and the planet) and have their best interests at heart. We are continually innovating new digital services and software solutions that maximize security while minimizing administration and lifecycle costs. And, with no batteries, we do it sustainably.

Our suppliers are also important members of the iLOQ family. We have many suppliers around the world, but one group in particular stands out at the moment. That is our factory in Ukraine. iLOQ offices were recently given a virtual tour of the factory and to say it was impressive is the understatement of the year. The pride of the employees in their work is incredible. In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, the component crisis and the unspeakable horror they are experiencing in their country, they are not only meeting but exceeding our expectations. They too feel that they are true members of the iLOQ family.

For those of you that joined us for iLOQ20, it was a pleasure to meet you and celebrate with you. Take a look at some highlights from the event in this exciting video. For those of you that couldn’t make it, let’s hope to see you for our silver anniversary in a few years. Who knows how big the iLOQ family will be by then. We have already started making a name for ourselves in the US, and we announced at this event that we have just started operations in Australia. Our reach is spreading far and wide.

The theme for our gala evening was Back to the future. As the star of that iconic film – Michael J. Fox – once said: “Family is not an important thing. It’s everything”. Cue Sister Sledge!